In My Shoes With Paolo Casseb
Brilliantly original, confident, and with a totally compelling energy, we couldn’t wait to sit down with stylist and cutting-edge creative Paolo Casseb for a natter in our latest In My Shoes feature.
Tell us about yourself? What makes you tick?
My name is Paolo Casseb and I'm a stylist from London. I work mainly with talent and editorial as a Stylist and Creative Director. I am also Creative Director of my own brand Azuaya, which I started with my business partner and brother from another mother Harry Shankster.
What makes me tick? For me, I just hate it when people are narrow minded and ignorant - when someone is just not willing to see somebody else's perspective. I also think change is good for the soul. I'm a Leo, a fixed Fire sign, and fixed zodiac signs do not usually like change; but I think change is good for self-growth. I’m always saying to my friends and family: “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots like trees!”
What does ‘style’ mean to you?
Without sounding like a total cliché, style is definitely about self-confidence! If I can put on something that I love the look of and I feel confident in, I'm gonna wear it. I don't care if it's menswear, womenswear, kids or plus size; I'll make it work honey!
One thing that I love about being a Londoner is that we have this ability to just finesse our swag. Look at the average London college student - they could shop in Primark or on the High Street but they still have a style and an edge which I just don't really see emulated in other cities I've been to. There is definitely a buzz and an energy about London and not to quote Rimmel’s “Get the London look” but you know. LOLZ!
What do you enjoy most about being a stylist?
I love my job! If we didn't need money to survive, pay our rent or bills I would wake up and do my job for free! I am so blessed that I'm actually able to wake up every day and live my dream. I've only actually been freelancing full time since October last year - I was facing redundancy at work and had a week to decide what I was going to do. My employer offered me another role but it was for a huge salary decrease and I thought: “absolutely not!” At some point I was gonna have to take the plunge and I went for it and things are going from strength to strength. I feel like I'm doing exactly what I should be doing with my life.
What’s the most important thing about putting an outfit together?
For me I always start with a feeling or a vibe e.g. What's the mood? What’s the occasion? BUT if I'm really honest with you, it’s probably SHOES! I spend all of my money on shoes and I think shoes can make an entire outfit! I used to work in Selfridges as a stylist in Men’s Personal Shopping and I'll be having a bad day and I will just be like: “Screw it! I'm gonna go and buy me those Balenciaga shoes!” I basically gave all my salary to Kurt Geiger in the shoe galleries.
When in doubt, I also think “If it's not black put it back.” Black is my favourite colour in the world; it's mysterious, sophisticated, elegant, edgy, cool, casual. And, like Wednesday Addams said: “I'll stop wearing black when they make a darker colour.” That said, don’t be afraid of colour either. I mean, if you look at my Instagram you’ll see I like to mix it up, I can be daring and I can be really boring!
“I think style starts with an edge - it’s confidence and it’s creativity. I love seeing people strutting down the street with their own personal style and you just recognise it's 100% authentic. That’s fierce.”
Photographer Muffadal Abbas @bymabbas
BTS Photographer Hannah Furlong @hlfphotos
Videographer Annie Kruntcheva @anniekrunchie
Hair Marlee Madeleine @hairbymarlee.m
Makeup Athena Efstathiou @goddesbeautymakeup
Stylist Assistant Mustafa Emirali @tturkkishh
Location Haya Studios @hayastudios
Stylist / Creative Director / Model @paolocasseb @paolodidthat