5 min
Nayaab Tania shot by Sam Trav©

With it being International Women’s Day, we hit up the most in demand stylist in London, Nayaab Tania. Nayaab is the woman behind some of the best dressed men on the UK music and sports scene. She has styled the likes of AJ Tracey, Krept & Konan as well as Dele Alli and Trent Alexander Arnold. Stylists are a fundamental yet often under-represented part of the fashion and creative industries. They dress our favourite public figures and curate fits that inspire us. We chatted to Nayaab about her work, the art of styling as well as her plans for 2021. 

Left: D Block Europe shot by Sabbadams©, Right: Nafe Smallz shot by DN Vision©

How did you break into the music industry?
To be honest it just kind of happened. But I would say my actual breakthrough was when I started working with Fredo. From then it just took off. I worked with Yxng Bane just after, and after that, I was in so deep without even realising. The music industry is so small, most work I get is from word of mouth. 

Left: Nafe Smallz shot by Ash Cozmo©, Right: Krept shot by Luce Roglo©

What is your styling process when it comes to your artist clients?
It depends what the project is. For example, if I’m working on a video, management or the marketing manager from the label will send over a video treatment which is basically a creative for the whole music video broken down scene by scene. I would then go off and make a mood board or send across look ideas, once signed off, reach out to brands to pull / purchase, do a fitting prior to the shoot day or just turn up on the day with all the looks. Most of the time my clients trust me to do my thing so we don’t even need a fitting beforehand. But in general, if I see something I like for a client, I usually just forward it to them and vice versa. I speak to most of my clients every day so we’re always bouncing ideas back and forth. 

Left: Nafe Smallz shot by Ash Cozmo©, Right: Wilfred Zaha shot by Charlie Gray©

What stylist do you look up to?
Mellany Sanchez – she’s Drake’s creative director, Drake always looks so effortless and clean. One thing I love about his style is that he’s always in designer pieces that no one would even realise are designer unless you know your brands. He’s been wearing ALYX a lot recently, which is one of my favourite brands at the moment. 

Left: Mo Stack shot by Jack Bridgland©, Right: Digga D shot by Elliot Hensford©

You’ve worked with a lot of big UK artists, are there any particular looks that have stayed with you?
This is a hard one because I’ve worked on so many projects but it would have to be Nafe’s look [Nafe Smallz] for the ‘Dancing on Ice’ video FT Yxng Bane and M Huncho. I had 8 other options of looks on the day and in my head, I knew this one would be the one. He’s wearing an ALYX jacket, an ALYX tee, 99Percentis cargo pants and a pair of Jordan 6 retros by Travis Scott.

What are your plans and projects for 2021?
I’m currently working on launching an online styling course, I can’t give too much away but I’m really excited for this year.

Do you take any different approaches when working with artists or sports players?
Yeah, artists have their own branding and players just want to look good. But a lot of the time with football players, it’s commercial work so I have to stick to a brief. 

Left: D Block Europe shot by Zek Snaps©, Right: Fredo©

How would you describe your own style?
Comfortable for sure, I would say my style is a mix between high end fashion mixed with streetwear. I live in tracksuits, I’m always running around so I need to be able to move around freely. 

Your focus so far has been working with UK artists, do you have any plans to work with US artists in the future?
Definitely. One of my goals is to work in the US, I’ve already worked with Lil Tjay, Smokepurpp and a few others. Fashion is a whole different ball game there, I feel like artists there aren’t scared to experiment with looks whereas UK artists are. 

Is there anyone you would love to work with and style?
There’s a few, but I would love to work with Travis Scott and Drake. 

Nayaab Tania shot by Sam Trav©
Nayaab Tania shot by Sam Trav©

See more of Nayaab’s work here.

Interview: Everest Writes
Photographer of Nayaab Tania’s images: Sam Trav
Makeup: Flo Riff
Nayaab wears: Amiri, Celine, Off White, Chloe, Nike @ Kickgame UK

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