Nov 16, 2017 | By Lourdes Linares
The “A Conversation with…” Series
This new series attempts to draw insight directly from the cultural sources we have all come to know and love. From designers, to shop owners, to influencers, we want to open up conversations with thought leaders disrupting the fashion and retail industries.
A Conversation with Mikiel Benyamin
Mikiel Benyamin has been shaking up the fashion industry this year, having styled internet favorites Cardi B. , Keke Palmer and even Migos who Benyamin now has the pleasure of calling his clients. After founding Mikiel Benyamin Studios last year, the 23-year-old Egyptian-born celebrity stylist has very recently signed onto to the Wilhelmina agency and shows no signs of slowing down.
We had a chance to catch up with Mikiel to uncover his favorites & some insider tips that have quickly made him an industry staple.
How has the e-commerce boom affected your styling process, if at all?
It definitely has affected my styling process because a lot of pieces aren’t sampled and just brought into stores as exclusives, so we would have to go and get them from stores in time for a client.
How do you stay updated on the current trends?
I usually sit with my team and we talk about what trends are IT in the season and what trends we should look out for or style on clients.
What retailers are on your radar?
There is one retailer that has always been on my radar and that is VFILES. They have really taken streetwear and Soho street culture to a whole new level. I have shopped at VFILES since I was 17 and still continue to shop there. They really bring streetwear, funky and high-end all together and they bring celebrities closer to the fans with their in-store events and their fashion shows every season.
Go-to Brands at the moment?
My go-to brands at the moment for my work are Versace, Balenciaga, Vetements and Moschino. I love a strong statement when I style a client so they are who I look at for my work.
Favourite City to Shop / Draw Inspiration from?
I’ve never been to Tokyo but that is where I draw most of my inspiration from. New York as well, of course – my style aesthetic is very streetwear New York urban underground and it really represents what NYC stands for.
Bucket List Destination? Ideal City to Travel to for work?
I would love to travel to Tokyo and Dubai for work, I’ve loved both cities for as long as I can remember and I can’t wait to visit them sometime in the future.
Hotel you can never go wrong with?
I love staying with the Gansevoort hotel group, that is somewhere I know I could never go wrong with staying there.
Thoughts on non-binary / unisex brands? Anyone doing it right?
Non-binary and unisex brands are my personal favourite. Vetements, Eckhaus Latta and many more have been breaking every fashion rule and other high end fashion houses are making runway pieces like that as well – so it’s perfect.
Why Wilhelmina Artist agency?
I feel Wilhelmina is the perfect fit for me currently. We talked about me signing at the perfect time and I believe an agency like them will really help my growth as a stylist so they are a good fit for me.
How important is Fashion Week for you?
Fashion week is the main core to what I do, it’s every stylist’s holy land. It helps stylists as well as clients meet with designers. I mean, really, the whole experience as a whole is something I would never trade for the world. In some ways, fashion week is the main reason I am where I am today.
Most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job I would say is getting certain looks on time for clients’ fittings, that is the craziest part. Most of the time some looks are in Milan or Paris and we’re just hoping to get them in time!
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