We met in London at “The Mirror”, a presentation by Ana Sekularac during London Fashion Week and we never lost touch since. What can we tell you about Marian, she is free spirit who follows her heart, one of the most dedicated celebrity stylist there is around. She is also the most discreet, and although she works with the biggest names in the industry, she fiercely protects the privacy of her clients. She will go the extra mile to save a dressing emergency for the next award ceremony just like she would help any of her friends in need. Marian is also a renowned fashion blogger mariankihogo.com even more so as she is one of the few bloggers whose opinion you simply can not buy and everybody knows that too. So her opinion counts a lot and if she likes a designer or a particular dress, everybody listens, even Vogue Italy. For Marian, dressing in the morning is an emotional experience and styling is her mission to help you find your way to be who you are and to express yourself.
The less travelled road. Wherever you are in the world, be that in the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city or in the wide open space in some remote area, you owe it to yourself to seek out the less travelled road. Try the new, explore with childlike curiosity and wonder the places you have never seen before, experiment with things that are not necessarily popular. You are never going to stumble on the new unless you traverse roads less travelled. Sometimes it takes so called “mistakes” to make the right moves.
MY FAVORITE DAY
The day my not-so-little sister married.
People watching. Followed closely by travelling and discovering new destinations.
MY STYLE IN THREE WORDS
An emotive experience.
MY FAVORITE SONG
MY FAVOURITE ARTIST
Van Gogh. His use of color is still second to none. He was far ahead of his time.
THE BOOK THAT MOST AFFECTED YOU
The Bible. It never gets old for me. The greatest love story ever told. Even more special is the fact that it is non fiction.
￼MOVIE I COULD WATCH A HUNDRED TIMES
The Color Purple. Absolutely stunning. Each time I watch it I am as blown away as the first time.
MY FAVORITE DESTINATION
Makola market, Accra – Ghana. One of the largest markets in West Africa, it is noisy, smelly and heaving non stop with action, trade, life and people. It is a weird favorite destination but I am fascinated with people, the interactions we weave, our stories and what is even more important how we reflect who we are through what we are wearing and how we put it all together. I’ve been people watching since I was a little girl and Makola market is heaven for people watching. Whenever I am in Ghana I long to go there and just stand and watch people live. To me people watching is a master class in styling. You can truly foretell the mood of a people, where fashion is going by just stopping and observing.
I have had quite a few moments, mostly career related but my proudest moment of all times is rather personal.
A couple of weeks ago, my youngest sister has had a baby. There have been award nominations, accolades and kind words from the fashion industry, but nothing made me prouder than seeing my sister was now a mother.
Being true to yourself in a world that does everything in her power to box, categorize and clone.
Dreaming that I am dreaming!
To live each moment to the absolute full with a purpose I can look back proudly upon.
It would have to be the strength and courage of my Mother. I have never told what i am about to say, so Mum if you are reading this, i would like you to know that your courage in being yourself at a time when many stuck to pre-conceived notions of what ‘the supposed right way’ was has always inspired me to stay true to myself. She is a breast cancer survivor and the grace with which she battled with this illness, a full mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and losing her beautiful long hair still radiates within me. I am inspired by the fearless.
A CAUSE WORTH FIGHTING FOR
Love but the wonderful thing about love is that in her purest form it would take no fighting for as love is peaceful and kind.
JE SUIS LA MUSE…
Thank you for the Interview
PLEASE CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am Marian Kihogo, a 30-year-old London based celebrity personal stylist, creative consultant with a background in digital fashion. I also write mariankihogo.com an eponymously named fashion, beauty and culture weblog.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
A completely emotive experience where each outfit is a reflection of a my current headspace or mood. My style is also influenced heavily by a love of texture, color, layering, play on proportion and bygone eras such as the 20’s, 40’s and 70’s.
YOU ARE WELL KNOWN FOR YOUR INDIVIDUAL STYLE. YOU EXPRESS WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU FEEL THROUGH FASHION, PLEASE CAN YOU EXPLAIN US HOW THAT WORKS
￼What I am wearing on any given day is directed by how I am feeling, what is inspiring me at that particular moment, a film I just watched, a current book that I cannot get off my mind. More importantly I see garments and accessories as extension of who we are as people. They are like our own personal placard, telling our personal stories, long before we even say “hello”. In that sense, whatever I clothe myself in is helping me reflect who I am personality wise and how I am feeling on a given day.
