Merrin Schnabel – Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Social Influence

Name:

Merrin Schnabel

Occupation:

Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Social Influencer

Describe yourself in three words.

Creative, Driven, Fashionista

When did you first become interested in fashion?

For as long as I can remember I have always had a keen eye for impeccable style and design. So much so that as a young girl brothers gave me the nickname Maj as in Majestic because of my taste for the finer things in life.

Who introduced you to fashion?

The two most important role models in my life, my Grandmother and Mum always had immaculate taste, even if they were picking me up from school – I was always so impressed by their outfits.

How did you get to where you are now in your career? (Study, past experiences)

During my teens and twenties it wasn’t unusual to find me making my way up and down the catwalk during Melbourne Fashion Week, modelling the latest fashion range in front of the camera or on the TV screen which included cameos on Neighbours, blue heelers and numerous TVC’S

I also completed studies at Cindy Newstead’s Professional Styling Academy. Cindy is one of the industry’s most successful personal stylists, it’s an amazing course and I definitely learnt a lot about what it means to bring personal fashion styling services to the everyday person.

What brands or people have you worked with?

I have worked with a number of brands over the years  and just wrapped up a week working on the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival that exposed me to so many wonderfully creative and talented designers.  

What is your dream job?

I feel like I am doing it now – with the fashion styling aspect of my business progressing well with a growing client base, I am now focusing my efforts on becoming an Influencer in the space. With over 5K Instagram followers and a healthy readership of my fashion blog, I am amassing a global following of people who are really into the fashion and style content I am curating and posting. This online following has led to a number of discussions with big brands and influencer platforms about collaborations in 2017, super exciting time ahead!

 

If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be?

I really admire local Melbourne boy that’s celebrated on the global stage Toni Maticevski, he just has this sixth sense about how to dress the female body. Whether he’s creating graceful costumes or designing and creating his ready-to-wear label – he’s a super talent and one we can be proud of.

What is the proudest moment of your career to date?

Like many others in my field, I put my dreams on hold (still keeping abreast of the latest fashion trends and following my role models) while I got married and had my two boys, the most joyful experience of my life.

I am quite proud of not giving up on my dreams and finding the time, drive and courage to get back into my passion once the boys had grown up – they are truly my inspiration as I seek to get back into the swing of things. I’m also very lucky to have such a supportive husband who picks up the slack when times are busy.

What is the most fun part of your job?

Making my clients feel amazing and giving them the confidence to wear what they have always wanted.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

It may sound cliché but I am one of the lucky ones that loves my work, I guess I always try and challenge myself to build and grow my business but that’s always a fun challenge.

Is styling/ designing a profitable industry to participate in?

Yes, I believe so – if you are committed and do it well.

As you are in an industry that is currently facing stores closures, liquidations and financial stress, globally how do you plan to avert their financial misfortunes and keep positive, mentally and financially?

In any business you need a positive mind set from the get go as it’s brutal out there, couple that with relentless focus on creating revenue streams around digital, social, tech and online channels and I believe you can really take advantage of the transition we are currently seeing in bricks and mortar retailers. My advice to anyone still holding out hope for traditional retail is to embrace the digital disruption we are currently seeing with open arms and to adapt to the new world we live in.

How do you feel about the growth of online stores in relation to your line of work?

Clients will always want advice or a second opinion when it comes to fashion choices, whether they buy it online or in store – I‘m well prepared for both. Online chat apps such as Skype, Facetime, Facebook Messenger etc make it easy to maintain an intimate style session anywhere in the world without having to leave you’re the comfort of your own house.

What is your opinion on the merging of fashion and technology?

FashionTech is the future; I have been really impressed with startup companies such as Rent the Runway, Shoes of Prey, Stylitics, Glamazon etc – I am watching the space closely and will no doubt have a dabble in the area down the track.

Who is your style icon?

Miranda Kerr, she is just so elegant.

What is your favourite style/ trend?

Style = classic- you can’t go wrong.

Trend = painterly prints, corsets and sneakers.

Favourite item of clothing?

I’m currently vibing the graphic tee – wardrobe is full of them Gucci, Vogue, Calvin Klein, etc etc dress it up or down it’s so versatile.

Describe your style in three words.

Classic, Chic, Vibrant

Do you have a fashion regret?

Yes, have had a few, as have we all through the ages and different fads. Owning a number of Hypercolour t-shirts in the early nineties wasn’t my proudest moment.

How do you stay up to date with trends?

I consume fashion wherever I can, whenever I can – online, blogs, social, runways, friends, mentors.

What skills or qualities do you think are most important in this line of work?

Dead eye for style, getting in front of next trends, be creative, ambitious, passionate, think skinned and most of all just have fun.

What is your creative process like?

Giving myself the space and time to really focus and allow the creative juices to flow, for me this in an intimate process that I like to undertake on my own – much like meditation

What materials/ textiles are your favourite to work with?

I can’t pick a favourite – it really depends on the brief of the project at hand.

How do you overcome creative blanks?

Explore other creative disciplines, I might visit an art gallery, see a show/band or simply go for a soul nurturing stroll outdoors and try and capture the beauty of Mother Nature for inspiration.

How do you stay organised and productive?

This is hard with two young boys but I just need to be disciplined and create space and time dedicated to my work – loving what you do is a big part of being productive – when it’s not a chore, you can really get lost in it for hours on end.

Best piece of advice that you can give to aspiring stylists/designers?

Love what you do and have fun with it – life’s too short not too.

No matter how hard you might get knocked down or knocked back, never give up, if it is your passion – keep dusting yourself off and having another go at it.

Find yourself a good mentor who knows the fashion space – you will be surprised how much people like to give back in this industry.

What is up next for you?

Keep pursuing and building a global fashion empire, growing my brand, helping my clients feel good, engaging the new technology frontier as much as I can. I am off to do a study tour of the New York fashion tech scene in September – this will be a lot of fun and will no doubt give me a lot of ideas to come back to Australia with.

 

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