Ci The Vision: Styling A Generation
Your image is what people see first. It's your cover.
We recently had the pleasure of connecting with New York based Stylist Ci Zacchaeus, founder of Ci The Vision, a styling and image consulting brand. We touched base as many do nowadays, through mutual interests on Instagram, and started talking about how Styling as a profession is something not many fully comprehend. It's one of those vague career paths you stumble upon, rather than dream to reach from childhood.
Ci has worked with the likes of Cardi B, Quincy, Nikki Tutorials, and Natalie Friedman, and has assisted notable celebrity stylists. As she dives further into the elusive fashion industry, we stopped to have a conversation on what it means to really curate your image.
What is styling to you? Can you define it as a profession.
Styling is truly an art. It’s like a puzzle in a sense. A puzzle through which you create your own images. You have the pieces, you have to make something out of it. It’s funny, I didn't think or even know that styling could be a career, I always wanted to be a 'creative curator' of a brand or a magazine. Guessing the universe had different plans.
What do you think of the onslaught of stylists that have appeared on the scene? Do you think people take this up as a profession they perceive to be easy?
To be completely honest, it doesn’t matter really. There are stylists right now who are being inspired from ideas from their contemporaries. I feel you get in how you fit in, and if you have the drive to keep creating you’ll have longevity no matter what. If you’re willing to work that’s that. There's room for everyone.
What is the relationship between a stylist and their Client? Does it need to be intimate? Superficial? Who's taste premeditates the styling?
I can’t speak for all because I feel there’s so many dynamics to consider. For me personally I like to have a personal relationship. You're in a sense creating that client’s branding, which is a very big part of your client’s career. The more that you know about your client reflects in your work for them. It’s better like that, to capture the image of a person through clothing.
What is the hardest thing about being a stylist? What's the best part?
The hardest part honestly is how heavy clothes can really be and how much space actual garments consume. No, but I feel there’s no best or worst, every single thing is needed or is a tool. You have to appreciate the hard stuff too. Wouldn’t be interesting.
Would you say it is a profession that can be taught? or is it more about taste and interest in fashion?
I would say yes it can be taught and no. Because you can learn a type of aesthetic. No doubt. Though the drive to keep creating or to innovate takes a certain type of character. It’s not for everyone. Just like every profession. For instance when I first started I was working PR. I liked it. Then a stylist, who I would regularly check out his pulls, Daniel Williams showed me a whole other side of the fashion industry which I wasn’t aware of how to get into. I was taught PR, though it just wasn’t for me. Just how I’ve had interns who’ve done styling and then did more behind the scenes stuff like emails and conducting intern duties, and wanted to move into a showroom profession. You learn and you grow.
What gives a good stylist their edge?
Their way of innovating or creating or even already having an aesthetic and mixing it with their clients aesthetic. You should, I feel be able to see both of you in the work.
How important is it to include a variety of brands from a variety of diverse backgrounds in your styling? Would you call this essential?
Oh definitely. Different brands have different messages in a sense, key brands even have stories, which you can make others aware through your styling selections. Alexander Wang, worked for Balenciaga and went on to create his own brand, a story told by clothing. With that comes the awareness of what these brand mean, what they stand for in culture etc. Super important in my opinion.
Ci has used local, Cairo based jewlery deisgner, Jude Benhalim in her previous styling work.
We have so many options now, and in the digital realm, you can essentially be whoever you want to be. But like any creative knows, image and how you present yourself and your work, is what can set you apart from others in a saturated sea of 'content'. Curating your aesthetic, showing people what is important to you through means of self expression, such as the clothes you put on your back, this is what embodying your art is all about.