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THE FINE PRINT: You were born in France, and are now living in Berlin. I could only imagine that was an easy choice, as it’s known for being the most creative city in Europe! How has living there affected your aesthetic?
KEVIN MEUNIER: I was born in Lyon, France in the early 90’s and was raised in a genuine creative environment. My dad used to be a self-taught interior decorator and my mother is an experienced hairstylist. During my childhood, I remember playing with dolls in my free time, doing their hair and dressing them with the most extravagant self-made outfits. At that point, it seemed obvious to my parents that I would follow their path, and later would have a career in one of the fields artistry had to offer.
At 19 years old, I started at Esmod International Fashion School of Design and Creation in France and graduated in Berlin, Germany in 2013. Berlin was a very personal choice. It represented the only escape I had to become the person I am now. For the first time in my life, I felt free to express myself without being judged and to finally live the lifestyle I always wanted to have, surrounded by inspiring and open-minded people. Moreover, Berlin is one of the most creative locations in the world where design, art and culture are combined in an original and fascinating way. The city has a singular and magnetic power of attraction on international artists. It is a place of great opportunities where creative souls are meeting. Nowadays, the Berlin fashion scene is starting to shape up and gets bigger each year. The inspiration, love and support I got from the people I met has helped me become the emancipated and confident person I am now in my style.
TFP: If you were to describe yourself in just three words, what would you choose?
KM: I am creative, ambitious and committed.
TFP: What are your favourite fabrics and why?
KM: Coming from Lyon, I have a personal preference for silk. Pioneer in manufactured silk production since the Renaissance, the city’s heritage taught me a lot about this fancy fabric. I like its shimmering appearance and the fact that it refracts lights producing different shades of colours. Silk is very complex to sew, but once you succeed in sewing it well, you sure have an outstanding piece.
I also like velvet. I am captivated by the way it falls on the body when you wear it and it has such an unusual softness.
Kevin Meunier – Portrait
TFP: Was there a specific reason or event that pushed you into styling instead of another aspect of fashion? If you weren’t a stylist, what would you do?
KM: Styling has always been something I wanted to do. In love with womenswear, I always felt frustrated going shopping at the men’s section in clothing stores. I found it unfair that girls had more choice in the products than boys. As a young teenager, I used to go shopping with my girlfriends and select their clothes. I wanted to give them a make-over every season. Whether they liked it or not, they had no other choice than buying what I selected to make me happy. I had the feeling I did something good by helping them looking their best in trendy garments. I wanted to dress people for a living!
Three years ago, a friend of mine started styling professionally and asked me to assist him on several photoshoots. I learned a lot from these experiences and decided later to start planning my own styling projects. I had the chance to start in Berlin, where I entered into contact with talented photographers who followed me all along in my aesthetic, giving life to crazy ideas I had in mind.
If I were not a stylist, I would love to be a full-time fashion magazine editor. I have some experience in this field, and I truly enjoy doing this. I started an online fashion-diary where I report on current fashion trends and the latest news from the design world. I enjoy sharing my vision by writing about it. When you find a subject you want to write about, the work of research becomes appealing and very exciting. I always ensure that my readers are given the most up-to-date information regarding the trends.
TFP: I’ve noticed you often either create or alter clothing, pushing the boundaries of your work as a stylist. To go back to our previous question, is fashion design something that interest you as well? Could you see yourself evolving into a designer?
KM: During my education, I had the chance to learn how to create a garment from scratch, to bring it to life, and to see it worn on someone. Being able to translate my abstract imagination into a real piece was magical. I was fascinated by creating the pieces I could not find in stores.
I keep on creating garments from scratch for myself and I customise second-hand clothes. I usually incorporate my designs in the styling I do for the fashion editorials, then I mix them with designers’ pieces.
Keep in mind fashion design is the most challenging path to take in the industry. It is a very complex job. You constantly need to seek inspiration, to research current fashion and to make predictions of future trends. There is no place for saturated minds and the competition is ever-present. Your final product has to translate your initial concept; and it takes a long way before it happens (producing samples, doing fittings, choosing the right fabrics, manufacturing the products…).
Becoming a successful self-employed fashion designer and running my own label, represents my ultimate dream. Regarding my current situation and the several projects I have, I will need a lot more free time to focus only on fashion design. It is a financial risk to take and I do not feel ready yet. Future will tell.
Stella – Sicky Magazine
TFP: What is your dream magazine to be published in?
KM: I would go for a printed issue of V Magazine. I am always buying it and I love to look at it and read it. Its target is young and creative, and it reaches international forward-thinker readers. Renowned stylists collaborate with the best photographers to create fashion editorials which are, most of the time, on point: mixing chic, fun and innovations.
TFP: What do you think is the hardest part of being a stylist?
KM: The most stressful part of being a stylist is the planning before the day of the photoshoot. It takes tons of research, shopping, emails to designers and PR agencies to borrow clothes. Once you know the direction you want to go for the styling and you get the confirmation of everyone, you need to run everywhere, from designers’ studios to fashion agencies to pick up the garments. You are fully responsible for the pieces and if anything is damaged during the shooting, the stylist is on a hook for the cost of the item.
Text by Estelle Gervais
Cloud 66 – Sicky Magazine
Bringing light to shadow – MKR Magazine