MaryAnne Alabi is a seasoned fashion consultant and stylist that has been on top of her game in the fashion, creative and entertainment industry since she stepped into the scene. She is also the designer of the popularly known “Bunnies by MaryAnne”. Mary was a nominee at the ELOY 2016 awards and certainly has lots of promising activities up on her sleeves for fashion enthusiasts, which include the 2017 maiden edition of the FUBU event that was recently held by her and her co-founder . EM’S Damilola Shote shares insights about her styling experience and how reading helped her climb the ladder:

1) CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF INTRODUCTION ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BRAND?
Maryanne Alabi is a fashion consultant, style blogger and accessory designer. A fierce lover of everything God given.
The brand, Mary-Anne Alabi has been in existence for about eight years now. We have consulted and worked with an endless list of clientele, individuals and companies both home grown and international brands from the entertainment industry, to fashion and life style. The plan is to create life changing and impactful style stories that would change our world to a better place in our own stylish way.
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2) HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH STYLING AS A CAREER?
Long before I graduated from college, I was in several dance groups, and one of my designations was to design and come up with costume ideas for every event we had. I built on that, knowing what kind of colors, cuts, and styles would best add up to tell our story while we danced. After graduating, I started reading style books and anything fashion and style I could lay my hands on, studying each of them like I had an exam I was preparing for; I looked for names like Tim Gunns read his book (A guide to quality taste and style) & Mr Jay Manuel. I love their work. I would go online to read on style, started building a library that had style books from the best of the best in the fashion industry, books from June Ambrose, Rachel Zoe, Kimora Lee Simmons just to mention a few, these books and other things helped guide me through my early style days, before I started working with SoundCity blast as a fashion stylist and as a style contributor in 234 Next “Elan” after which I went on to being the wardrobe consultant for Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) season 3 and 4……the rest they say is beautiful history.. lol

3) WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR CHOICE IN BEING A STYLIST?
Just being involved and seeing the process of an idea being brought to life was just so fascinating and I wanted to create breathtaking art in the form of styling.

4) WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Life, nature, art.

5) WHAT DOES FASHION AND STYLE MEAN TO YOU?
Each time I am asked this question, it kind of snow balls and gets more interesting; Fashion, to me means recycled trend rules for everyday living while style means the art of pulling together or re-creating these recycled trends to create a life time style impression.
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6) HOW DO YOU ALWAYS KNOW WHAT SUITS A CLIENT?
I always consult with my clients, to get to know their style preference and what story they are trying to tell as well as what they want to achieve. With this, a mood board is created to depict their style and we move from there…. till my client is happy.

7) DO YOU RELY STRICTLY ON YOUR CHOICE AND IDEAS FOR CLIENTS OR YOU ALLOW THEIR IDEAS INCLUSIVELY?
I do not rely strictly on my choice; my client plays a huge role in influencing what style direction to take. I advise based on what they want and what I know will best work for them, there always has to be a compromise, this way everyone is happy.

8) TELL US WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A GOOD STYLIST?
A good stylist must have a listening ear; it’s important to always listen to understand exactly what your client needs.
You must always be ready to learn new things every day, study and stay ahead of each season’s trends and generally be in the know of everything in the fashion world.
A good stylist must never try to impose their personal style on their client, but always be willing to compromise and create beautiful style stories to last a life time.
Humility is a gift you must attain being a stylist, so you don’t get trip and fall on your own prideful self. Pride is the end of the beginning of your success story.

9) WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU AFFILIATED WITH?
Wow! Quite a number of them; Amstel Malta box office, Infinix Mobile product launch campaign, Nigerian Idol, London fashion week, African fashion week London, Gtbank fashion weekend, House of Tara, Lots of Nigerian fashion designers and accessory brands both home and international and I work closely with Nigerian music artists too.

10) ASIDES STYLING WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
Besides being a fashion stylist, I am an accessory designer, I recently launched a hair wrap line called “Bunnies by Maryanne”, I teach and write fashion and style as well as curating blogging and styling contents for fashion brands, online and soft sell magazines both home grown and international.

11) NAME 3 PEOLPE YOU WILL LIKE TO STYLE HOME AND ABROAD
Rihanna, Chris brown and Charlie boy.

12) HOW DO YOU DEFINE A WOMAN OF EXCELLENCE?
A woman of excellence is a power house, a strong force to be reckoned with, and a woman who has and is still breaking grounds in her field of profession and beyond, a non conformist.
A woman who believes that the change she wants to see starts with her and who also is ready to share that power of change to the world around her.
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13) WHAT ARE THE ‘MUST HAVE’ ITEMS YOU CAN NOT DO WITHOUT?
Must have fashion items? Comfortable shoes, statement accessories and a killer smile.

14) FAVOURITE VACATION PLACE / SPOT
Take me anywhere surrounded by lots of greens, sunlight, turquoise colored water, breathtaking views and I will be fine ( lol)
15) YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE IS…
Do whatever makes you happy and gives you peace of mind, so long as it doesn’t hurt no one else!!!

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