Jonathan. He is, at the moment, the number 1 person that I admire. He's young. He's 33. He had the chance to come to Loewe because he's so talented, and look at what he did here. It's crazy. Same for his own brand, J.W. Anderson, dealing with 2 brands at the same time is mega powerful.
He's so talented and so passionate about what he's doing. And he loves art, he loves craft, not just fashion which I think is important. He doesn’t limit or pigeonhole himself in that sense. He recently created the Craft Prize since he’s interested in what other people are creating. He wanted to give people a chance who are working on artisanal things, which I think is amazing because there aren't many prizes in that sector of art already. The winner, Ernst Gamperl received his prize in Madrid just one month ago.
Who do you look up to?
I’ve always wanted to be Grace Coddington, yeah definitely Grace.
I love her life story and her work speaks for itself. My mom went to her book signing for me when I was in school, and got her to sign a little postcard saying “To Natalie, Sorry I missed you. XO Grace” and it’s my prized possession.
This is so cliché, but my mom. She’s raised all of us while having a full time job so I feel like I can’t really complain about anything really… It was great for me to see that because she's such a strong, independent female in my life.
Who do you look up to?
Diana Vreeland for sure. I think the really cool thing about her is that she got the whole you can’t buy style, fashion is attainable for anyone. She also appreciated beauty in everything as opposed to trends.
Is the Why Don’t You column on your site inspired by her?
It is, it is.
I love that!
I also really look up to people who use their position or influence for good, like model Adwoa Aboah. She started Gurls Talk which is a small community focused on providing a space for girls to discuss issues that perhaps they don’t feel comfortable discussing. I think it’s really cool to front something like Gurls Talk as opposed to fronting a brand.
Who do you look up to?
Georgina Graham has been a real mentor to me and is also a good friend; I look up to her in every way. She’s given me a thorough grounding within the makeup industry and taught me how to keep a cool head in a stressful situation.
A lot of people are moving towards a more natural look for editorials, does this make your job more creative or less?
People often dismiss the no makeup look as something that is just easy and requires no effort, but I think it’s just a different way to be creative. When you have a look that is understated, you need to think outside the box and look at texture and tone and how you can still convey a message without anything obvious.
I feel like I'm growing up everyday with all the people I'm surrounded by. All my friends are very creative. They're inspiring me and in a way they're building me.
One woman I look up to is Agata Belcen. She’s the senior fashion editor at AnOther Magazine, and she’s just a really cool woman. She's got incredible taste.
She's calm and confident, super intelligent, and an amazing stylist. Before all of her shoots, she researches them to death. She will find out everything about whatever she's trying to portray so it always seems very authentic, she knows what she’s talking about.
Carine. It's an honor to get to work with her all the time and be on set with her and she's so nurturing and she lets me try so many things. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't, but when it works she's always the first person to say congratulations on that idea or she's always the first person to say, "That's so smart." I think working with her is so... I see myself change. I see my ways of thinking grow and develop and become so much more like her in a way. It's kind of really weird to think that I'm learning from this woman who I was watching her documentary in my house before I even thought that I could work at CR and now I'm here. Now I'm on set with her and she's telling me, "Oh that's great that you put that light blue shirt with that red because that's exactly why Gucci was so popular when I worked with Tom Ford and Mario Testino back then." It's crazy to hear that from somebody who's such an icon. I think we all look up to her.
I also look up to my parents all the time. Everything I do, I do for my parents to make them happy and proud and they're so proud of me. My aunt too. They all helped me get to this point.
My mom! She was a teenage mother, is a breast cancer survivor, and has stood by my side since day one and encouraged me to follow my dreams. We are complete opposites, but she has this super warm spirit that I can only dream of having. She is def an angel!! In the fashion industry, Camilla Johnson-Hill. She is a producer and casting director. I love the work that she does! She owns her own production company based out of London. Seems like a pretty cool chick! I would love to be my own boss someday.
Definitely Ferber. She’s the best editor I’ve worked with, and holds her own writing to a really high standard. I also really admire this writer Molly Young from afar. She writes copy for Warby Parker while writing prolifically and perfectly for publications like The New York Times and New York Mag. And of course, my mom, who started out as a journalist for Sports Illustrated and has now segwayed into a career in design. She handles everything she does really gracefully. I’m also in awe of Jill Soloway, who created the Amazon series Transparent, because I think it’s the greatest show I’ve ever seen and that’s saying a lot considering this moment is the golden age of television.
Oh my gosh, there's so many. I admire Eva Chen. I think her career really is amazing and how she's taken her role from Editor in Chief and made the leap to tech at Instagram. Now she's also such an icon to those trying to make it in the industry. She's kind of like the first real tech editor in a way, which I really admire. Also, I think Amy Astley is an incredible boss. I was so lucky to have gotten to work with her when I was at Teen Vogue.
I look up to and am inspired by many in the industry, as those that made it to the top are truly special and all have something unique to offer. However, I would say that nothing matches the work of John Galliano. His extreme creativity and storytelling that he creates with each collection never fails to take my breathe away. He’s a dreamer, like me, which is also why I feel so connected to his vision and work, as he can effortlessly mix historical eras with modern day haute couture. I am still so sad about his departure from the House of Dior, and miss his work for the label everyday. Tim Walker is another one whose work I can never get enough and Carine Roitfeld is my ultimate legend. She symbolizes sexy yet effortless Parisian chic and dares to display the taboo, making her fearless and bold, which is so attractive and important for a woman especially. My dream is to lead a career like hers, becoming an Editor in Chief of my own fashion magazine one day, as well as continue styling. I also love Craig [McDean]. He is one of the most down to earth people I know, as well as intelligent, sharp, and very funny. It is so refreshing to be around someone like Craig, as he doesn’t let the industry get to his head. Then there is Kate Moss of course. She is my greatest icon, both as a model and in dressing. I credit her for making me fall so deeply in love with the industry. I remember when I was in fifth grade, so about ten years old, I began flipping through fashion magazines and fell upon her face. From that day I never looked back, and I began to tear out her photos and plaster my bedroom walls with them. Then it was through her that I started paying more and more attention to the photographers that shot her, to the designers she walked for and wore, leading me into the entire industry, and choosing it as a career path, both in modeling and styling.
Wow, I’ve got so many! For fashion writing/criticism, which is ultimately what I’d like to do, I deeply respect Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times. Friedman approaches fashion intelligently, politically, contextually, which I appreciate. I also really respect Cathy Horyn, now-contributor to The Cut, and then Nicole Phelps of Vogue Runway, formerly Style.Com. In terms of fashion entrepreneurs, of course Leandra Medine, and also Emily Weiss. I suppose Weiss is really more in the beauty industry, but she got her start in fashion and it has been informative to watch her develop in various ways since her Vogue days. I love the minds of Rei Kawakubo, Demna Gvasalia, Lynn Yaeger. I could go on! But at the end of the day, it’s really the fashion critics that I assume the sort of pinnacle of ‘role modeldom.’