When a brand is a runaway success, a majority of the time we attribute it to designers, or more specifically, the creative director. It's just a natural inclination to praise the person responsible for creating the pieces. However, there are others that work behind the scenes; those important, yet unsung talents whose job it is to take the designer's vision and translate it in such a way that it is relatable. This season, as I watched G-Star's presentation during New York Fashion Week, I was particularly impressed by the juxtaposition of textures which I thought was very pleasing to the eye and drew attention to the craftsmanship. This credit can be given almost solely to the stylists.
G-Star has a penchant for putting together large and glitzy presentations. Therefore, it takes a lot of expertise to make sure that eyes still focus on the collection. The main talents behind this are Remco De Nijs and Merrel Westhoff with whom I had the pleasure of meeting the day after the G-Star runway show. Both Remco and Merrel embody the brand's DNA which revels in contrasts. Remco is sort of a G-Star everyman with a charming smile and personality to match. A part of the company since 1997, he started out in export management, but now has his hands in PR, sales and collection styling. Merrel is a stunning former model with a background in design giving her that coveted combination of intelligence and beauty. She currently styles the company's photoshoots as well as runway shows.
These two are involved in many of the brand's initiatives from events like "RAW Nights", to working closely with collaborative designers like Marc Newson. As we chatted about their roles within the company, at one point we began to go through the Fall runway collection. As we were taking garments off the racks, I was blown away by their knowledge of textures and fabrics. They could have easily fooled me into believing they were part of the design team.
One of the most impressive events that they've worked on this year was at Bread & Butter Berlin. Remco and Merrel were part of the team that styled what they called "The Slow Show". The Slow Show (see below) was a private viewing in Berlin hosted by model-cum-"it" girl Agyness Deyn where models meandered through the audience on "tables" while VIPs sipped cocktails.
Think about it. Thirty models. At least one change each. Plus, an over-the-top venue. You really have to appreciate the skill.