María Montané is a stylist and a passionate and very curious person. She loves to explore and to question… maybe that’s why she likes working with kids so much, they have the best questions and very pure-at-heart answers. In her job, she works as a creative mind for projects from the casting stage to the creative processes with brands and Fashion Styling. She likes working in parallel with the brands to find the right mood and scenario for their campaigns and shoots. It’s a full combo and not just one thing!
How did you get into fashion styling?
I studied fashion design but I never succeeded at sewing or drawing, I was really bad at pattern-making. I knew I had the eye to work all the concepts and ideas and I didn’t know how to use them or land them into a job until I discovered the wonderful work that Grace Coddington does. For me was the moment I said “Hey! That could be me!” hahaha… and here I am.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy the creative process behind every project. From casting selection to the final images… and all in between. The brainstorming and the different ideas that come when putting together a project. The beautiful creative chaos.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I have to say that living and working in New York is very inspiring. From a daily walk on my way to the subway to just random events you find in some streets. Even sometimes the way they pile the garbage bags haha… sometimes it looks so artsy! I would lie if I said that it comes just from museums when the truth is magic happens everywhere.
What is your process for creating a look?
It depends on the whole vibe and scenario. I need to see the model, the place we will shoot at, and even the daily events or news that are happening, it all matters. Of course, I come up with an idea, but the final look will come once I see the rest… It’s like working on a puzzle.
Do you stand up-to-date with the latest fashion trends?
Not really. I don’t know how to react when someone asks me what’s trendy right now. Everything can work! I like the idea of magazines giving you some hints or helping you to combine or put items together, but not when they say that something is not trendy anymore. When it comes to colour, patterns… It just depends on how you do it. And most importantly, if you like it, wear it!
But what I can say is that everything comes back sooner or later, yes to repeat- reuse- recycle. If you like a garment you can wear it no matter if it’s trendy or not. Have fun and make your own trends.
Tell us some of your favourite fashion brands.
I like brands that have a good and strong DNA. From far away you can tell which brand is that one. And I’m so lucky to be able to work or collaborate with them.
Little Creative Factory, Tia Cibani, Super Smalls, The newest sister brand of The Sunday Collective Naturals dyed with natural ingredients like onion peels…
In your opinion, what are some of the most misconceptions about styling?
That it is just getting the models dressed. Or you will just fix the sleeves. There’s a BIG process behind that. Requesting the clothes, emails back and forth, tracking numbers, all the prep days before the shoot, and all the work after the shoots. From returning the pieces, tracking back, returning in-store, working on spreadsheets, numbers, and all that! Carrying luggage with everything… We do a lot!
How do you think the industry will change in the upcoming years?
I think they will be more conscious about the environment and do more long-lasting pieces and designs. I think that after COVID most brands reframed their way of work and they are more aware of that too…
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m working on a “One day at a time…” mindset and I’m trying to live in the present. I find it very helpful, especially living in this fast-paced and very busy city.
But what I want to manifest for sure is that wherever I will be, I’ll be happy, with a dog and a backyard, with the people I love, and doing what I’m good at. Thanks for the interview. It was lovely talking to you.