Styled By Me: Jermaine Robinson
Jermaine Robinson has explored new narratives through fashion styling since the age of 16. The rapidly rising creative consultant and stylist is bridging the gap between fashion and tangible experiences. He lets his work speak for itself, stating “you are your own machine so you have to keep going and if you stop, everything stops..”
From Alicai Harley and Tomi Agape to KSI and SiR, Jermaine Robinson has worked with a plethora of artists both domestic and international. It’s no surprise that his work stands out tremendously, as he emphasizes being unique and existing in your own lane. “When I’m styling someone, I want them to feel their best. I want that to come out on camera,” Jermaine shares. The list continues with creatives such as Butch Dawson, Ojerime, Oliver Malcolm, and Knucks to name a few.
For our latest installation of Styled By Me, we spoke with Jermaine Robinson about the ups and downs of being a stylist, working with Alicai Harley, advice to young stylists, and much more! Read below.
Tell me about some of your earlier memories of getting into the space, what were some of the obstacles you had to overcome?
I would say a major obstacle would be believing in myself, wholeheartedly; stepping out of my shadow. Taking a chance on myself to put myself out there as I hadn’t really had the confidence to do so previously. Surprisingly, I had always been in the right rooms but never had the courage to go ahead on my own accord. In this industry, you have to be your own cheerleader whilst working many other roles, you are your own machine so you have to keep going and if you stop, everything stops.
Fast forward to now, what’s been the biggest change that you’ve noticed in your career?
That’s a great question! Having started off in the fashion industry as a studio assistant then an intern crossing over into the music industry has allowed me so much growth as I am now around new spaces and new people, working as a freelance creative consultant and music stylist. At the beginning of this transition, I felt unsure but I have been fortunate to have a mentor to guide me through and keep me steady.
Not too long ago, you got to style Alicai Harley—what was that experience like?
That was so blessed. It’s crazy that I reached out to her team with interest to style her for anything upcoming and out of the blue, Notion Magazine contacted me to ask if I would be interested in styling her, for her first cover story! I was like “mad, as I just emailed her team like three weeks ago with the same question” It’s just wicked how it all worked out, some things are just meant to be. That was a great all-around moment for me!
Is there anything about the creative process of styling that drains you?
I wouldn’t title it as draining, per se, as you generally have to enjoy it from start to finish like any other process although having said that, the admin and financial stuff, especially as a freelancer, can be a little daunting but I am realizing it becomes easier!
You’ve had the chance to work with artists such as KSI and Kaleem Taylor, what has been one of your biggest career milestones so far?
I would say my Alicai Harley, Notion Magazine cover story. Culturally it was an extremely important career milestone as myself and Alicai are both Jamaican, I wanted it to be a cover I, her and the team could feel extremely proud of being a part of. I remember calling both Shamara Roper, the hairstylist and Rashidi Noah, the photographer, constantly each day before to discuss ideas for the photoshoot. Three of us would bounce back and forth off each other! Was crazy good!
As we’re all Jamaican we understood the assignment and how we were going to body this photoshoot with as much representation as we could. You’ll notice, Alicai in the photoshoot is dressed in a way she represents every type of Jamaican woman, that was the idea the three of us came up with and brought to fruition. That was probably the biggest highlight of my career so far, especially working with two other people from the same country as I am.
In your own opinion, how do clothing and style empower not only your clientele but you as well?
Clothes are confidence. They are an expression, you can make it into anything you want. It’s how you communicate so for me, when I’m styling someone, I want them to feel their best. I want that to come out on camera.
Style can reflect your personality, character, or what you associate with or take interest in as an individual. The expression within style can be communicative as color influences mood. When I am styling, I tend to create a visual story where I bear all of this in mind as well as pushing the envelope, as I am always looking to accelerate the clientele past what they did previously. Styling when done right can have a way of making you feel powerful.
For any young stylists looking to enter the industry, can you share a few tips about networking and navigating it?
Stay true to yourself. Be confident and don’t be shy to ask for advice from those who you admire. Have good social skills and a great working attitude. Picture where you want to be and work towards that place by putting yourself out there, even if it is tiring, it will pay off, if you work hard, stay consistent, and have good time-keeping skills. Lastly, believe in your talent and you! My trick is using a notebook and a pen. This is all really basic advice but honestly, it will take you so far as a young stylist within the industry.
If you enjoyed our interview with Jermaine Robinson, check out our conversation with Ella Tyson!