24 HOURS WITH
Creative Consultant & Music Stylist
A Series by Frank Rodriguez
24 Hours with Jermaine Robinson
We are finally back with our fifth episode of our series documenting a day in the life of a creative individual.
Frank Rodriguez continues our new series by spending a day with Jermaine Robinson, a talented stylist and creative consultant, through a Q&A and film photography. Documenting his day, we gain insight into Jermaine's photoshoot with artist Tomi Agape, featured on New Wave Magazine
Tell me a bit about yourself
I am Jermaine, I am 26 years old and I work as a freelance creative consultant and music stylist in London. I entered the fashion industry when I was 16 years old as a studio assistant at Cassette Playa, I then went on to internship at Dazed & Confused Magazine and continued to work as a freelance stylist.
What are we doing today?
Today we are on a feature, shooting Tomi Agape for New Wave Magazine. The shoot will be published as an online editorial which will be followed by an interview with Tomi Agape by New Wave Magazine.
How’ve you found working through the pandemic?
I have found it to be challenging as most however it has given me the opportunity to be innovative and super creative.
Would you say there’s any ‘pros’ to this coronavirus?
It has allowed everyone to rest and reset. Consider the work created within the social issues we are all facing in this time, especially since BLM. It has opened a wider conversation on equity and equality within the industry which was not outwardly spoken previous to covid.
What’s the inspo for this shoot?
Inspiration for this shoot was looking at Tomi, a multifaceted personality. I wanted to capture her through styling, her elegance, free-spiritedness and her attitude. My main inspiration for this is an 80’s artist called ‘Jody Watley’. I have been obsessed with her since coming across her body of work on Youtube.
What type of artists do you normally work with?
Tomi is the first woman artist I have styled, in the past I have styled: SiR, KSI, Knucks, and a few others
Do you mainly do music artists?
I’ve only decided to pursue working with music artists, but my mind could change.
How have you come to this decision?
I like styling music artists as it gives me the opportunity to explore new ideas and collaborate with different perspectives on multiple mediums. Although I do style outside musicians and the music industry, those opportunities I enjoy as much too.
How did you get started in this?
Having started off in fashion as a studio assistant, I felt that it was better for me in terms of growth to work in music as a freelance creative consultant and music stylist. It has allowed me to be in a new space, around new people, and to see how I can prevail.
Did you go to university?
I went to Camberwell College of Arts, and I studied a Fine Art degree in Sculptor, but I did not continue on to get a degree as I dropped out due to complications. University was not for me although I am content knowing I tried.
Would you say that university is essential for what you do?
Not at all, I've always known that I was creative from a very young age. It’s something that you have an understanding with because it’s a part of you and your identity.
What would you say are the pros of freelancing vs uni?
The pros of freelancing are that you are your own boss, you regulate your lifestyle, your interests, and your experience. University is just a tool for you to groom what it is that you want experience in.
What advice would you give to people that want to do what you do?
Be consistent despite the circumstances. I would also say have an open mind, and to understand business as much as your talent. If you can find someone that you can trust to be your mentor, let that person help, guide you. I have been lucky to have some great mentors over the years who have been very helpful.
What has been the biggest learning curve for you?
Putting trust and faith in myself, into my ideas. Knowing if I can envision it, I should let it play out. If I am in doubt at the beginning, just letting it [be], manifesting it and seeing it in my life before it physically appears. - Believing in my own talents has been my biggest learning curve thus far.
BE CONSISTENT DISPITE THE CIRCUMSTANCES
What’s the shoot that you value the most?
I would say the first shoot I did with my nephew, Deijuvhs. I styled him in my own clothing from my wardrobe. I took the images on my iPhone XR. Shouts to Nadia at Stooki jewellery brand for letting me use her studio space there!
What are some projects that you have worked on recently?
I styled Tomi Apage’s ‘South By SouthWest’ virtual performance. I also styled her Amazon Fashion UK feature for Notion online. It is always a pleasure to work with Tomi!
Do you care about brands?
Definitely! I know many people that own brands whether big or small. It can cost a lot to run, not to mention the constant 24/7 commitment and drive you have to have and dedication to see it through. It is an incredibly hard job in the beginning but the rewards are so vast if stuck out.
What’s the most important thing a stylist should think about?
Invest in a good kitbag with products inside. You can go to Wilko for most products. When I assisted, I saw everyone with a major kit bag with 3x times product inside.
Who’s your assistant?
My assistant on this is Joy Appiah, she’s great!
Do you think it's necessary to have an assistant?
100%. You cannot do everything by yourself. There comes a limit where especially if you are starting to work on bigger shoots, it is valuable to have a trusted assistant. Plus there are so many stylist assistants who would love the opportunity to assist on jobs and gain more confidence.
I BELIEVE IN BALANCE BUT JUST UNDERSTAND WHERE YOUR BALANCE IS
How do you use your free time?
I'm usually chilling with friends, listening to music, or catching up on my favorite shows. To be honest with you, more times I am thinking about my next moves.
How do you find inspiration?
Everything comes to me very sporadically. A lot of ideas will come to my mind at random, thankfully I am a very ‘pen to paper’ person so if anything comes to my mind I like to get it down ASAP in case I forget as I have dyslexia.
What sort of resources or mediums do you use to find things?
Pinterest is very interesting. I prefer Pinterest as it is one of few apps you do not have to communicate with others on. I like creating boards and looking through them when I need references, although that said you can not go wrong with Youtube or films.
What's the biggest project you’ve worked on?
KSI’s Notion Magazine 89 cover story.
How do you find working with internationally famous talent?
Really chilled. Styled SiR and Butch Dawson (Butch who I met as a dresser at a Telfar show in 2020) both American. Both were super pleasant to work with.
How did you secure these opportunities?
Research the relevant contacts. I remember emailing at least 50 American brands when I was looking to assist NYFW in 2019. Out of the 50 I think only 2 responded.
When a brand approaches you, what are the 3 mains things you ask for?
I ask what is the treatment? What is the timeframe? What is the budget?
What’s the most time-consuming thing about what you do?
Admin. Surprisingly it's a lot of paperwork. I would say out of 100%, 65% is spent on my laptop and the rest is the actual, physical part of the job.
Do you struggle sourcing clothes?
Thankfully not in recent months. I worked on my communication skills a lot when on email through my last job in luxury retail. I worked as a Stockroom Controller for a year whilst studying. I grew a lot of confidence on email which now I apply when sourcing.
What advice would you give to people starting out that are trying to source clothes from bigger companies?
Work with smaller companies. Find companies that align with where you are right now in your career and gradually work up the ladder. Bigger companies will come with more success.
What's next for you?
I would love to style an artist for a red carpet followed by an award show along with an award performance. That would be major!
I PUT TRUST AND FAITH IN MYSELF AND MY IDEAS
Photography & Interview by Frank Rodriguez
Transcribed by Uzoma Nwaobasi
Produced by New Wave Studios