Learning the aesthetic of different designers, silhouettes, and fabrics; I am able to notice what is appealing to the eye, and what isn’t.
Styled by Henny Jacobs in collaboration with Deborah Metts
San Francisco — When we look at the works of master stylists like Patricia Fields (Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada), we can't help but be mesmerized and engaged in their creativity. These sartorial stylists are artists, models serve as their canvas and celebrities as their muses. I recently caught up with one of these fashion geniuses, Henny Jacobs, who has worked in the fashion industry for several years, having worked with notable designers such as Betsey Johnson and Donna Karan.
The Chic Spy: Tell us a little about your background and motivation for pursuing a career in fashion.
Henny Jacobs: I’m not sure if it’s a background in fashion, more like a lifestyle that I have been heavily immersed in for quite some time. My background in fashion includes degrees and accolades, but that’s only a minuscule part of it. I’ve worked on the retail and merchandising side of fashion for several years, and have taken part in almost every aspect of the fashion industry, including fashion show production, designing, wholesale, and even e-commerce. The motivation is more of a need, and the need helps me know that no matter what role I play in the industry my voice and vision will only add to the greatness of fashion.
TCS: Has any one person or celebrity served as inspiration to your work in fashion?
HJ: There is not one person or thing that inspires me, more like movements, eras or time periods; the hippie era, or punk subcultures, abstract expressionism in art, rock music, literature, and all things inclusive of art and life in general.
TCS: How has your degree in fashion design helped you as a stylist?
HJ: It enables me to look at pieces not as garments, but as art. Learning the aesthetic of different designers, silhouettes, and fabrics; I am able to notice what is appealing to the eye, and what isn’t.
TCS: How would you describe your style?
HJ: I often refer to myself as a “fashion misfit," cognizant of all trends, but usually never following, but I can appreciate them, old and new. I honestly like doing my own thing, mixing different pieces together that others might not deem fashionable. My style epitomizes a style that has not yet arrived to the ordinary eye. For me, I try to capture the true essence of creativity or simply just comfort.
TCS: Which magazine do you consider your fashion bible?
HJ: I would probably say Vogue, Nylon, W, Vogue Italia, and the new launch of Style.com magazine, a new and fresh look at all things fashion.
I love to see fashion’s true voice through a different lens. Because at the end of the day, we all have something to say, whether visually or verbally.
TCS: If you could style anyone past or present, who would it be and why?
HJ: Coco Chanel, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Jones, the whole cast of "Sex and the City," and Rihanna. All of these fierce women have given me hope and a glimpse into this whimsical industry that I am waiting to thrive in, and embrace me with open arms.
TCS: What does fashion mean to you?
HJ: It is certainly more than a passion, as cliché as that may sound, it’s pretty much something that is embedded in me, a thirst and zest for the art of it and the creativity, the passion and time it takes to produce such work. It is part of my livelihood, my destiny, and I appreciate every aspect of it. It means the world to me, and not just the glamour, but the chaos and excitement I get when I see a new runway show or look at a Vogue magazine. Also translating fashion through different cultures, and point of views. I love to see fashion’s true voice through a different lens. Because at the end of the day, we all have something to say, whether visually or verbally.
TCS: What trend do you wish would go away and never return?
HJ: I don’t know if it’s a trend or not, but saggy pants, not attractive, never have been, never will be.
TCS: If you could start a trend, what would it be?
HJ: I’m not too sure about that since fashion is all about recreation and redefining what’s already been done. I wish I would’ve created some opulent looks like wearing fur and pearls.
TCS: Which fashion designer would you like to work with in the future?
HJ: Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Manish Arora, Haider Ackerman, Gareth Pugh, and Ralph Lauren.
TCS: What's playing on your mp3 player?
HJ: Adele, Kings of Leon, Rihanna.
TCS: If you were a Chic Spy Agent, what would be your code name?
HJ: Lane, kind of like Lois Lane. I have a nick name, Henny Lane, so it totally works.
Henny Jacobs’ tips for being fashion forward:
- Play with color more. I feel like some people are afraid because of size, season, or the weather. Especially living in San Francisco, sometimes people like to play it safe with neutrals too much.
- Keep things sleek and chic, since Lady Gaga everyone wants to look crazy, but that look is not for everyone, trust me I am all for eccentricity. But honestly, sometimes, less is more.
- Make it a classy night. Who said pearls and fur was out of style, get glamorous, it never hurts.
- Try color blocking, its trendy and its fun, and seriously, you can’t really go wrong with it.
- Patterns are a must-do this season, but again keep it simple too many patterns can baffle the eye, a simple houndstooth with a fiery red could be really sexy ladies.
The Chic Spy