Get to Know Arnold Milfort | A Celebrity Stylist and Creative Director
"I would have to say my biggest challenge is having people know, who Arnold is as a person. People know the work, they love the work, but they don't know who I am." - Arnold Milfort
You've been quite a lot in the fashion industry. What was the greatest experience in your career?
Arnold: My greatest experience would have to be the privilege of traveling to different countries around the world and meeting so many different people, learning different cultures.
Nowadays, fashion schools provide a huge number of styling courses. Do you have a relevant degree in fashion, and do you consider it's necessary to have one, in order to succeed professionally?
Arnold: I have a degree in Fashion Marketing, but personally I don't think I was in need of it. As a fashion stylist it's one of those careers that you get on the job training, you can't learn to have style. You either have style or you don't. If you want to be a buyer or illustrator, yes definitely go to school. I do think school is important but as a fashion stylist i don't think a course can teach you anything you can't learn on set.
What moment in the fashion history do you appreciate the most?
Arnold: Everyone who knows me is aware I LOVE 90ies fashion. I think it was the beginning of an era where designers started to push the envelope more. Designers were fearless in the 90ies, we saw more midriffs, low plunging necklines, lots or sheer fabrics, nothing was off limits in the 90ies lol.
What is your favorite shoot that you are extremely proud of?
Arnold: My Favorite shoot would have to be a futuristic story I styled for Numero Magazine In Greece. We were on a remote location on a Marble Mine. I had over 100 looks shipped from Paris, Berlin, UK, NYC, The Netherlands, Milan and several other countries around the world. I think we did 30 looks. It was a REALLY big story with 24 pages. To be on location in a different country and execute 30 looks flawlessly is not easy.
Numero Russia 054 SS19 Cover | PH: George Livieratos
Clothes, bags, masks, jewelry, and shoes. there was so much chaos but there was so much beauty within that chaos. I love that shoot.
Who is your style icon?
Arnold: My Style Icon is GIANNI VERSACE. He was an absolute GENIUS whose legacy still lives on decades later.
Donatella and Gianni Versace | Stephanie Maze/Getty Images
You have worked with a bunch of celebrity-models like Coco Rocha, Candice Swanepoel, Adriana Lima etc. Is working with them somehow different from a regular photoshoot?
Arnold: I wouldn't necessarily say it's different, we still have a job to do regardless of who the model is, the formula doesn't change. Initially you are a bit star struck and 5 mins later you get over it and get to work. There might be a few requests from their management but it's expected.
Candice Swanepoel for Número Russia 056 | PH: George Livieratos, Styling: Arnold Milfort
What was your first work experience in the fashion industry?
Arnold: My first experience in fashion was working for a production company doing backstage work during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, working with Donna Karan, Diesel, and Michael Kors.
Do you remember your first shoot?
Arnold: No one believes me but my first shoot was in 2010 styling the winner of America's Next Top Model cycle 14 for the cover of Fantastics Magazine. It was an interesting shoot. I didn't know anything about loaning from designers so I bought clothes from Neiman Marcus and other department stores and returned them after. It turned out really cool.
Krista White for Fantastics Magazine | PH: Manny Roman
A lot of young professionals face unpredictable situations during first photoshoots. What was your funniest story and how did you manage it?
Arnold: I believe it was my second shoot and the model was running late because she had castings. There was a heat wave in NY city that summer, it was brutally hot. And the model came in drenched on sweat. And she came over for the fitting. But I had bought the clothes and had to return them, so there was no way I was going to let her put on the clothes. Lol, it was really funny actually. But there was another model on set and she said: "You can't wear his beautiful clothes all sweaty! You have to go shower!" So she saved me for not having to make that announcement. LOL
What’s been the biggest challenge of your fashion career so far?
Arnold: I would have to say my biggest challenge is having people know, who Arnold is as a person. People know the work, they love the work, but they don't know who I am. Its something I'm working on constantly, trying to be more visible.
How would you describe your style direction, and which inspirations drive your styling choices?
Arnold: I'm very minimal, I'm very less is more. I don't believe you have to over accessorize to make a statement, sometimes the biggest statement is nothing at all. Whenever I style an editorial I try to tell a story in my head. Who is she? Where is she going? I create a character and bring her to life.
Sophie Rask for L'Officiel Lithuania March 2019 | PH: George Livieratos, Stylist: Arnold Milfort
What is the best advice you may give to those who want to succeed as a stylist?
Arnold: NEVER GIVE UP! There will be times where you want to give it all up. Take some time off. Meditate, travel, do what ever you need to recharge and get inspired, try to remember why you initially wanted to be a fashion stylist. But you can NEVER give up if you truly want it. It's not an easy job, it's not always fun, but in the end it's worth it.
Do you think that’s a natural step for stylists when they get to a certain level to move overseas and to have a foot in both the local and global camps?
Arnold: In anything you do, I think you have to evolve. As a stylist you can't stay in one place forever, our career takes us to all parts of the globe, and I think its natural that eventually we connect with different designers, companies and experiences that lead us to better opportunities.
How do you think the global pandemic will influence the work of stylists after the quarantine is over?
Arnold: I think it will affect not just styling but the fashion world as a whole drastically. We can't know for sure until things open up and we assess the situation, but I think our old ways of doing business and working will be a thing of the past.
Do you consider that more fashion magazines may become quarterly in the nearest future?
Arnold: Absolutely. Printed Fashion magazines are becoming obsolete. The new generation are all about tech, no one reads anymore, they want to be visually stimulated and move on. You can see an entire fashion spread online now, so why spend $6 on a Magazine. Its really sad actually, there's nothing like flipping through a fashion magazine and being inspired by the visuals and other content. It's different then seeing them on Instagram.
Coco Rocha for Elle Croatia October 2019 | PH: Eniko Szucs, Fashion Editor/Stylist: Arnold Milfort
Fashion is always a reflection of society. Do you think the nowadays mood will be somehow reflected in designers’ creations?
Arnold: The pandemic is already reflecting the current situation in fashion. Designers have quickly began making designer masks for sale, LVMH did a line of hand sanitizers for the first responders. But I think we will see more uniform inspired looks depicting the military, as well as masks and protective wear.