Following in the footsteps of their American counterparts, French rappers are seeing their relationships with fashion houses intensify. To support the movement, more and more of them are asking for personal stylists. A new profession, carried out here by around fifteen people, which oscillates between resounding successes and thankless tasks. “Every day, I get up around 5 a.m. to manage emails, organize my schedule, make invoices. Then, around 10 a.m., the work can really begin, in particular by touring the showrooms and press offices to locate the clothes,” reports stylist Axelle Gomila.
Now supported by an assistant, the director of the image of the rapper SCH is considered one of the pioneers in this profession which consists in building and developing the image of the “stars” of the most listened to musical genre in France. “You can call me on Sunday evening and ask me 19 looks to release for Tuesday”, testifies Clélia Cazals, who notably dresses the members of the 4Keus group. This situation remains exceptional, but like other of her colleagues – the profession is overwhelmingly female – she does not have a typical day and most of the time carries out her missions in a hurry.
This is confirmed by Anne-Sophie Da Fonseca, who dresses Ninho and Vegedream, the interpreter of the 2018 football anthem, Bring home the cup. On the day of the interview, the 26-year-old stylist, a graduate of Modart International, a private fashion school in Paris, remarked: “Yesterday, for example, I was asked to dress for a concert that will take place tomorrow. » She does not count her hours and never knows her schedule beyond two weeks. “Preparing a clip or outfits for a concert means creating moodboards, finding inspiration, contacting brands, seeing with the artists if it suits them, and starting all over again if it doesn’t work. » All within very tight deadlines that stylists attribute less to rappers than to those around them…
Mariama Barry, 35, stylist and image agent for S.Pri Noir, remembers the call from her client who had spotted a very specific down jacket for a clip. She goes out of her way to recover the piece, the result of a collaboration between Moncler and Rick Owens. This limited edition cannot be found in France, she ends up spotting a copy in Italy. The brand, with which she fortunately has a good relationship, sends it to her quickly. But the exchanges with the fashion labels are not always so fluid. Convincing brands to lend them clothes is a big part of their job.
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