Some of you may remember the post I did about Nan Whitney’s amazing styling work – if not, you can check it out here. Nan has graciously submitted herself to my questioning and I’m really excited to share her answers with you!
1. What did you have for breakfast?
This morning, fried chicken and prosecco…not my usual! (normally Marriage Freres French Breakfast tea…so delicious).
2. How did you first get started in photo styling?
Literally bumped into it. I was a clothing designer, selling to Henri Bendel, and Bergdorf Goodman and befriended an assistant, that had too bad a cold to work on a clothing shoot, so I took her place, loved it and changed careers.
3. Do you do photography as well, or are you just purely doing styling work?
I style and art direct only. My creative photography is reserved for my smart phone!
4. Do you think that an understanding of photography is important for what you do?
I think an understanding of looking through a lens, the mystery of the unsaid and the beauty of light are important to any picture.
5. Did you grow up in a creative household?
Definitely. My Grandmother was a clothing designer with Hattie Carnegie, my mother was a fashion fit model, and my grandfather was an architect involved with the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and many other buildings in NYC.
6. Was there a really important creative influence in your life?
hmmm….the force of life.
7. If you weren’t a stylist, what do you think you would be doing?
8. What is your best garage sale find?
A complete set of driving maps of France mounted on linen, and folded into a box; really beautiful!
9. What’s another super-secret skill of yours?
10. What would you eat for your last meal?
An endless supply of sushi.
11. What is something that you think everyone should know about?
The poetry of Pablo Neruda.
12. What kind of music have you been listening to lately?
Benjamin Biolay, Le Trio Joubran, Checkers , and John Lee Hooker.
13. What do you like most about where you live?
I live in Harlem, and love the kindness and the morning conversations with the “older” residents in my neighborhood. I also love the architecture of the old brownstones.
14. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Paris…the food, the men, the wine…and not necessarily in that order!
15. Do you have any pets?
No; my cat of 18 years has moved on. Sweet “Hooper”.
16. What is your favorite color?
White and it’s infinite shades.
17. What’s the best advice you could give someone wanting to start out in your field?
Be adventurous, pay attention, and create with joy.
18. If you could give a child just getting started in the world three personality traits, what would they be and why?
Honesty, fearlessness, and compassion.
19. What is your most precious possession?
I do not own them, but my two sons definitely.
20. What projects should we be looking forward to from you next?
I just completed styling and art directing the new look book and catalog for Les Indiennes
. Such a joy,…great photographers, and a beautiful product.
Thank you so much to Nan for answering all of my questions – it was an honor!