Behind every fashion magazine comes the brilliance of one who has the ability to compose such striking and alluring editorials focusing on exquisite accessories, from a Chanel purse to even a pair of shoes by Guess, and the finest jewelries crafted by the most prominent names in fashion, such as BVLGARI and Cartier. For Marie Claire (US) Magazine, the idiosyncratic talent behind its fashion accessories editorials is Kyle Anderson. His career and lifestyle may seem rather lavish, however, to get to where he is now was not so easy. After being told 'no' many times, he persevered. Here, Kyle Anderson shares everything from his love for Nina Garcia (whom he calls his mentor) to how he landed the role as Accessories Director of Marie Claire.
Rose Camille: You have such an amazing and eclectic style. When did you discover your love for fashion?
Kyle Anderson: Well, I'm gay, so maybe that has something to do with it. I'm just kidding. But honestly, I was interested in fashion from even before elementary school. My best friend and next door neighbor's mom used to take up shopping as little kids and was obsessed with clothes. So, I think that had a lot of influence on me. We spent a lot of time looking at fashion magazines and my interest just grew from there. By even the time of middle school I was obsessed with what I was wearing and spending any money, time, and energy I had on getting clothes.
RC: Marie Claire is one of the most prominent magazines. How has it been to be the Accessories Director for Marie Claire? Is there any pressure?
KA: Yeah, for me I want Marie Claire to have the best possible items I can get for them in terms of accessories. Whether it be a million dollar Bulgari necklace or a $95 Guess shoes, I love both of them equally and I want to make sure they are the coolest items available. I can never settle for something boring or sad. Marie Claire is changing a lot just in the few months I've been I've seen a huge change in our pages and relationships with brands and designers. There is a lot of pressure but most of the pressure comes form myself because I am never satisfied; I always want better items and better pages and better ideas. I'm always fighting for the next thing.
RC: This is the one question a lot of Marie Claire readers are dying to know, how did you get your position as the Accessories Director for Marie Claire?
KA: I started working at ELLE seven years ago as an intern and then as the accessories asssitant. I was hired by Nina Garcia, who was then the fashion director at ELLE. She moved to Marie Claire over four years ago and we have always wanted to work together but the time was never right. I was still learning a lot at ELLE. When the right time came along where I could be in a position to really make an impact on the magazine, I joined her at Marie Claire. I owe my entire career to her and she has been my mentor for many years, even seven years later I still love to work for her. I respect her a lot and I learn from her every single day.
RC: What would be your number one advice for someone who is pursuing a career in fashion?
KA: I think the biggest advice I can give is to never give up. When I moves to New York almost ten years ago I had to intern for almost three years. No one would give me a chance to be a fashion assistant until I met Nina (Garcia) at ELLE. It was then that I believed in myself. A hundred people told me 'no' but one person told me 'yes'. You can't give up even though you feel like something might not happen. Anything is possible.
RC: You're always dressed in the finest and highly coveted designers. Who would you say is your favorite designer?
KA: My favorite designer is Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy. I'm obsessed with Givenchy. It's cool, sexy, and edgy, but still wearable. I don't look at the runway and think it's impossible to live my life wearing those clothes. I feel like every piece is eary to wear even though it's 'high fashion'. I do love Balmain but for me I love Balmain's women more than men. The quality of the Ready-to-Wear is like couture with handstitching, beads, crystals, and pearls. Like Givenchy, Balmain has a real mix of high and low. It's very inspired by the street but mixed with extremely high level of materials and design. My favorite pieces is a leather biker jacket covered in pearls and needlepoint. It's 45,000 euros.
RC: I'm sure there's never a dull moment in your career. What has been the most memorable moment?
KA: So far, going to Milan and Paris with Nina Garcia. It was my dream since I met her and finally this year I could go together with her to shows. We had a lot of fun watching the shows, having dinners with designers, shopping!!
RC: How long does it take for you to pick out the quintessential accessories for a Marie Claire issue?
KA: The job is never over. I'm looking every minute at fashion shows, appointments with designers, online shopping websites, blogs, and anywhere to find cool new things.
RC: Do you have a specific favorite issue?
KA: Yes. October was our accessories guide. I did eight pages of my favorite accessories.
RC: Looking back, say fifteen years ago, did you picture yourself working for Marie Claire?
KA: Fifteen years ago, no, but actually eight years ago, I was an intern long before any of the people who work for Marie Claire now. It was completely different staff. I loved my internship here. I think the magazine has really changed a lot for the better. Our March and May Issues for 2012 were the biggest two issues of those months ever published by Marie Claire. So, we are doing really well.
RC: Describe your style.
KA: I like black, especially black leather. I'm also inspired by a sort of biker style. Black leather pants or black leather vest or jacket. Usually, I'm wearing black boots, black pants, and black jackets. For any metal, I love silver: silver jewelry, silver watch.