The Belgian-born model shows off her styling skills with a bold shoot for the Dazed 100
Boosting her decade-long sovereignty over the catwalk with a stint as a stylist, model Hanne Gaby Odiele took the plunge and styled herself for photographer Brianna Capozzi’s fashion story in the Dazed 100 issue. “The pictures feel really spontaneous,” she reveals. “Brianna wanted to shoot on top of a taxi, so we spent all day trying to convince one to come to Queens and goofing around at the house.”
The model-slash-stylist already boasts the likes of Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Dries van Noten under her modelling belt, but over the years her striking, androgynous features have also led to copious amounts of off-duty snaps that onlookers study ad nauseam for some fashion insight. Known for an idiosyncratic bohemian flair and cheeky sartorial choices, she is fearless when it comes to clothes, pairing her fun-loving spirit with an off-kilter aesthetic. “It was a fun day and it shows”, Hanne says about stepping into a backstage creative role. “Brianna made great peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I brought some bubbles and did the dishes.” We had a chat with the long-legged model and fledgling stylist about her new career path and future endeavours.
This shoot marks your transition from model to stylist. Which one do you prefer – modelling or styling?
Hanne Gaby Odiele: For most styling gigs I have usually worked as a model as well. I’m trying to get away from that because it’s hard to do both at the same time. As for which one I prefer? It’s difficult to say because I love modelling, but as a stylist I get more creative control and power over the artistic direction.
What did you learn from being on the other side of the camera?
Hanne Gaby Odiele: Working with the best stylists in the world has taught me a lot. Being a model for so long has allowed me to be close to many different geniuses in the business which has proved to be the best lesson I could ever get.
What attracts you to styling?
Hanne Gaby Odiele: The opportunity to push boundaries in dress, and question our collective idea of beauty.
What was your first experience before you were scouted?
Hanne Gaby Odiele: I grew up in the Belgium countryside, in a village called Kooigem, far away from fashion, so it was pretty much nothing. I wasn’t familiar with any brands until I was scouted at 17 and moved to New York. However, I’ve always been fascinated by subcultures and how people can express themselves through true style. When I finally got exposed to fashion as a late teen I was immediately captivated.
What’s next on your to-do list as a newborn stylist?
Hanne Gaby Odiele: I’m collaborating with the New York-based footwear designer Matt Bernson on his next collection coming out in February, which is unlike anything I’ve ever done. I’m also working on a sock line with the colourful sock brand Stance.
You’ve got a great track record of street style pictures, what makes a killer street style look?
Hanne Gaby Odiele: Most of my favourite looks have something spontaneous about them. For example, I started wearing a bandana a few years ago because I couldn’t find a scarf on my way out from my apartment and it was a really cold day. To be honest, I looked like a bank robber, but it’s still one of my best-loved looks because it felt real. It’s the ones that take the least amount of time to put together that are usually my favourites.
Who’s the person you’d most like to dress?
Hanne Gaby Odiele: Someone with a completely different style from mine. Miley Cyrus would be fun. I’d love to see her in a Dries Van Noten ensemble.
What’s your style credo?
Hanne Gaby Odiele: As long as you believe in it, you can pull it off.
Photography Brianna Capozzi; styling Hanne Gaby Odiele; hair Yukiko Tajima at WM Artist Management; make-up Tracy Alfajora at Art Department