Emily Current and Meritt Elliott work as celebrity stylists; their clients include Emma Roberts and Mandy Moore.
You may have seen their handbag collection for Kate Spade, dubbed Westward by Emily and Meritt for Kate Spade. It's phenomenal! I'm obsessed.
They're also famous for their denim brainchild, CURRENT/ELLIOTT.
These successful stylists/designers talk about their handbag line for Kate Spade, styling secrets, favorite vintage shopping spots, and more.
YS: How long have you been working as stylists? Have you always worked together as a team? Do you work on any styling projects separately?
Emily & Meritt: We have been working together as a team for 12 years. We do everything together, but when double or triple booked we have to separate on jobs or be with different clients. Thank God for iPhones and our fashion telepathy.
YS: Have you always had a love of fashion? Or, is fashion something you became more passionate about at a certain point in your life, like during high school or college?
Emily & Meritt: We both have learned that our upbringing was similar – we weren’t spoiled with big back to school wardrobes, so we had to get inventive with what we had. Both from Northern California, we took early trips into Berkeley and San Francisco to explore cool, affordable vintage stores and street vendor jewelry. We quickly learned this gave us a personal style that felt unique and special- and the journey to get it was the best part. When we met in college we quickly bonded over some of our treasured finds and tailored denim pieces. We passed notes about our fashion dreams during Sociology class…(not really, but it sounds poetic, right?)
YS: What are the advantages to working together? How do you facilitate your creative process working together as part of the styling team, known as Emily and Meritt?
Emily & Meritt: Its simple: 2 people get twice as much done. We both have strengths and weaknesses. We allocate accordingly. But most importantly, fashion should be fun. Work, in this field, should be fun. Doing this all with your best friend makes it that way.
YS: What are some of your favorite pairs of CURRENT/ELLIOTT jeans right now? What jean styles would you recommend as a trendy, cool option this fall?
Emily & Meritt: We love skinnies in fall: a great skinny slouch is for days you are feeling uber-cool. Color skinnies are when you are feeling bold. Black skinnies are for days you need to feel tough. We also love a good fitting bellbottom for daytime and a drainpipe jean to show of some great new booties.
Photo Credit: Emily and Meritt with client Emma Roberts on the front row at NYFW - Tibi S/S '12, via zimbio
Emily & Meritt: It’s our job, and joy as stylists to elevate ones personal style. We have a really open dialogue about what they feel best in, or what their personal or career goals are- when creating a look. We have a strong point of view on how this should all come together. But when both the client and we are happy- it’s a success!
YS: You both share a love of vintage clothing. Where are some of your favorite vintage stores in LA? New York? Any other vintage stores outside of New York and LA that you love?
Emily & Meritt's Favorite Vintage Shopping Spots:
LA: The Way We Wore, Decades, Wasteland, American Rag, Mister Freedom
NY: What Goes Around Comes Around, Narnia, Edith Machinist
YS: If you were forced to pick your favorite three pieces of clothing or accessories in your closet at the moment, what would they be?
Emily: My Isabel Marant Cleane leopard booties; CURRENT/ELLIOTT leather leggings; and my vintage Jean Paul Gautier Swingy trench.
Meritt: Emily and Meritt for Kate Spade WESTWARD sequined duffle bag; my vintage navy fedora; and my python Miu Miu heels.
YS: What would you say is the best thing about the other half of your styling team?
From Emily: Meritt has an infectious kindness and thoughtful spirit that really inspires me to be a better and broader person everyday. Her talent is undeniable, reliable and unapologetic- which creates conviction, a trait I greatly admire. Her devotion to family and balance is something I look up to as well.
From Meritt: Emily is simply the most stylish person I have ever met. Her instinct is impeccable. She has contagious passion in all that she does. Plus, she’s pretty damn nice and impossibly witty.
YS: What is the best part of your job? What is the most difficult part of your job?
Emily & Meritt: The best part is being surround by beautiful things and inspiring, creative people. The worst part is long travel days away from home, inevitable fashion emergencies, and big egos.
YS: You are among the most successful stylists in the country. What’s your secret to success in fashion?
Emily & Meritt: In the beginning of our career we said yes to EVERYTHING. There was no job too big or small- paid or not. We dove in and learned as we went. Now, it’s just as important to what we say NO to. Time is our greatest commodity, so we have to make sure we dedicate our time to what fulfills us both professionally and personally. We also feel strongly about remaining loyal and kind. We have found those two attributes are precious in the world of fashion.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Emily and Meritt; Westward Runaway Duffle - shop it here
YS: I am totally in love with your line of handbags for Kate Spade. What was the inspiration for the collection? Specifically, how did you come up with the idea for the sparkling Westward Runaway Duffle (pictured above)?
Emily & Meritt: Thank you! We love it too! The line was a merging of our two worlds: Emily and Meritt and Kate Spade New York. It was based around the idea of the Kate Spade Girl of traveling Westward. It’s the ultimate road trip rooted in a mutual love of everything American, whimsical and charming. The sequined duffle (our fave too!) is the magical manifestation of this! We loved that we were able to use a traditionally evening fabric on such a classic and masculine travel bag!
YS: Your denim label was credited with creating the boyfriend jean trend a few years back. What is the best way to style boyfriend jeans this fall to achieve a chic, West coast cool look?
Emily & Meritt: We love it every which way. If you have long enough legs, we like it unrolled as well! We love it with oxfords and a blazer, with sky-high heels and blouse, or with a tee and sandals. This trifecta is the perfect uniform for a West Coast gal.
YS: What’s the best way to wear a ruffled blouse? How can I make it look ultra-feminine with a quirky spin?
Emily & Meritt: We love ruffly blouses with something sleek or slightly masculine.. a pin thin leather pencil skirt or skinny menswear trousers help achieve an ironic coolness.
YS: How can I update my wardrobe for fall without breaking my budget? What are some key pieces that I can add to my closet to freshen up my look?
Emily & Meritt: Add bright color or animal print accessories- specifically shoes and handbags! This is an easy way to make your basics feel new again! Also consider an oversized clutch instead of your trusty handbag this season- it feels really new!
YS: What’s at the top of your fall shopping list right now?
Emily & Meritt's shopping list:
1960s inspired Beatle boots that we can work all day in but still be stylish.
Every version of a white button down skirt - from oversized to shrunken and from silk to menswear cotton
Big necklaces! We are seeing a resurgence of statement necklaces and earrings on the runways and are loving
Big cashmere sweaters and ponchos to wear with skinny jeans and leather leggings.