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Meet Marian Kwei, the personal stylist with a penchant for bold colours

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Marian Kwei is a content creator, journalist, editor and personal stylist based in the UK. She also has experience in digital fashion magazines and has worked as an editor for Dirrty Glam, PUSH IT and Glossy. 

 

In the lead up to International Women's Day, we're talking to badass women who have made their own way in the fashion industry. I talked to Marian about what it’s like to be a personal stylist, the women who inspire her and her advice for those who are hoping to get into the industry.

 

Image courtesy of Marian Kwei

A love for fashion...

Growing up, Marian always had a love for fashion. She says: “For as long as I can remember I was fascinated with beautiful things. I would gaze at beautiful things in magazines with awe. It's still the same. It is the aesthetic of things that makes me love fashion. It is beautifully made things that I truly love.”

 

Her love for the fashion world lead her to university, but she soon realised this way into the industry wasn’t right for her. “I started a fashion degree but did not complete it. It was about being at the right place at the right time. I styled one person and it led to the next.”

University isn't for everyone...

 

It was after quitting her degree that Marian found her true passion, and started working for digital media: “I quit my degree and started working for a high fashion digital magazine called Dirrty Glam but by this time I was already personal styling. It became all the more as I started working with the magazine.”

 

Female empowerment is everything...

For Marian, female empowerment and supporting other women is incredibly important to her throughout her career. “I think women need women. In terms of encouragement, mentoring, support and working together. We can't be the best that we can be without each other. For me it is very important for me to work with women. I wouldn't be here of certain women hadn't given me a break and a chance to succeed.”

 

So, in terms of incredible women, who is Marian’s biggest inspiration career-wise? She says: “Grace Jones for her unapologetic fierceness. June Ambrose because I was inspired by her styling and happy to say meeting her in person was such a delight. They say never meet your heroes, but they were wrong in this case.”

Image courtesy of Marian Kwei

 

It’s also very important to Marian for her styling to empower the women she is dressing. “I do try to empower women through my styling. This is the whole point. By putting them in garments that suit and fit well, Women feel empowered, strong and confident. Dress well and you feel all the better for it. Image is important so bettering one’s image, betters’ ones confidence. This is the same for me too. The right palette, print and structure can do wonders for a woman.”

Bolder is better...

 

Through her styling, Marian has a clear love for bright, bold colours and exciting, different designs. As a personal stylist with a taste for all things colourful, what are Marian’s favourite brands? She says that she favours brands that are known for colour: “Dries Van Noten is known as a colourist and known for pairings wonderful hues together. Other than that, I love Balenciaga, Gucci, Etro, Dolce & Gabbana and Zara for the high street.”

 

She also loves to go bold through her makeup choices. So, what are her top makeup tips? “I say try a bolder lip than you are used to. So, if you are pink lip girl go for a shade a bit brighter than you would.

 

“Same with clothes, start gradually. Wear a hue brighter than usual and slowly build up your confidence. That way you gradually wear bolder bolts of colour. That's the only way to build your confidence colours wise to do it gradually. The more you wear colour the easier it becomes.”

Bianca Jagger (pictured with Andy Warhol - circa 1970s) // Image Credit: Anton Perich, via Ill Fatto Quotidiano on Flickr

 

Style icons...

Every stylist has a group of women who they look to for style inspiration. So, who are Marian’s? It’s clear through her choices that she looks for women who stand out from the crowd and dared to be different. “Women from the '20s for rebelling against the mould with their flapper dresses and finger waves, women from the '70s for the colours, cut and structure of garments. Grace Jones for being inimitable. Bianca Jagger circa 1970s, Donyale Luna and Tina Chow for her pared back minimalism.” 

Final words of wisdom...

 

Lastly, what are Marian’s top tips for anyone hoping to get into the industry and become a personal stylist? “Find a mentor, be humble, be willing to work hard, intern as much as you can but make sure to learn on the job. Don't look down on any task it could lead to your big break.” 

 

Lead image courtesy of Marian Kwei

 

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