The Fashion Stylist Sydney Loves
Sydney based Fashion Stylist Mikey Ayoubi is well known to those in the business. While his fashion journey started in design, the switch to styling was a natural move. Since that time, the names of local and international celebrities he’s worked with seem to roll off the register of household names from Hollywood, the small screen, Australia and beyond. Names like Hilary Swank, Yael Stone, Kylie Minogue, Lara Worthington and world #1model Adut. But nothing came to him without hard work. Used to a schedule that’s usually set on hypersonic speed, during lockdown Ayoubi’s taken time out to renovate his mother’s house. And to answer our quick-fire Q&A…
Define what you do in words other than “stylist”?
Image maker/Creative Director.
What do you love about being a Fashion Stylist?
I love being connected to people and changing their lives.
Your biggest pinch me moment?
Styling a runway show in Paris.
Who are your favourite celebrities to work with? Most Exciting projects?
The most exciting projects have to be designing the dresses for Kylie & Elle for Vogue’s 40th anniversary back in 1999 and shooting Adut in Paris for Harpers Bazaar.
Is there anyone to whom you largely attribute your success?
Many many incredible people including Nicholas Huxley, Eva Galambos, Akira, Nicola Finetti, Collette Dinnigan and Vivian Egge the former PR power.
Your last big project?
The Voice season 10 with Jessica Mauboy.
Your next big project?
The Voice with Jessica Mauboy, season 11. It’s been a very quiet year with Covid. Currently I’m in this crazy lockdown.
Describe your own style in three words.
Quality. Comfort. Natural.
What’s one fashion faux pas that really sends you up the wall?
Your fashion journey started with design and formal training in the field. Tell us about getting started and the fashion labels you worked for.
I already mentioned the designers before and who influenced me. They were all uniquely different to one another: different aesthetics, processes and discipline.
However, towards the end of my design career, I worked with visionary art director Vince Frost. Vince’s company Frost Collective is one of the biggest and best design agencies the the country. I helped launch his namesake fashion brand of street wear and in the process learned a lot more about design and branding than I intended to.
In that time I understood a lot more about creating a brand and what it takes to make something more appealing and the art of branding. By the third year I had become far more interested in working with the product and styling rather than actually designing the clothing. Don’t forget I was surrounded by advertising, Web, marketing and the rest all day long. It was only natural that I wanted to do more of it.
How hard was the transition to styling once you’d decided?
It wasn’t hard but it was tricky as I had to take an 80% pay cut. I was assistng Mark Vassallo and Dave Bonney. I learnt so much from these two incredibly talented men.
At what point did you look around and realise,”Yes, I’m doing what I was always meant to do and it’s absolutely working for me!”
It was when I was styling Lara Worthington and she appeared on a red carpet and I was like “This is quite powerful.”
Covid has had a huge impact on everyone and how they work. How has it affected your work and how have you adapted in response?
Very much so. We’ve all lost a lot of work. However I’m fortunate to have my existing clients and I do a lot of brand development.
What advice would you give to an aspiring fashion stylist?
Study design, study life, study fine arts. Get yourself life ready then do fashion. You’ll be better for it. If you’re into dressmaking and tailoring then go straight into fashion design. If you have that skill and talent early then there’s no stopping you.
To see more about Australia’s most exciting fashion stylists, enter Fashion Stylist in our search button, or, start by finding out about Melbourne personal stylist Toula Vogdanos.