French Stylist Théophile Hermand has spent many years perfecting his styling with jobs assisting head of design of French Fashion label Marithé + François Girbaud and assisting director Alex Badia of WWD, he is now represented by Paris based creative agency Artlist and works for the likes of Vogue China, Vanity Fair France, Kenzo and Christian Dior to name a few. The very busy Théo, as he likes to be called, sat down with us to speak about Fashion styling, the future of Fashion and all the in-betweens.
SOL loves the Hermand woman who is a perfect balance between Femininity and Masculinity, combining feminine sensuality and a strong, independent attitude.
How did you get into fashion styling?
To make it short, I met Nao Okawa and Maria Mollica more than 10 years ago, at this time Nao Okawa was the head of design for Marithé + Francois Girbaud and I became their assistant. I then met Adeline André, who really made me understand color, I remember a night, drunk at her studio when I understood that red is not red . I finally assisted Alex Badia, director of Women Wear Daily before slowly starting to work for myself. I am currently represented worldwide by Artlist, and working for magazine such as Vanity Fair France, Vogue China, VMAN, Twin magazine and brands like KENZO, Christian Dior, Chantal Thomas.
What has been some of the best moments so far in your career?
To be pragmatic, I am simply happy when the job is well done and the client is happy with the outcome. I really enjoy being surrounded by amazing artists, gallery owners, photographers, designer, DJs- I think we support each other, inspire each other as well and contribute to making life that much more interesting and happy.
What does fashion styling mean for you?
Fashion styling means a complete and full time work for me. I work every second of every single day: seeking new inspiration, collaborations, teams, magazines, brand. I think styling is a vision of a lifestyle under a fashion perspective. I style my women with my style, with the brand I love and support. It is very much like creating your own world, which includes music, atmosphere, laughter, sounds, smell and of course CLOTHES.
Where do you think the future of fashion styling is heading towards and why?
I think today with the advent of the internet and new social media tools such as Instagram, and Snapchat , everyone can be a stylist. I always laugh when a brand calls a stylist an ‘influencer’. I really think that fashion styling is a real job, which requires a deep awareness and understanding of the culture of fashion in society. For me it’s not just a trend or a trendy job. A stylist is meant to observe everything around him or her, to capture the details that will then make the next trend six month later.
Where do you go to seek inspiration?
In my favorite bar in Le Marais in Paris, I enjoy looking at people on the street to capture an attitude, a detail or the sounds of a voice but I also find inspiration when I am sitting in the Eurostar on my way to London- love the chic or super posh vibe in London.
Are there any designer/publications you would like to collaborate/work with in the future?
I think everything come in time, so let see what happens next!
You work between London and Paris - what are the fashion differences in these two diverse cultures?
I think everyone needs to feel these two different energies to really understand the difference, but in short, London is super advanced with regards to e-commerce and social media- just think of websites like Net-À-Porter and Asos. Paris is still super conservative even if it is the historic centre of fashion. During the last few years I have found that Paris has changed a lot with the rocketing of Y-Project, Vetements and Balenciaga. This change has definitely made Paris an interesting workroom for the future of fashion.
Where can people creep on your work?
Technology is slowly but surely more active in the fashion world - do you think it will come into the sphere of styling at all?
The inﬂuence of technology is already everywhere, so yes I guess it also affects the styling sphere. To be honest I really am into a return to basics, and it is actually what is happening- just think of the come back of Helmut Lang or Vetements. I mean, it’s important to come back to the most important element and the reason we are doing this job: the CLOTHES.
Tell us a bit more about your work process.
I spend my day looking at pictures, organizing lot of folders full of pictures and doing collages, with this base I start to get an idea and to create a more precise and clear moodboard. But as I said before most of the time, my ideas come from looking at people on the street- it's definitely the best fashion show.
What is your view on the relationship between creativity and styling?
I need to be surrounded by creative energy when styling. For me it’s really important to talk with the designer or artist, which are in my view the " true " creative energy for doing my work. I see styling a bit as a vampire.
What did you think of the latest PFW? Any favourite collections?
From what I saw during the last PFW, I would just name a few, I LOVE SACAI, which is really my new obsession, Proenza Schouler as I love the NYC energy and Y-Project for the new generation feel to the collection.
They say that's a stylist job is to create illusions - do you agree ? Your greatest illusion so far?
I don't like the word " Illusion " that much, I would rather call it “dream” Dreaming is important in any creative work, illusion is a lie or something ephemeral.. I'm not sure than fashion is that ephemeral so I guess I would answer the my greatest illusion is my life.
Finally if you could sum up your life right now in an editorial what would it be like and why?
Busy and happy as fuck!