CASED: A day with Juka

The stylists in the fashion industry, how important they are.

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It was early morning when I arrived to the boutique hotel where the photo shooting of a magazine cover was taking place (yes! that gorgeous model right there is Miss Universe 2010, she is the Mexican Ximena Navarrete). I was there as guest of Juan Carlos Plascencia, known as Juka, who has earned a respected place in México in the fashion field; we met so I could spend the day with him to learn who he is, what does a fashion coordinator do, and the importance of this role in campaigns and image creation.

IMG_2127Juka is a fashion stylist, known as well as fashion coordinator; as a matter of fact, he is a communicator. His role is to create looks for projects like photo shootings for magazines or editorials, for brands’ publicity campaigns, and to advise celebrities or any other person who hires him. The goal of a stylist is being a major contributor in communicating a message while reflecting brand value proposition or product attributes, or while “standing out” someone’s presence at an event, or simply impose fashion.

“The importance of a stylist in a campaign probably weights 60%, because with styling is how you strengthen the product, to be well communicated and really sell through campaigns”.

IMG_2145While we talked during the shooting (and I drooled to try on those blue Saint Laurent shoes), Juka explained his main responsibility, which is to manage the wardrobe, and that means invest wisely the budget, hunt garments, shoes, and accessories with designers and boutiques, protect these pieces during the projects, and sometimes apologizing to designers for any damaged caused in the shooting or event (I can’t imagine someone else’s money under my responsibility and experience an accident, can you imagine a scratch on that beautiful red YSL?).

His profession might be one of the most coveted in the industry, as he does what every woman would love to do every day: shopping! (there’s a little difference of course, he does it for business, and we would want to keep everything in our closet).

IMG_2155“The secret is in the shoes, because it’s how you can really know if you are or not a good stylist, the shoes make the difference in a look”.

Juka was dressing the flawless Ximena, as he explained his stand on the difference between a designer and a fashion coordinator. To him, a stylist can do diverse things in every project, and a designer works specifically to transmit the DNA of a brand. The social networks have been crucial to stylists, thanks to these there is more clarity today about their role, basically social media has given the correspondent place to each stylists and designers in a very casual- quotidian- visual manner, explaining the difference between them.

IMG_2124It is art what he accomplishes; he confesses that besides having a sixth sense while curating and finding pieces with style, it is essential for a stylist to act as a PR and identify the most talented experts in design, hair, makeup, and photography. Stylist work in teams all the time, and they must create a network of talent and a good relationship with these contacts, as he explains, they can grant access to projects, the good thing of these teams is that members are addicts to long working days that end with an it’s a wrap!

“The difference to do styling for a company that sells a product than an editorial, is the creative- liberty. In a company you must very careful with the product, in editorial you can suggest ideas… I rather working on projects where there is openness to ideas, because that is my job, advise with creativity”.

Juka aims to prevail updated, and that is his success key, he is aware he works in a very demanding industry of “actuality”. As inspiration, he rather not to observe too much other’s work; he believes “being in constant contact with what others do, affects, because then you start to replicate someone else’s work. I rather avoiding visual pollution to keep my work as authentic as possible”.

After getting closer to this admirer of the work of the designers Thierry Mugler and Gareth Pugh, I understand better that his contribution is crucial in the message communication from a brand or a person to an audience, the fashion coordinator takes the best of the tools and blends details in a totally visual and consistent communication, you can interpret what a picture wants to tell you thanks to experts like Juka.

The following photo selection is courtesy of Alex Córdova www.alexcordovaphoto.com

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