Meet Nora Schimmenti, an Italy-based stylist with who is paving her way into the fashion world. Read on to get a glimpse into her mind.
What inspired your journey into the fashion world? What led you to pursue styling as a career? What are the kind of clients/brands that you work with and what do you enjoy working on the most?
My journey into the fashion world was inspired by family creativity. I was still a child when I started sewing clothes for my dolls myself … I started with the help of my grandmother, she was a seamstress and she had a wonderful Singer sewing machine. My career as a stylist started by chance, thanks to the company where I still work today. I studied to be a fashion designer and after graduation I always worked in the fashion sector, but in the role of designer for small brands and later as visual merchandiser and store manager for two well-known multinational fast fashion companies.
Then after travels and transfers of study and work, which brought me from Sicily to Spain, then Milan and back to in my Palermo, in 2017 I’m applying as a stylist for a big multi-brand of luxury wear company and so my great adventure begins. Working for a luxury multi-brand, I am always in contact with well-known products of companies in the fashion business, to create the looks of our editorial photographic campaigns. Among these brands there are the best known such as Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Jacquemus, etc.
What I like in general about my work is that over the years it has expanded because I no longer take care of just the looks, which I define with the ‘help from excellent professionals also in terms of make-up and hair … but today I dedicate myself so much to the creative part, I love to develop “stories” that are always different and the service of the brand I work for. I design the moodboard, select the location and thanks to my skills today I am able to support the role of art director coordinating the team on the set and I feel very lucky, because in recent years I have collaborated with talented photographers, models and makeup artists.
Do you have any designers who’s work you love? Why?
I come from industrial design studies so, I really love the vision of fashion as an “architectural construction”, composition and decomposition of geometries. So I appreciate all the designers and the relative brands of Japanese origin, from the most historic ones such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe, but it would be trivial to tell you about them now. Rather, today we are talking about Chitose Abe and her Sacai brand that I love for the study conducted on the deconstruction and recomposition in winning mixes of the most iconic clothingsillhoutte, which she proposes again in her catwalks. A contemporary urbanwear language which I appreciate so much is also that of the young italian brand Sunnei and its two designers Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina, who offer us a wardrobe that deviates from momentary trends to define a timeless yet versatile aesthetic.
Would you have any tips for upcoming stylists? How can someone make their mark in an industry with such a surplus of talent?
To those who want to pursue a career as a stylist like me, in addition to advising them to study in the best schools accessible to them, is very important to have character and ambition, but at the same time to always be humble and patient, because in this job you never stop learn! Thanks to social media, fashion today is accessible to everyone and to stand out, passion and a qualification are not enough, you need to have many work experiences and travel, both physically and with your mind, always updating yourself and carefully observing everything around, because it is in the present that fashion find inspiration for create “the dream” in fashion shows!
What has been your biggest success and biggest failure so far? What have been your takeaways from both?
My greatest success to date is the life I am living right now! Palermo, even if it is not called Milano, has given me the opportunity to do the job that I have loved (for 4 years) and that thanks to the prestige of the company with which I collaborate, I constantly have the opportunity to compare myself with high-level professionals and talents of the sector.
As for the failures, which I like to call “life lessons”, the most memorable one was not being able to keep up with the rhythms of a job I had many years ago in a well-known global fast fashion brand. My conclusions about it are that the best job in the world is not necessarily suitable for each of us. Nothing is ever simple and when the right opportunity arises, it may not be the right time in our life, just like it has happened to me. So try to always be ready for anything!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What kind of impact do you hope to have on your community? As a member of the fashion community and a fashion lover, where do you think the future of fashion lies? How do you think platforms like AISPI can be a part of this future?
In 5 years I would like to have learned as much as possible at my work and maybe daydreaming, becouse I would really like to dress the biggest stars in the world with clothing designed by me, which means having my own brand!
I see the future of fashion in the most classic way in the world, that is in the hands of young designers, not only creatives, but above all visionaries and dreamers! In the era of social media and working relationships that no longer fear distances, thanks also to the super fast development of technologies, I think that platforms such as AISPI perfectly represent this concept of breaking down.
All images courtesy of Nora Schimmenti.
– As told to Soha Joshi