So describe your day from Monday to Sunday…
I go to university twice a week and I do a styling and creative direction course. I also try and work during the week; I do a side I shoot, I style, I go for meetings. In my free time I do my independent work at UAL.
How do you cope with your studies and your side work?
I mean you find the time! it’s as simple as that. If you want to do stuff you just find time for it you know? It doesn’t become a job if you like it, also I can mix my job with my course and incorporate it together and make my life out of it you know. But I’m a strong believer that if you want to do something you do it, you find the time.
Let’s talk about your Instagram, how did you grow it and where did it spark from?
When I was 17 I moved to the UK so I was in Birmingham and I was doing a photography diploma thing, and my friend asked me to take some pictures and I never really modelled before, like I did one shoot in Milan and that was it. We did this shoot and he is a really sick photographer. From there his friend saw me and we shot with this brand called hotline-something. From there, this other small Manchester brand got in touch because they wanted to send me some clothes and it became my first promotion! They were like we yeah, we will send you some clothes and you can post them on your profile, and I was so gassed cause I was like this is some free clothes! I’m living! From there just one thing lead to another and I was travelling down to London more for shoots and stuff like that. Then when I moved to London I got the bigger jobs. So, in London one thing really takes you to another thing, it’s all about your circle and the people you know.
What are some of the brands you have worked with?
I recently did a project for Dior. They did this love chain on Instagram that I was able to be a part of which was very cool. I have also worked with Nike, Footlocker, Reserved, Weekday, G-Star, Jaded, Dark Circle they are like my friends, Converse, Depop, and a few more.
How would you compare the creative industry in London to Milan?
I think they are very different. London has space for growing artists, whether you are a photographer, stylist, designer model or any kind of creative, whereas Milan is a more old-fashioned country. So, if you aren’t at the top it’s very hard to get there, it’s all about the people you know, so there aren’t many opportunities for young creatives, whereas London is hot right now for people who want to get there. Also, I think the street style in Milan is growing, you know? It’s always been known for high fashion, but London is the place to be if you want to do street fashion.
What are some of your favourite streetwear brands?
Because my style is high-end and street I like A-Cold-Wall*, OFF-WHITE, Heron Preston, Balenciaga and other big brands. However, to wear day to day I like the simple stuff.
Describe your style in one word.
Tomboy, I think! I would say tomboy but I do dress up you know and I like it! I don’t just do it because I have to, I do like dressing up.
Why do you like wearing men’s garments?
I have always told myself that one thing I have always wanted to do in fashion is modelling menswear brands because there aren’t many female models, modelling menswear. I think it just makes me feel good! That’s it, I like baggy and layering, I like baggy shit, and you know, it makes me feel good. It gives me aura when I wear baggy clothes. I don’t get that when I wear skinny jeans and a tank top.
Is there one brand that you would love to model, and if so who and why?
A-Cold-Wall*, I just love that brand, also Heron Preston, M+RC, and of course Balenciaga, but yeah, I want to just model menswear. I want to be the first tiny female bald-head girl.
How has London influenced your style?
My style is still evolving but I knew that when I was in Milan I felt restricted. But when I came here I felt enabled to experiment with my style and really feel free, which is great! I was always picked on when I was tiny, and for what I wore. I always came to the UK every couple months to get stuff nobody had In Milan. I, therefore, wore different stuff, and Milan didn’t understand! And in fact, if I looked at myself when I was 10 I would be like what the fuck are you wearing!? But I like to experiment and feel different. I think clothes are a form of expression but they don’t define you. If I want to wear an ambulance suit I can, but it doesn’t mean I work there!
What’s the craziest thing you have worn and the craziest reaction you got?
Let me think about this… I wore this like extra, extra large pair of denim dungarees that were massive, like massive for anybody and I wore it with a Margiela denim dress underneath it. Then put two denim shirts on my waist. So, it was 4 like layers of denim. But it was sick, I just felt sick.
Where did you wear it to?
Just an event in Shoreditch, but I felt sick! I think if you feel sick you can wear whatever. I think like double-denim and triple-denim are hard to do, you have to be careful with that but I was just like fuck it. I just wore every possible denim thing I owned.
What’s your biggest pay-check from a brand?
4k for Instagram posts.
Let’s talk about music as I know that inspires your style as well. Who are some hip-hop artists that inspire your style, like male ones or female ones?
This will sound cliché but I look at like A$AP and Tyler [the Creator], and I try and incorporate their style into my style just because I like it! It’s all about them and what they want to wear and what mood they’re in. I do look at Erykah Badu but I don’t dress like her, her music just influences me. I just like cosy, cosy inspires me!
Music artists inspire me but the music itself inspires me more. You know? More than what the artist wears.
Is there a female icon that also wears menswear that inspires you at all?
Well Rihanna, as cliché as it sounds, wears baggy shit. She wears like those massive Balenciaga suits and jackets, and I think she has inspired me you know?
What’s your favourite sneaker brand?
Nike forever! Yes, but that’s hard, but yeah Nike.
What’s your favourite sneaker collab?
Raf Simons, the runners. I like them. I like chunky. I also like Balenciaga sneakers.
What do you think about the whole chunky sneaker trend at the moment?
I think you have to be careful with it. I think it’s very hard to pull off. I think you just have to be careful with how you style them. People think you can wear them with anything but I would say you should be a bit more careful.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to figure out their style, especially when there are so many trends and it’s easy to get lost?
I don’t think you should have to necessarily follow trends. I know fashion is about trends but you should really experiment, like I have worn some really fucking crazy shit, like full pink velvet Juicy Couture tracksuit, like I have done that! But just make sure you feel good when you wear something! When you walk to the store, wear an outfit you have never worn before and see how you feel about it!
Watch the PAUSE Explores Emily J Odonnell’s Wardrobe below
Videographer: Jay Kasitz
Producer: Johnson Gold