HOW DID YOU START BLOGGING AND WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE IN THE BEGINNING AND AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
In my work as a stylist, consultant and digital editor I am always working to suit a given brief. In each of these roles I had to speak in a language (be this through styling or in my fashion editorial work) to suit that client, magazine or brand. The blog was born two years ago as an outlet for my own voice about fashion, beauty and culture. It is also a result of me being intrigued with digital media and the conversations it provokes. It was important to me that I got the design right and it was a blessing to meet Chris Spurr who designed the site for me. He is a wonderfully talented graphic and web designer who completely encapsulated the vision I had in his design. The only challenges I have faced is trying to convey my desire to stay true to my own voice. I am of the belief that you can only truly be enthusiastic about something and pass that on contagiously when you sincerely believe in it. When I am drawn to a particular product, design, collaboration or label, it makes it all the easier to blog about it, because it is like that amazing discovery that you have stumbled upon and that you cannot wait to tell your best friends about.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH MARIANKIHOGO.COM
For me it is always been about provoking thought and encouraging
enthusiasm. If I can make some non fashion person in the middle of nowhere with zero access to high fashion relate to something Miuccia Prada sent down the runway, then my blog has fulfilled its purpose.
“PINCH ME” CAREER MOMENT?
Seeing renowned clients on respected best dressed lists. Being video interviewed and profiled by Vogue Italia for the spotlight talent section. Such an honor and an absolute blessing to be profiled by such an esteemed arbiter of style. Then again, I think everyday is a “pinch me” career moment. To be afforded the chance to do what one loves is an eternal pinch me moment.
Vogue Italia Spotlight – Visit site
WHAT DOES FASHION AND BEING A FASHION STYLIST MEAN TO YOU?
Fashion to me is all about a point of view. The greatest designers and perhaps the most memorable are those with a singular point of view. So well carved out that you can spot their work a mile off, no labels needed. This point of view is truly a form of self-expression and to me being a fashion stylist is an honor because I get to lend my translation of these points of view. It is wonderful to be able to capture a moment and point to the direction of the ideas to come by interpreting the vision of designers through styling.
YOU HAVE BEEN A FAN OF THE FASHION DESIGNER ANA SEKULARAC SINCE THE VERY BEGINNING, HOW DID YOU MEET AND WHAT DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HER DESIGNS?
I was honored to meet Ana at her presentation “The Mirror” to present her collection during London Fashion Week and I was blown away. Whenever I think back to that moment I am still in awe at how strong that initial feeling her work gave me was. She is one of the few designers whose work moves me to tears. This is due to Ana’s rare ability to capture emotion in the very garments she designs. ￼I have found that Ana Sekularac is resilient and this comes through her work. There is dual strength but simultaneous delicate soft femininity that her work emotes. Interestingly this is balance is so hard to get right. When done wrong the clothing can feel gimmicky but Sekularac captures that balance effortlessly each and every time.
There is a movement embodied in the lines and detail of her work that is astounding. The latter being the detail is so breathtaking that to me it borders on couture technique. The craftsmanship of Ana’s work is simply stunning. The build and actual architecture of Ana’s work is inspiring. There are innovations there but if you look closely you realize it is not just structure for the sake of it, at the heart of it is the woman envisioned to wear. That woman, her strength, her life etc. are at the very center of the architectural element of Ana’s work.
The Sekularac woman is strong but has this intelligence and mystery about her that draws me to her time after time. None of my clients past or present have seen or worn her work without falling in love with it. She is truly a talent and like all true talents perhaps before her time. Her work is truly her through and through. To me that is special. It has been an honor to wear her garments and have people like Hilary Alexander of the Telegraph ask me whom I am wearing. To have someone like that and many more who have a respected opinion on fashion and style stop me and to compliment a design to me reiterates how special Ana’s work really is.
YOU LIVE IN LONDON, HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR FREE TIME ?
I adore London! There is a versatile multiculturalism in London that inspires. No two parts are the same. My spare time is spent on soaking up culture; art, music, theater, film, literature and so on. I read a lot, I voraciously read and watch films. I think to be creative you have to constantly educate yourself and take in all that is going on around you. ￼People continually inspire me so I love conversation, meeting new people, just the overlooked daily interactions that unconsciously hold a wealth of inspiration. On a day with a few brief free moments I will just pause wherever I find myself in that minute and just observe people come and go. That is probably my greatest pleasure.
ON YOUR SITE YOU QUOTED MR. THURMAN “THE WORLDS NEEDS PEOPLE WHO ARE ALIVE”, WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL ALIVE?
This is a great question ! Simply put… living. Too many of us think we are living but sadly just exist. We are an on automatic pilot as it were, just going through the motions, almost robotically. I think it is important to think for oneself, it is vital to grasp each moment like it was truly your last. When we abandon our fear of the unknown and the new mistakes will inevitably happen but it is only through them and learning from them that we truly live. I am most alive when I acknowledge that I am only here by the grace of God and live each moment chasing my dreams. Having a dream and making it your present is everything. It keeps you alive.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO GENEVA/SWITZERLAND? IF YES ON WHAT OCCASION? WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND?
Yes with clients. First thing that came to my mind was how clean and beautiful it was. There is something untouched and unhurried about it even though it is such an important city. It is beautiful.