Featured Stylist: Samia Lavenant
Based: San Diego, Ca
Photos: Richie Edquid (facebook.com/richandcreamy)
Interviewer: Eileen Doñiego de France (eyemusingmuses.com)
All of Samia’s looks are available at Graffiti Beach
Shop online at GraffitiBeach.com and in-store 2220 Fern St., San Diego Ca
Stylist Samia Lavenant is a wonderful asset to the San Diego fashion scene. She’s worked alongside many of San Diego’s most notable fashion tastemakers, including Graffiti Beach (she styled our latest lookbook as well as many of our other shoots)! I know that the day she gets picked up by a bigger a city, San Diego will be both proud and sad to have lost a creative spirit to a bigger scene (Tijuana already lost her to San Diego… but thankfully we’re good neighbors!). But I’m getting ahead of myself – this woman has to finish school first! I met Samia not too long ago, and was very impressed by her drive and her eye for fashion and the unusual! Her ambition and creative flair is why Graffiti Beach chose to have her a part of the team. We asked Samia to come into Graffiti Beach to show our readers how she would style herself. Read on to find out what makes Samia an amazing stylist and get to know her personal style!
Graffiti Beach: Styling is definitely an art form that people often dismiss. How did you get into styling and what is your creative process like?
Samia Lavenant: I have always liked cutting images from magazines and making collages since I was young. My family remembers clearly a cut out image of a dress that I would use for when I was “older.” I think I had that piece of paper for over 10 years! Even until this day, if I keep a stack of magazines, I am hypnotized by them and want to see and read them all. I have always wondered how a career in styling developed, finally I took a class called “photo styling,” and my teacher, Susan Cox, encouraged me to pursue it by giving me a further insight into the career by assisting her. I will always be grateful for that opportunity. I started by approaching people, asking for photographers that might need a stylist and would send emails constantly so someone would let me work with them and start developing my portfolio. It has been an ongoing networking effort, but I am very happy where it is taking me.
GB: You have collaborated with Graffiti Beach on quite a few photoshoots. Did you have a favorite look from any of the shoots?
SL: I really enjoyed doing “No Comply” where the brand Continuous was featured on emerging skateboarders. This was a shoot for Graffiti Beach’s Summer 2013 Magazine. It was so much fun to have skaters Amee Jay Papalera, Tyler Aghas, and Tyriece Bovain as models. They were so excited about where their career was taking them to, it was an overall energy fest and to see them in action was great. They were first timers as models and they all were supportive of each other.
GB: And what about your own shoot? How was it to style yourself and be in front of the camera? What was your fave look during this shoot?
SL: It was fun because I had to make the pieces work according to my style and give them my interpretation. I really liked the look with the black and white graphic sweater, the oversided black bag, and the green bamboo sunglasses. I tend to go for pieces that have an edge and looks that are more challenging to style together. This look was the perfect combination of all the elements I love. I also developed a sunglass obsession a couple of years ago. I was a bit rusty in front of the camera even though I used to be a host for a music interview show in Tijuana when I was in college – but it was refreshing to be in front of a camera again:)
Bamboo Sunnies $130 // Drum Cymbal Earrings $48 // Drum Cymbal Bracelet $48 – exact bracelet in-store only // Oversized Vneck Top $39 // Typewriter Necklace $25 (available in-store) // Aztec Sweater $55 // Double Finger Ring $32 // Bag – sold out until Spring 2014
GB: As a stylist, how important is it for you to pay attention to smaller fashion brands and vintage?
SL: So very important!! In fashion, almost all current trends are an interpretation or variation of an old garment or trend. It’s so important to be able to recognize how each brand is trying to differentiate itself from others and what lifestyle they are catering to. When I discover a new small brand I like, I instantly become a fan of them because I see something that is presented to me in a fresh way. This is why Graffiti Beach appealed to me so much. I have a strong love for vintage too – the way stitching, cuts, and how overall craftsmanship was done in the past is so pristine, it is almost disappearing today. I use a lot of vintage in my styling; it gives it that classy touch when I need it.
GB: Besides styling, do you take interest in any other creative processes?
SL: I am open to different creative processes. I was lucky enough to participate as a costume designer for an SDSU short film that opened new possibilities for me as far as styling goes, and it also gave me an insight into film. I am also currently serving as an ambassador for the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival – to help give the festival more resonance within the fashion industry and to help develop new ways to incorporate the festival with San Diego fashion students who want learning and networking opportunities. In addition, I got to help out with Graffiti Beach’s Holiday Window display, that was a ton of fun for me.
Druzy Drop Earrings $68 – available in-store // Constellation Necklace $98 // Clutch $42 // Typewriter Cuff $34 each // Typewriter Ring $30 // Amethyst Necklace – sold out (click here for similar item) // Long Sleeve Dress $42
GB: You are just finishing up school, what do you have in mind for your future?
SL: I want to produce and style my own fashion film, as well as continue learning about leather and it’s craft. I also would love to continue styling and immerse myself in costume design for film. My goal is to move to a city where the fashion Industry is serious business like New York or even Europe. I love learning new things and I enjoy the process of change very much. I easily adapt to cities and environments so I am very excited about the future.
GB: Do you have any tips for aspiring stylists?
SL: Don’t compare your results with anyone else’s. If you want to go into styling be prepared to be faced with many setbacks, but keep on pursuing your goal. Don’t get discouraged when you don’t see results right away. If you are just starting out, start reaching out to photographers, designers and really putting yourself out there. Ultimately it’s about that moment when it all comes together in an image and knowing it was all worth it!
Samia, we look forward to seeing you grow as a stylist. We always enjoy working with you and cannot wait to see where your career takes you! With Love, Melanie Michaud ~ Owner of Graffiti Beach
To check out the looks featured on Samia, visit us online GraffitiBeach.com or in-store 2220 Fern St., San Diego Ca.