Q&A with muse Jamie Mizrahi
I first discovered Jamie Mizrahi through Nicole Richie's faux-reality series, Candidly Nicole. Hilarious and undeniably grounded in a California meets Carolyn Bessette style, I starting following her about 2 minutes into her first cameo.
The Vogue alum and stylist to some of the biggest names in Hollywood (think Katy Perry, Ashley Benson, Riley Keough) is creative incarnate with a CV to show for it. Just last year, Juicy Couture appointed her as Creative Director, tasked to update a brand so emblematic of the 2000's that you can't think Juicy without picturing stretch-velour and bedazzled sweats. Her first collection for the house was a modern revision of one the most iconic American brands, keeping (though not clinging to) nostalgia and the original Juicy girl in mind.
Whether she's creative directing or styling, Mizrahi never applies a one-size-fits-all formula. Instead, she understands the essence of who she is working for and pares it down to just that. Authenticity is core to her work, and after a handful of exchanges with her via DM and email, I can confirm that authenticity is inextricable from the woman behind the clothes. Scroll on to see why.
Jamie wears the Love and XL Heart Barrettes
NEOPHYTE JEWELS: As a stylist, I assume that you’re always on the hunt for the latest and greatest new designers and products. What is your scouting and vetting process when it comes to pieces for your clients?
JAMIE MIZRAHI: Surprisingly I get in touch with a lot of new designers on Instagram, through direct message. I also am constantly in and out of stores and showrooms, on websites, reading magazines (yes I still love to read magazines and love editorials). Every client is different and has an entirely different aesthetic. I always try to tailor my search to the specific individual.
NJ: What’s so great about your work is that although you’re doing the pulls and assembling concepts, the finished product doesn’t scream Jamie Mizrahi, but rather the product of the style evolution that your clients undergo with you. Katy Perry’s is probably my favourite -- the core of the personality we’ve seen for years is there, but the approach is much more elevated. Do clients often come to you asking for a new look? How do you go about refining style and making sure your clients still feels like themselves?
JM: I really try to take into consideration every individual client. I think it’s important for people to be themselves and to be able to express themselves through what they wear. It’s a collaborative process - I do my best to propose options but also take into consideration the individuals approach to dressing. Every client is different - some want a way more hands on approach, with me dictating exactly what they wear and others like to be more involved. Katy is very involved in the process. She loves it. I know each of my clients - their individual personalities and what they wear in their everyday life. That combined with the project they are working on, the event, the dress code, etc. is all taken into consideration when working with a client.
NJ: Speaking of evolution, you did the same with Juicy Couture -- keeping the marrow of the brand central and then building it up from there into a consumable, modern, take. What was your vision there?
JM: I have such a nostalgia for the brand. I love and have loved Juicy for a great part of my life. I grew up wearing it - from the very beginning. It was important to take the heritage of that brand, celebrate it and of course bring a modern, elevated angle.
NJ: Do you have any plans for the near future with Juicy that you can discuss?
JM: I’m actually working on a new exciting project that you’ll be hearing about very soon!
NJ: For someone who works in the industry and whose work involves other people’s style, do you ever find that your own takes a backseat? Or do you feel like like you’re a walking portfolio and therefore it can’t?
JM: I feel like I have a uniform at this point. I know what works for me and it makes it easy to get dressed in the morning. There are days and nights where I have time and can spend that time to create a look but in the day-to-day I need to work with what’s easy for me. I love slacks, pants, knits, t shirts, I wear lots of neutrals — black, beige, denim... always a coat...
NJ: Now that you’re a few months into motherhood, how have you seen your creativity and your style evolve since you took on your role as a mom?
JM: I dress the same for the most part I think - just with way less time to get ready and to shop. I’ve purchased less clothing in the past five months than I have in my entire life! My husband is probably very grateful for that.
NJ: Yale will grow up with the best wardrobe in Beverly Hills, and I’m sure that you and your husband will pass along many treasures. But what is the most important lesson you want to pass on to him?
JM: To be nice, and kind, and thoughtful and most importantly happy.
NJ: When and where do you feel your most creative?
JM: When I travel or in my bed.. at home..at the end of a long day.. when I have a little peace and quiet.
NJ: What are you a Neophyte at right now (or wish to be)?
JM: Piano! I played when I was younger - but I am trying to get back into it. Just trying to find the time!