Everyone knows that as you travel to different parts of the world, different types of style/fashion can be seen. Different trends happen in different areas, and the culture of those regions help influence stylists and other designers to blend into their own work that crosses into other regions.
Tena Strok, a stylist who has worked in the fashion industry for over fifteen years overseas in London, has now brought her ideas and “British Style” to Los Angeles. While she is no stranger to working with big names, Strok’s background includes working in editorial of magazines including Tank, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar in London. Now, since 2017, Strok has lived in LA and has continued her success through her own style by working for brands such as Nike, YSL and FarFetch.
We sat down with her for an exclusive one-on-one to learn more about how she has found success here in Los Angeles during the pandemic and prior, and what trends we all should be aware of!
1. How has it been being a stylist here in Los Angeles during the pandemic? What changes within your industry have you seen take place during the pandemic?
Such as most sectors, the fashion industry was certainly hit hard the past 18 months. Sets were locked down for most of 2020, with many scale backs and smaller productions still the norm now. Studios are running to smaller capacities. Luckily if you have loyal clients you’ll stay working.
2. From working with large publications in London when you first started (Tank, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar) to now working with big brands here in LA such as Nike and YSL, what do you feel has been your key to success?
I think a really great attitude is key. Sometimes you’re travelling 20 hours to get somewhere and have to be on set when you arrive – to do it with a smile really makes a difference. I once flew 15 hours from LA to Berlin with hours of transit either side for Nike and had to begin shooting on arrival. That’s expected of you in this job. Pack some sleep meds for the plane, have a coffee when you arrive, and go!
3. When working with a new client, what are the main requirements you need from them in order to do your job properly and successfully?
A clear idea of what they want and their audience or customer. Those things are really key. Without that knowledge it’s hard to get going and build out looks and an aesthetic.
4. What has been your favorite campaign to work on so far?
YSL in the Grand Canyon with Dua Lipa for Libre, their fragrance – although that was also a production role which was challenging but incredibly rewarding!
5. How does being a stylist in Los Angeles differ from being one in London?
There’s more commercial work in LA. In London I was working on a lot of editorials – which are fun but limited financially – whereas here there’s a lot of opportunity to collaborate creatively with brands. The past year I’ve also worked as a creative director which I’ve loved and aim to transition toward in 2022.
6. What advice would you give to people who want to go into styling?
Work hard, be nice to people and carve out your own aesthetic that clients will keep coming back to you for. Drink the coffee, you’ll need it. Pack those sleep meds for the long haul flights and always come to )set with a smile on your face!
7. What is your ultimate goal/dream?
I’d love to create directly for luxury brands, keep working on my scripts (I’m also a writer and screenwriter) and direct my own film one day. We do live in LA after all.