(About a 4-minute read)
When I worked for Macy’s, our photoshoots were MASSIVE productions of wardrobe stylists, hair, makeup, art directors, creative directors, prop stylists, photographers, photo assistants, producers…the list goes on. We even had tailors on set just in case we needed them! It would be a 14 hour day, often more! With just so many cooks in the kitchen, we would get maybe 10 photos approved for the campaigns after everyone weighed in. Because of that, I like to keep my sets SMALL. Me. Photographer. Model. (And of course Donna always comes to help out.) I am sure as Classic Six grows, I won’t be fortunate enough to keep things so intimate, but I truly believe LESS IS MORE and that will never change.
For a brand that produces clothing for (hopefully one day) every woman, why should we have hours spent in hair and makeup if our girl surely doesn’t spend hours in hair and makeup to get ready every day?
My vision is to keep things as natural as possible. Granted we always have the most stunning models, but I always ask her to do her own makeup as she would normally do it in her everyday life, and bring a red lipstick, just as she might throw in her bag for a night out. If she needs a touchup, it is usually limited to a sweep of powder or a dab of cream blush. The same goes for the hair. I love our girls to wear their hair how they feel most like themselves. There is not one photo since the inception of Classic Six where I thought the model could look more beautiful or compelling had we used more to create the look.
Now for the styling. This is all planned out weeks in advance so the shoot day runs as smoothly and organized as possible. I map out the full day with every look, down to the minute, and if all goes well, there is zero styling happening on set. The hard work of logistics are wrapped in a bow by our call time (sometimes working up to the second to get it all perfect). After call time, I say a little prayer that all the planning will produce the most gorgeous images. I put my Art Director hat on, turn on some music, and let the magic of our little dream team unfold.
These weeks leading up to the shoot are definitely the most stressful and chaotic, but also when I am in my most creative flow state. For every lookbook, I try to create a minimum of 20-30 looks. Once I've ordered the accessories and shoes that I am loving at the moment, I spend a few full days putting together looks and trying everything on myself to see if what I am envisioning works. I take photos of each and use those to start piecing together my shot list. It is like putting together a puzzle; moving things around, adding, removing; but this master shot list is ultimately the only reason I can be zen on shoot days.
I keep any clothing aside from Classic Six limited to t-shirts and jeans because I want you to see our finished styling and think, “Wow, I can do that too.” Every girl has their favorite t-shirt and jeans, right? When it comes to accessories, the sky is the limit. Finding accessory brands to pair with Classic Six for each shoot is exceptionally fun. We are shooting these campaigns every season to feature our newest pieces, however, I want to also show you how our Original Six foundational pieces (that you may already own) can be relevant for each new season with any trendy shoe or of-the-moment accessory. Accessories are super personal and not always timeless, so I try to run the spectrum as far as style goes.
How is our Gen Z girl wearing the classics in 2022? Maybe with a lug loafer, a crop tank and a pair of cat-eye sunnies. How is our Gen X girl wearing the classics? Maybe with a knee-high python boot and an Hermès scarf. I want to appeal to a wide array of women and their own personal style.
Side note: This year I videoed the styling process so you can see each look on a real person and not just a model. Make sure to follow along on our Instagram because we will be sharing these videos and links to all the accessories there.
I always say Classic Six transcends style type. Our downtown girl can look great in the Donna with distressed denim, a beanie and combat boots, and our uptown girl will look equally chic in the Donna buttoned to the neck with stilettos and pearls. I am obviously generalizing these locations, but I love envisioning these two contrasting style types. It’s all about taking Classic Six and infusing your own personal style. This is my main strategy for these photoshoots. How can we as a brand not just sell you beautifully-made classic clothing, but also inspire you with endless ways to wear? When all is said and done, if by doing this we can also help "overcome the overwhelm" you may feel when getting dressed, Classic Six is on the road to becoming exactly what I’ve dreamed for you!