Meet Sarah Slutsky, a New York-based stylist who works with well-known brands and clients including Maya Hawke, Ella Hunt, Emma Watson and more. After starting in the editorial department at Vogue, Sarah ventured out on her own, now working between VIP, digital and print mediums.
I sat down with Sarah, wearing our Slip Dress in Navy Checkerboard, to talk about styling, drawing inspiration from the past, post-COVID dressing and pausing when you need to.
What drew you to styling? What do you love most and what is hardest about it?
Styling is the career that I, as a young girl, dreamt of, but had no idea existed. I always had the intention of studying fashion and telling stories with clothes, but it wasn’t until I went to school to study fashion design and product development that I learned that, at magazines, there is a person who puts together the items and outfits and that that person is called a stylist. There is nothing better than watching someone light up when they put on a new look because they suddenly feel better in their own skin. Having a story in print and seeing a vision come to life is also magical. To get to that final product, though, there are a ton of logistics. You have to request a look. It has to be available. It has to be approved and in line with the brand and what they want. It has to be shipped and then executed and I think most people aren’t aware of that process and the politics.
Has COVID changed your perspective on clothing or styling?
Now, a few months into reemerging, I feel celebratory about putting on clothes. At the same time, I have this desire to maintain the ease of my day to day and my productivity. I’m gravitating to a daily uniform and trying to weed out those in between pieces that don’t feel celebratory nor like my uniform. I’m keeping in my closet the pieces that have that strong emotional, feel-good attachment. I have no room for the “I haven’t worn this.”
As a relaunch, Coco Shop is interested in the ways creatives take something old and make it new again. What inspired your series Recreate Fashion History and do you incorporate renewal into your life and career in other ways?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot because I haven’t had the chance to create a fashion history moment in a while. Recreate Fashion History is something I do just for me when, in fashion and styling, I’m often thinking about other people or another goal. It is a way to remind myself that fashion should be timeless. In my 20s, it was easy to spend energy on trends. For Recreate Fashion History, however, if I’m looking at pieces in my closet now and can recreate a look that is 40 years old, that is really special and a way to test the lasting power of a garment and style. I want to look back at photos of myself or clients and know that they made a mark in history.
Do you have a favorite historical fashion moment?
What comes to mind is more of an era – I think of this American in Paris feel with pedal pusher pants and a striped top. I personally go back to this look all the time.
I also love your series 30 Wears and am excited that fashion is focusing more on extending the lifetime of clothing. What are your closet staples?
I am a jumpsuit person. Jumpsuits really do it for me. I don’t have to think about what I’m getting into and I have all of the pockets. I also love a romantic, floral dress in a timeless shape. Floral prints always pull me back.
Is there anything that makes you feel personally renewed and ready to take on what’s next?
This is the perfect time to be having this conversation because I just finished four months of non-stop work, which was amazing because the studio was buzzing and I was able to see my clients again, but fashion has a bad habit of not celebrating our accomplishments. It’s easy to keep a pace and not look back, but something I did this week was turn down a couple of projects that, in a regular time, I would have taken on. I felt I needed to pause, take care of some personal things and take note of where I am instead. Ten years ago, there was an insatiable chase, where nothing was enough and I had a ton to prove. I’m trying to adjust this way of thinking and practice feeling like not everything is a competition. I want to send love and light and make space in my world for whatever it is that I need to be my best self. It’s that energy that attracts the right people and projects. It’s about self-worth and knowing your capabilities and knowing that the people who value you will be around no matter what.