He was 27 when he decided to leave a steady job at an architectural firm to pursue a career as a stylist. “My mother was horrified,” recalls Sophia Neophitou. «He told me: ‘What? Do you want to become a kind of hairdresser? “. There was no hope he would understand. In those days you could have been a fashion editor, a designer or a photographer, because these were works that enjoyed official recognition, but no one had the slightest idea what a stylist was. “
This was just over 25 years ago. Since then, the figure of “stylist” has gone from indeterminacy to the status of an avidly coveted profession. Meanwhile, Neophitou’s career took off. After interior styling for the UK edition of Elle Decoration and work as an assistant at British Vogue, here she is stylist and creative director for Antonio Berardi, then still stylist of the fashion shows of Victoria’s Secret back in the days when these were aired in prime time in a sparkle of wings studded with sequins. More importantly, however, he founded a magazine, 10 Magazine, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary last February, in London, with a party packed with designers. Then came the COVID-19, which affected her particularly seriously, so much so that she is still undergoing rehabilitation therapy. While recovering, however, she returned to the work she has always loved, ever since no one knew what it was, facing it from a new perspective. We talked with her about the theme of this issue: where fashion lives, from the perspective of those who, as a profession, take clothes off hangers and put them on.
Of Greek origins, of which she is very proud, Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou was born and raised in London where she directs “10 Magazine” and “10 Men”.
© PHOTO BY MARIA ZIEGELBOECK.
How would you explain today what your mother did not understand then? What does the work of fashion stylist consist of?
Its traditional role is to identify and then study an aspect, a trend or the focal point of an entire season or of the collection of a single designer, and then “return” it in a personal way. It is about creating the context for an emotional reaction to the images. Often those melodies, themes and trends are similar or have already been explored, but each reinterprets them in a different voice. And that voice is the fruit of the stylist’s creative talent. His work consists in captivating the public through his own vision of the image, and the measure of his success is given by the longevity of that image.
Have the characteristics of your work changed over time?
Absolutely yes, it is a constantly evolving profession. The way they work Grace Coddington or Tonne Goodman it’s different from that of my generation, just as mine is different from that of stylists younger than me. In my opinion, what we all have in common is the tendency to store a mass of visual references in our heads: this is the raw material that allows us to shape our vision. We must not stop letting ourselves be influenced. Never keep your eyes closed.