July 23, 2009
So my friend Phillip showed me pictures of the stylist, Aya but it wasn’t until I looked at her website and her portfolio did I see really became intrigued. Honestly she is amazing. She reminds me of one of my favorite bloggers ( Style Bubble) with her quirky, off the wall style, mixing Japanese street fashion with American urban fashion. Which turns out to be a match made in heaven.
Aya was born and raising in Murray Hill, Manhattan. She went to school at Oberlin College and graduated with a double major in Visual Arts and Religion and a minor in East Asian Studies. From that point she took a road never traveled. She got interested in sculpture and began making puppets. With nothing to do with all her creations, she went into the field of performing puppetry. Her imagination grew. Soon after her graduation from college she won the Watson fellowship which allows 30 students to travel and pursue any field of study for a whole year. OMG where is the sign up sheet for that one-in-a-lifetime-opportunity?
With all the resources she had available she was able to travel to Poland, the Czech Republic, France, England, and Japan to study puppet theatre, didn’t see that one coming huh ? After her year abroad she returned to NY to get involved in puppet life with performances for real audiences at La MaMa and St. Ann’s Warehouse.
Though puppetry was a passion of hers , she became bored of the robotic lifestyle of performing 8 times per week. She realized that “you can have a passion about multiple interests, but it doesn’t need to be your paycheck.”
With that, she moved on to fashion which she believed was parallel to puppetry because in both professions you take a pile of nothing and bring it to life. And that, my friends, is what she does best.
She didn’t come into fashion as a stranger, her mother is head of the Issey Miyake’s New York office, so connections were already in the bag for her. However she doesn’t really do the avante guard scene because she wants to do stories that she is interested in and that her readers will feel is relevant.
Once she got in as the fashion director at Nylon in 2004, she was running her own, personal, life sized puppet show with large teams of people, all the while making clothing come to life.
Let’s Get Personal with Aya’s stye:
Now at Teen Vogue, Aya dished to the Sartorialist about her own style. She considers her mother and grandmother her fashion icons, in addition to Pipi Longstocking ( I can see how that is relevant, men’s shoes, mix-matched shocks, beat up dress, that all seems pretty relevant to Aya’s style.) Her own personal style has a recipe: one part statement piece, on part quirky charming piece, and one part classic piece. She also admits to loving animals prints but she would never be caught wearing fleece. Aya expects herself to wear more white because it wouldn’t get as dirty as it would in NYC.
While in LA she looks forward to supporting young designers, going to farmers markers, cooking, beach time, and exploring the the American west. Her favorite established designers include YSL, Chanel, Alexander Wand, Preen, Mulberry, Balenciaga, and Burberry Prorsum, just to name a few.
Bag by Alexandra Cassaniti
She goes against the grain because her favorite stylish movie is Ma Femme Est une Actrice where the character has one outfit, but Aya believes it was so perfect. Usually people name the generic Devil Wears Prada, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or Confessions of a Shopaholic. Stylish books she likes are Confessions of a Window Dresser and Excess: Fashion and the Underground 80’s.
As Aya embarks on her new bi0coastal life style as the Senior Fashion Editor at Teen Vogue she enjoys crafts and sewing projects like quilting and applique. She is a master of mixing prints and dressing the best dressed of Hollywood’s Elite. I highly suggest following her on Twitter at Twitter.com/ayakanai . Also check out her web page where she has her entire life’s work. I have taken the liberty of posting a few of my favorite looks that she created.
New Segment: Links for Citation ( I go to Penn so I should know a thing or two about citing my sources. So, I am now going to make sure I don’t forget to list them at the bottom of my posts in a section called LfC.)
LfC 1, LfC 2, LfC 3, LfC 4, LfC 5, LfC 6, LfC 7
June 4, 2009
Mariel Haenn is the perfect example of a stylist under wraps. She has unmistakably changed the look of pop icon Rihanna from girl-next-door to girl-that-would-never-live-any-where-near-you-because-she-is-too-famous.
With a recent birthday (May 25, 1979) she just reached her 30 year old mile-stone, but she looks no where over 23. She had her birthday bash at the Roosevelt Penthouse in LA ,with the theme being Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, this past Saturday and from her facebook and twitter messages, it was an epic party.
A little on her background: Mari ( can I call her that? ) attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in the class of 2000. This half Puerto Rican chica has made her way in and through the celebrity and fashion community. She has worked with starts like Jada and Will Smith, Ciara, Kanye, and most inspiring, Rihanna. She told Latina.Com that her favorite Latino designer would be Esteban Cortazar, who had his own line and is now creative director for Emanuel Ungaro ( who is now trying to work with Lindsey Lohan… idk if that’s a wise decision but…). Some of the designers she is feeling are Christian Dior, YSL, Zac Posen and Givenchy.
I absolutely wish I had more info to share about Mariel, but she simply has no information about her on the Internet. I had to dig through her facebook and twitter account to scoop up the information I have found.
It tells me that the people who are working the hardest behind the scenes of these “fashion-forward” stars get absolutely no play. For example, I googled her and all I got was mentions of her name and no pictures of her alone. That’s a shame. She doesn’t even have a WIKI page, seriously, why are we ignoring her. She is influencing the world in fashion and she doesn’t even have a wiki. I am floored. I do have some pictures that I manage to dig up from her facebook and twitter.
( Mariel on the left with her friend)
Mariel Haenn, stylist, costume designer the life of fashion as it is today, influencing those that influence to masses. Luv ya girl and keep up the good work!