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From Dublin To London, 5 Minutes With Fashion Creative, Brian Conway

Our Christmas wish: a much longer interview Brian next time, please!

Small town, big energy.

Contrary to old habits, fashion is not a girls-only club. Case in point, London-based Freelance Fashion Stylist and Creative Producer, Brian Conway has established himself as an industry necessity in an opportune - and much needed - moment of diversity. 

Diverging from a business degree route to follow his true passion, Brian sought ample fashion experience from an internship with J.W. Anderson and a fashion styling degree from LA College of Creative Arts. Brian’s courage to reshape his future manifested an impressive career trajectory consisting of featured work appearing in Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar Spain, The Hollywood Reporter, and Empire Magazine. Brian has also previously worked as a Fashion Co-ordinator for British Vogue (no words!) and counts L’Òreal and H&M as clients. 

At present, Brian splits his time between London and Dublin working across both menswear and womenswear. Coming from a small town in Ireland, it's extremely refreshing and inspiring to witness the capabilities that circulate outside of the capital. Undoubtedly, Brian’s pattern of redefining standards along with his incredible talent will continue to enhance the fashion world for a very long time. He’s a keeper. 

How did you end up working for Vogue? That is insanely incredible.

I started working for Vogue a short four months after moving to London in October 2017. For my first shoot I worked with stylist Hannes Hetta on a ‘Women Of Influence’ shoot featuring an amazing bunch of female activists.

The following year in 2018, I was working alongside then fashion editor, Jack Borkett as a fashion coordinator. One of the special projects I worked on was the trends supplement in Rihanna’s September cover issue, which was a really amazing hands-on experience for me. It was so interesting to see the magazine creation process, everything from fashion trend pages and editorial content. Since then I’ve been freelancing monthly. Working at Vogue has really helped me raise the bar in terms of my own work.

What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?

I usually spend Christmas in Dublin via Kilkenny but I’m currently in Thailand taking some much needed time off from hectic work life. Dublin is magical this time of year. The best part is catching up with old friends and seeing family.

How would you describe the fashion sense in London?  

London is super mixed. You see anything and everything from punk and hipster to streetwear and classic. Even on a bus or the Tube you might come across someone wearing the latest catwalk trends sitting next to someone in casual streetwear.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a stylist?

Seeing your idea or a concept coming to life in print or digital is probably the best part of the job. Especially when it’s been a huge effort from a team of creatives.

Can you describe your perfect look for shopping in London at the weekend?  

If the weather is good, I like to take London on foot which means comfort is key. The perfect winter look for me would be a longline tailored coat, a roll-neck, tailored trousers and always a pair of trainers. I live in anything from COS.

Is there a key factor in reaching that international level of success? 

For any kind of success you need a lot of passion for what you do. Following that, I’d say that a good work ethic is very important, combined with determination and patience. In fashion, you also need to be prepared for long hours every now and then (it’s not always as glam is it might look on Instagram!).

The fashion industry is predominantly female, what’s that environment like for you? 

In places like London, it's great to see increasing diversity in the fashion industry, not just in terms of gender. Growing up in rural Ireland, the fashion industry didn’t seem like a reality for me because of how it was stereotypically portrayed in mass media. Nowadays it’s easier for people, from a range of backgrounds, to find role models in the industry through platforms like Instagram. Moving into the next decade I can definitely see the industry becoming more accessible for people from different backgrounds and that’s hugely positive.

Do you find styling editorial trickier than styling runway shows? 

In my experience, both editorial and runway require ample amounts of preparation and precision. With runway shows nowadays there can be the added pressure of shows being live-streamed on social media (not just on stylists, but also on the rest of the team including models). Ultimately, it tends to boil down to the team you’re working with. Experience goes a long way and often is the key factor in having a seamless shoot or show. Although every now and then something unexpected comes up and throws a spanner in the works.

How do you nurture your creativity? 

Creativity can be nurtured in many ways for me. It comes from art, architecture, heritage, and travelling. I feel so inspired being in Thailand right now, seeing a different part of the world including different fashion perspectives.

What do you love the most about living in London? 

London is the land of opportunity, but it is the place to be if you want to pursue a career in any industry especially in fashion. I love how diverse it is, I love the people. You can never get bored as there is always somewhere new to explore.

Do you have any career goals you would love to achieve in 2020?

I’d love to help more up and coming Irish designers and brands get international exposure. There’s a lot of great and exciting creativity back home that I’d love to see exposed around the globe.

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