Melbourne Fashion Stylist
Stylist Poppy Key has spent the last 10 years in senior fashion marketing roles for both high end and mainstream fashion retailers. Poppy’s passion is helping brands to uniquely position themselves through her creative, quality styling. We know you’re interested in fashion stylists, so we had loads of questions for Poppy…
How did you discover your passion for fashion?
I’ve loved fashion and design since childhood. Growing up in London, Central St Martin’s was the place to go and that was always my dream. But I didn’t think I was good enough. That’s what my teachers told me, so I didn’t even try. I’ll always regret it. I should have followed my heart. I went on to study History of Art and Design and I remember the best mark I ever got (95%) was on an essay question: ‘I shop therefore I am. Discuss’. I found the whole concept fascinating. And it’s never left me.
What type of stylist are you and how did you become involved?
I’m a Commercial and Editorial Stylist. I also do some personal styling for some very special VIP clients. I’ve worked in the industry for a long time in various roles. 18 months ago, I finally decided to back myself and go out on my own and Style by Poppy was born. It was the best thing I ever did.
Describe your process when styling for new clients.
It’s all about the product and how best to visually represent it to their customers. I’ll research what’s going on in the world in that category and then recommend the look and feel for the shoot. I do a mood board and provide references. There’s a lot of work up front.
What item of clothing do you wear most often?
Sneakers. Always sneakers.
Who are your favourite designers that never disappoint?
We’re so lucky there are so many amazing designers in Australia. There’s too many to mention. For every day, I’m loving everything Aje at the moment. Sass & Bide, Bec & Bridge, Jac & Jack and C&M have been faves of mine forever. I adore Maticevski, Zimmermann and Scanlan. I also work with some really talented, exciting young designers, like Joslin and Van Der Kooij. Worldwide, and if money was no object, it would be Saint Laurent, Alexander Wang, Stella McCartney and McQueen.
How would you describe your signature look?
I’m afraid it’s all about comfort these days. I’m either working or watching my boys play soccer. So my style uniform is basically a glamorous tracksuit! And everything I own is either black, white, grey or navy. My go-to is a leather biker jacket that I’ve had for about 15 years. It cost a fortune at the time, but so worth it for the cost-per-wear. I wear it with a TShirt (always good quality cotton), drop crotch pants and trainers. But I always carry a designer bag. Bags are my thing. I live by quality over quantity and I don’t buy clothes for myself very often. I’d describe my personal style as casual luxe with an edge.
What are some of your favourite trends this season?
I don’t really follow trends for myself. I might add a white boot to an all-black ensemble, but that’s about as far as I’ll go. But from a styling point of view, I love statement sleeves. They shoot beautifully and create some lovely shapes on camera.
Describe your “I made it” moment.
There are so many! I literally have ‘pinch me’ moments every day! I’m lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented Photographers. I was actually pretty chuffed to be asked to do this interview. I didn’t realise anyone knew who I was! Everything’s happening so quickly at the moment, so my goals are constantly changing. It’s a pretty insane time for me.
Who’s your fashion icon?
Kate Moss. Without a doubt. I’m in love with her.
If you weren’t a stylist, what would you be doing?
My Photographer friends would say I want to be a Photographer! And part of me would. I admire their art so much. One of these days I’ll get a camera and then watch out world! Ha, ha. In reality, I have no idea. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
The fashion industry changes rapidly, what’s your best advice to someone wanting to pursue a career in fashion styling?
Leave your ego at the door. Be nice, humble and eager to help out. Network, assist, work hard. Be proactive and approach those whose work you admire. If you’re lucky enough to have a true passion, don’t let anyone tell you ‘you can’t’ and don’t ever give up.
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