- Words Matilda Carnall
From forging stepping stones for young creatives to setting up her very own podcast, Alizé Demange is the London stylist breaking down fashion's exclusive barriers.
Entering the seemingly impenetrable world of styling is a feat that many dream of, though the stakes continue to rise for the young and hopeful. Unpaid work, long hours, and a necessity for ready-made connections all make becoming a stylist a hard graft. London-born-and-bred industry vet Alizé Demange is seeking to change that. Armed with over a decade of knowledge and connections in the styling world, she set up her styling educational platform A-D*CREATIVE during the pandemic. And, since 2020, she’s been working tirelessly to pave the way for burgeoning creatives – alongside building her own roster of clients.
As one of the most in-demand stylists in London right now, her influence has brought her some pretty impressive gigs. Earlier this year, she dressed Cleo Sol for Moncler’s phenomenal LFW show – and she’s also been working with the likes of FLO, Miraa May, and Zeze Millz. Crossing music, television, and fashion, she’s also carved out a dedicated fanbase across Instagram and TikTok where she shares short vlog-style videos and unboxing clips.
With her brand new podcast “Add to Wishlist” out this month, and no slowing down in sight, we took a minute to catch up with Alizé. From her first foray into fashion, to the artist she thinks we should all be listening to RN, here’s our convo with the style guru.
First, we’d love to know how you got into styling?
I started styling when I was about 18. And that was because I went to university thinking I wanted to be a fashion designer, then once I actually started on the course I realised I didn’t really want to do that. On my foundation course, there had been a styling pathway and I just loved it. I loved being able to put pieces together and tell a story, creating a narrative, working with lots of different people. It’s creating something in a different way of working so that’s what led me to styling.
And you’ve been styling since the tender age of 18, how do you think your approach to styling has changed since the early days of your career?
I think a lot of things have changed mainly because of the rise of social media. When I started, social media wasn’t really a thing like that and I guess content and content creation is a completely new thing. When I started, things were very commercial. You’d be working for media – publications, TV, music videos, and all the traditional marketing aspects. Whereas now, styling can come in so many different ways because content is being produced in so many different ways.
You’re based in London, how do you think the fashion scene and cultural scene more widely have affected your style – personal or otherwise.
I was born, grew up in, and am currently based in London. I think a lot of the club culture scene for me growing up really influenced what I like aesthetically, as well as in terms of what I went into as a stylist. My network came from the club scene as well. I also think, growing up in London, a lot of how I dress comes from nostalgic things, from Y2K, 90s. That’s definitely influenced a lot of my personal signature aesthetic, especially with streetwear, because when I was growing up, streetwear was still kind of niche. It wasn’t mainstream like it is now and it kind of had its own connotations. When I first started styling it was definitely something that I wanted to push a lot in my work, but it wasn’t seen as something that necessarily had money, or was seen as fashion per se.
Having dedicated a decade to styling, what keeps you excited about the job? What’s the best part of the career?
The decade has gone quickly because it has been an evolving, developing career. I’ve learnt a lot and I’m still learning and I’m still evolving. I think that is kinda what creates the drive as well, I haven’t reached my end goal. I feel like every time you think your ceiling is reached, your ceiling moves again as you grow up. The best part of my career, though, is meeting people that I just connect with on a creative and personal level and being able to create things with my friends that I’ve grown up with.
When you’re dressing a musician or another client with a strong image, how do you incorporate their personal style?
I always believe my job is collaborative. There has to be compromise, push and pull. It’s also amazing when you have a client where you really feel their personal style anyway and you’re just trying to maximise what’s already there. So, I just add things that I think would work from an aesthetic perspective. Also, a lot of the time when I’m being chosen, they pick me because maybe the aesthetic works for the artist as well, we would gel together anyway.
You set up your styling educational platform A-D* Creative in 2020, could you talk us through what it entails and why you chose to set it up?
Prior to COVID, I had organised a masterclass because a lot of people that were following me on my platform really wanted to know more about how to get into styling. So I set up a masterclass and it sold out, but then I had to cancel it because of COVID. And during COVID, there was a rise in online courses and I was thinking, actually, it would be better if I translated this masterclass into an online course because, firstly, it would be cheaper for people to access, and it would actually have a lot more information than I would have done in an in-person masterclass.
So I released the AD* CREATIVE online fashion styling course in November 2020. Between November 2020 and 2022 I had 300 students, and, really, I just wanted a way to share my knowledge of how I got into styling and the preface of the business of styling, how to grow a clientbase etc – just because I’d always received so much interest in how I’d done it. I just wanted a place where people would be able to do that without having to spend 3 years at university. Also, I don’t feel like university really does prepare you to become a stylist – it’s more about work experience. So yeah, that’s just something I came up with!
Obviously, we’d love to know who you’re listening to right now? Is there any new music on your radar?
I just came back from Atlanta and someone I’ve really been enjoying listening to is Young Nudy. His album ‘Gumbo’ which was released earlier this year was really good.
And finally, what can we look out for from you? Have you got any exciting projects on the go that you can share with us?
I’m about to start filming and recording my new podcast called ‘Add To Wishlist’. It’s a podcast that’s going to be discussing all things fashion, lifestyle & beauty, from hot trends, history, cultural news, with industry experts who will leave nothing off the table or in your basket. This will be a new take on fashion commentary with discussions centring diverse voices, championing innovators, zooming in on iconic fashion moments, fashion faux pas and of course letting our audience know what is hot enough to add to the Wishlist. So tune in because that will be getting released at the end of May!