10 Questions for Stylist Tyler McDaniel
I had the pleasure of working with Tyler McDaniel back in January when Breed headed out to Los Angeles to do a Breed Academy class! Tyler then stayed on with me for the next few days as we shot and videotaped a new beauty DVD product that will be coming your way very soon! Tyler is one of the hardest working stylists in the industry, just check out his Instagram, the guy is shooting every day! No rest for the wicked, they say, and that’s a true statement for this highly talented and extremely motivated (and lovely to work with) young man. Read on as Breed asks him our 10 Questions for Stylists!
How old were you when you became obsessed with wardrobe design?
I become obsessed with fashion in general at a very early age. Americas Next Top Model is actually the show that first introduced me to the editorial side of fashion, and that’s when I knew that I had to be a part of this world. Early on, I though fashion photography was going to be my path, but here we are today as a stylist and I wouldn’t change a thing!
When did you decide “okay, this is it, I’m going to be a professional wardrobe stylist?” Who were some of your mentors or inspirations when you got started?
Honestly, I started my career in May of 2015. It’s been a really fast start. I’ve worked really hard in this past year! I didn’t really understand the power of stylists and the importance of the job until I started working in a showroom in Los Angeles. I started seeing the different stylists, the projects they worked on, and the quality of work being produced from them, and I thought, “yep, this is what I need to be doing!” Magazines have always been a huge part of inspiring me. Numéro, Vogue Italia, I-D magazine all have big influences on me. I love clean and contemporary fashion.
How do you communicate with the photographer you’re working with on a shoot to achieve his or her goals?
Half of the time a photographer will have a moodboard set in plan and they will send it to me. Usually I can get the idea by that but sometimes I like to have a phone discussion just so I can get the exact tone of it. Other times, the photographer and I will collaborate on the ideas of the shoot and create from the ground up, together.
What skills did you learn early on that you still use today?
I learned to really understand the direction of a shoot and to really feel the emotion that is being portrayed. I’ve learned what tools to have in my stylist kit. And most importantly, for me, that less is more. Simple is beautiful in my eyes.
Tell us what a dream job is for you?
A dream job for me would be to be the Editorial Director for a renowned magazine. One like I-D, V Magazine, Numéro, and I would even love to move to Paris to work for a French Magazine.
What are the three tools in your wardrobe kit that you can never, ever be without?
Three tools I can’t live without are clips to quickly alter garments, fashion tape, and a cloth to cover the model/talents face so protect clothes from makeup.
What were the early days of your career like? Did you have to test a lot in the beginning to build your book?
I definitely did a lot of free work in the beginning months of my career. I had a head start having a relationship with this particular showroom so I was able to pull whatever I needed, but even early on I told photographers that these shoots needed to be editorials and become published. Submitting quality work to magazines is easy, you just have to find the right ones. I built my editorial book quickly by doing 3 to 4 shoots a week (which I still do) but really honing in my style and getting my view across was important to me early on. Having built my book so fast was good so that I could start sending it to bigger clients and celebrities to get paid jobs.
Looking back, is there anything you would do differently in your journey as a stylist? Any decisions you made when you were younger you would not make today, knowing what you have learned so far?
I think about how most people start as assistants and how much I would have learned on the job under someone else if I would have assisted. But, I’m happy with the choices and progress I’ve made. I don’t think I regret any choices I’ve made, but one thing I learned early on is never to burn any bridges. This industry is really small once you get to a certain level.
What advice for young wardrobe stylists who are just starting out and want to be where you are, at the top of the industry?
My advice to any aspiring stylist is to really find your style by shooting A LOT! Do tests! Do editorials! If you want to assist, do it. It really helps you learn a lot and not have all the pressure on you for anything going wrong. But if you don’t assist, make sure that this is the career for you. It’s a lot of work! People don’t see the blood, sweat and tears that go in to projects and don’t know the amount of hours that go in to one project. Stylists get burnt out easily if they aren’t really passionate about it.
What is your favorite quote?
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life- to be happy- it’s all that matters”
– Audrey Hepburn