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IWC Schaffhausen

THE JOURNAL

How to style the stars

MEET ONE OF THE MOST POWEFUL CELEBRITY STYLISTS IN HOLLYWOOD AND IWC FRIEND OF THE BRAND, ILARIA URBINATI

 

They are the unseen heroes behind any Hollywood star’s red-carpet appearance. For every event, celebrity stylists around the globe work tirelessly to create the trademark look for their client. A look that will become the talk of the office the next day. 

 

Ilaria Urbinati is one of these influential stylists. Born in Rome, raised in Paris and based in Los Angeles, she was recently named one of the “Most Influential Stylists of the Decade”. Ilaria dresses leading men whose looks have become iconic: her exclusively male client list includes stars like Dwayne Johnson, Rami Malek and Tom Hiddleston, as well as major athletes and successful executives.

 

With Awards Season just around the corner, THE JOURNAL spoke with the unstoppable powerhouse and mother of three.

Ilaria Urbinati wearing the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Ref. IW388101 |(0.5733,0.3672,0.7479,0.4867)
iwc.everything.shoppable.seewatch
PILOT’S WATCH CHRONOGRAPH 41
— Ilaria Urbinati wearing the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Ref. IW388101

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

What is the biggest misconception people have about stylists?

That it’s a very glamorous job, it’s just shopping and hanging with celebs and going to fashion shows. It’s actually about 90% schlepping and 10% glamorous. Not that anyone’s complaining here, I’m so fortunate to have this job and to work with incredible artists - both on the designer side and my clients. But I find when I interview young girls to be on our team, they mostly think it’s going to be like a reality show about shopping and fashion week—and really, it’s nothing like that. 

 

Which qualities set you apart from other stylists?

I think focusing on menswear and styling male clients was a big game changer for me. I feel that a lot of people just don’t understand menswear or have the eye for it. My forte has always been strong color choices and unexpected combinations, which I feel have helped my male clients stand apart - especially at a time when men were mostly just showing up in black or grey suits to everything. But I also have a strong understanding for silhouettes, structure, and proportion.  

 

Why do you prefer to style men over women?

I happen to be passionate about menswear in a way that I just never really was about womenswear. My brain works really well within the parameters of menswear: the precision of tailoring, the color plays, the game of trying to toe that line of their comfort zone versus pushing them just out of their comfort zone so that they’re having fun and keeping things fresh and unique to them, but still in a way where they feel like their best version of themselves.

I hate doing a look that’s become expected of that person. I like to keep it new and fresh

THE DOS AND DON’TS OF MENSWEAR

The most common mistake men make when it comes to styling?

There’s kind of a lot. Not dressing their age - trying to chase this youthful look that no longer looks cool or elegant on them. Trying too hard instead of just being comfortable in their own skin. Or trying to be too safe - it’s clothes. Clothes are meant to be fun. Or getting the tailoring wrong. Tailoring goes above a lot of people’s heads, although these days I think a lot of men are way more hip to it.

 

What role does “time” play in your job?

Someone once told me, no matter how rich you are, the only thing you cannot buy back is time. Which is just so true. I feel it so much as a working mom as well. Time is the most precious thing we have. What we do with our time, the quality of the way we spend our time, the ability to be efficient but also present. Time is the rarest commodity which I never take for granted. 

 

The top stylist wearing the IWC Portofino Automatic 34 Ref. IW357411 |(0.7717,0.42,1,0.5967)
iwc.everything.shoppable.seewatch
PORTOFINO AUTOMATIC 34
— The top stylist wearing the IWC Portofino Automatic 34 Ref. IW357411

THE JOYS – AND FEARS – OF AWARD SEASON

What does a regular day during award season look like for you?

My team and I start by going over which clients are going to which events and figuring out those schedules. Then we battle plan from there. For each guy for each event, I make a very short list of which brands I would want them to wear and who can turn around a reliable custom look. I hate doing a look that’s become expected of that person. I like to keep it new and fresh.

 

It’s a lot of moving parts. We need to make sure we have shoes, bow ties, pocket squares, cufflinks, shirt studs, lapel pins, socks even… other accessories and of course watches. And in the middle of all that we have about a zillion clients doing a zillion non-awards season related jobs I need to style. Shockingly, the rest of the world doesn’t cease to exist during awards season :) 

Ilaria Urbinati in her L.A. office
— Ilaria Urbinati in her L.A. office

THE HARDEST WORKING PERSON IN THE ROOM

In your opinion, who are the best styled stars at the moment? Why?

Of people I don’t dress – menswise, I always love the way Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland look, as well as Robert Pattinson. Women wise - is anyone doing it better than Zendaya and Zoe Kravitz? Probably not. They and their stylists are absolutely killing it and it’s always a treat to see what they do.

 

What is your favorite outfit to wear?

This is gonna sound funny, but I was pregnant a lot and couldn’t wear jeans for any of it, only these flowy dresses. So now just wearing a pair of well fitted jeans with a gorgeous sweater and my favorite pair of Chanel or Valentino boot - that’s my favorite. Simple but chic and comfortable.

What’s the most valuable lesson you have ever learned?

You have to remain the hardest working person in the room and you have to keep evolving so you stay creatively excited and never fall asleep at the wheel. 

 

Check out Ilaria’s lifestyle online magazine LEO Edit here. 

 

All images courtesy of Ilaria Urbinati


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