Styled By Me: Ella Tyson
For Ella Tyson, music and fashion are inseparable, and growing up in France and London, the creative spaces are recognized every corner you turn. She is amongst one of the most in-demand stylists in the UK, working on stellar campaigns with Converse, Adidas, and Puma as well as artists such as EarthGang, Digga D, and Ragz Originale amongst others.
Working in fashion since her teenage years, Ella found herself assisting renowned designers alike and attending events such as fashion week and so on. “I kind of realized fashion was a bit intense for me,” she shared. After doing a few gigs, she stumbled upon a styling opportunity for an artist wanting to shoot a music video. From there, Ella Tyson gradually built her portfolio and has worked with some of England’s most beloved artists.
For our first installation of Styled By Me, we chat with Ella Tyson in regards to her evolution, dream collaborations, work with EarthGang and Unknown T, and much more! Check it out below.
One of my favorite works by you is your styling of EarthGang some years back, do you recall that experience?
That’s my favorite shoot I’ve ever done! They were really nice, it was a cover shoot for tmrw Magazine. I remember, they were very lovely and bubby people into doing crazy stuff. One of the pictures you can’t see because they’re very artsy pictures. Olu was wearing fur shorts, snowboarding boots, and a women’s fur coat that goes all the way down to floor. It was lovely!
So much has obviously changed since then, tell me about your evolution as a stylist and image consultant over the years?
Yeah, I was doing a lot of editorials at that time. Now, I do a lot more music videos and I work a lot of rappers and drill artists. I work with Unknown T a lot so he’s like the most regular client I have and then the Moroccan artist El Grande Toto. He’s big! Those are my two main clients at the moment.
Tell me, what do the conversations with designers and your fellow peers typically consist of?
From clients, it’s usually “hey, I got a music video in two days. Can you get me the full Gucci collection in two days?” No, I’m joking! Work-wise, it’s usually can I see a treatment, mood boards, and then I like to be a bit more involved in the development of the look. I’m really inspired by films and I like for stuff to have a bit more of a meaning. Getting to know the artist is good and making sure that it makes sense.
The thing that I like about it is that you’re very close in contact with the artist and you make them feel good. You can make or break the confidence of a video. You know how someone feels when they put on something good! That’s what I love the most, it makes me happy.
You’ve also worked with rapper Unknown T a few times—what keeps an artist or client coming back in your opinion?
I think it’s because if I get asked to do something, I do it. I get on with stuff and people know they can trust me and I’m reliable. I like to make people laugh! There’s so many stylists in London, I think that 50% is my talent and the other 50% is my personality. On set, it’s more fun to work with someone that is having a good time with you and motivating the artist. I try and use that and make me stand out from other stylists.
Let’s talk about dream collaborations! Is there anyone in particular who you’d love to work with?
There’s a couple of people that I’d like to work with! Some french rappers like SCH and Gazo. English artists I’ve really love to work with, Backroad Gee. I love him so much, I’m such a fan of him. A lot of the rappers that I’d like to work with aren’t that famous. It’s more like I’d want to work with them on developing their style. I’d like to have them as clients, not just one-offs. I want to work with artists whose music I like, I can’t think of anyone crazy.
Last year was quite the hiccup in terms of entertainment and how people work, what was your experience navigating through lockdown?
The crazy thing about last year is I got some of the best clients I’ve ever had. I did a video with NSG, then Digga D and Unknown T, it had a feature from Vybz Kartel. The most frustrating thing about COVID is not being allowed to be on set for certain things. It’s some things that no one would notice, the challenge with COVID was not being able to be hands-on. The worst thing for me was not being able to see or touch clothes. I haven’t been to a showroom in God knows how long!
Coming off the heels of the pandemic, where do you think the future of styling is heading?
One thing that I’ve chosen to start doing is image consulting, it’s kind of the lesson that I learned from COVID. Sometimes styling is not easily sustainable, it’s a lot of work, it’s very exhausting and physical because you’re carrying loads of things all the time. I’ve figured out something that I could do alongside it so I’ve got some plans coming up.
Something that’s really important to me is helping artists collaborate with brands that they wouldn’t normally work with. The fashion industry can be quite complex when it comes to who they want to work with. When I started working with rappers, I realized how uninclusive the fashion world was and how some high-end brands aren’t too keen to dress young rappers, unfortunately. That’s something I really want to change because when it comes to influencing fashion, artists are the biggest thing people look to for inspiration.
If you enjoyed our interview with Ella Tyson, check out designer Chandler King!