Meet Haley, the 27-year-old fashion stylist behind some of the most talked-about looks on artists from Drake to Miley Cyrus. Her first gig was as M.I.A’s assistant and since then, she’s styled for Opening Ceremony, Nike, V Magazine and loads of up-and-coming bands. See what she had to say when we gave her a ring at her Downtown NYC studio… @hdubblicious
How did you get into styling?
I grew up in the eighties in the East Village and having to wear a uniform at school only pushed me further into wanting to get creative with my clothing. M.I.A. sort of adopted me when I was eighteen and I was more like her intern and that brought me into that world. People assumed I was her stylist because I was putting in requests for clothes, but she was really the boss.
What do you think makes a good stylist?
When it comes down to it, styling is really hard work. My job is carrying tonnes of luggage through airports and down stairs. Good stylists make you think more about the image than, "Oh, I like that shirt." They take you beyond, it gets you involved, it makes you want to put it up on your bedroom wall. When you're doing celebrity styling, it's about tapping into their talent and personality. You're in the room with this person, helping them put on their pants. It's intimate - use that access to see things that other people can't see and bring it out in a cool, fashionable, fun way.
What's the weirdest thing that's ever inspired you?
I'm constantly inspired by New York, particularly everyone under the age of 18 and over the age of 65. I find so much inspiration in the 99 cents store, too. I believe fashion can be anything. It can be sticking a post-it over your nipple if you want it to be.
You work a lot with musicians– who are the coolest new bands around?
My roommate Jamie Kazner has a band called James K and she’s just come out with an EP under the band name Seth. The song is called Fish Oil.
What was Miley like to style?
I’ve worked with Miley a few times; it was awesome. I really connected to her on that level of being fun, a little tomboy but super sassy. The Fire music video was about her body and just designing something that was sexy but also really fashionable. There’s not really a big reason other than why wouldn’t we put Miley in a see-through rhinestone studded raincoat?
You like vintage clothes so where’s your favourite place to go bargain-hunting?
The Salvation Army on a Wednesday when everything is a half off. I’m such a thrifter at heart, I like to go somewhere and dig out the gems. There’s this shop called Alan & Suzie in New York, which I can barely afford, but the stuff is so incredible that it’s worth it to save up to buy one piece.
Heels or flats?
Truth be told I’m a work boot girl. I’m in my Timberland’s and my trainers all the time. I was super insecure about how tall I was when I was at school so I would wear Nike trainers with my dress and that’s still my aesthetic.
What shouldn’t you wear to see your grandma?
My grandma goes crazy because I change my hair colour all the time but doesn’t mean I’m gonna wear a hat! She’s got to love me for who I am and if you can force them to use an iPad, then they’re going to have to get used to your septum piercing and nail polish.
Take us inside your wardrobe…
My closet is a warzone. It’s a little bit crazy cat lady - minus the cat. I try to have a sock drawer, pyjama drawer, pink fluffy drawer, T-shirt drawer, tights drawer and tank top drawer. I hang evening tops but it’s really all mumble jumble.
Who would you like to swap wardrobes with?
I’d have to say Carine Roitfeld, Vivienne Westwood, Paris Hilton and Lil’ Kim.