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Stylist

Ana Macdonald

On the beginning…

I actually ‘fell’ into fashion! I started out as a graphic designer and the elements of colour, shape and design interested me. More than 20 years ago I simply began by assisting the fashion editor for Fashion Quarterly. Everyone in the industry knew each other and aligning yourself with a great photographer meant there was an opportunity to collaborate and be creative. Opportunities arose.

On her love of the job…

Working with creative, talented people in Aotearoa and from all over the world is inspiring. The research, preparation and teamwork involved in creating an image and the odd overseas trip to shoot with friends is a real bonus!

On genres of work…

As a freelancer, I’ve had a wide variety of clients: Overseas magazines, corporate companies, retail, charity work, children, celebrities. In this business you must diversify.

On advice for those starting out…

Meet and network with as many people in the industry as possible. If you want to work as a stylist or fashion editor, offer to work for free as an intern at an agency or magazine. Be prepared to do anything. Try and be kind, caring and hard-working in what can be a very fickle industry.

On sustainability…

I’m very concerned about our constant consuming and the effect on our environment. I question my role in this industry and how to go about sustainable practices within my work while considering the products I help promote. My conscience struggles with this.

On inspiration…

Overall I often look to nature for inspiration- our beautiful whenua, autumn colours, flora and fauna. We have a precious country and location shoots really make you appreciate it all. I find our New Zealand designers’ ranges often inspiring. Galleries and artists are an endless source of inspiration for me.

On her favourite films with great style…

In The Mood For Lovefor Maggie Cheung in exquisite cheongsam.

Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. Tom Ford’s A Single Man. Fellini’sLa Dolce Vita.I could go on.

On community…

Unity, inclusion and fairness. Regarding Te Reo Māori and tikanga as a national treasure. 

On her love for New Zealand…

Our beautiful wide open spaces-the bush, coastlines and moana – awe inspiring! My Māori identity and my spiritual home near Whitianga, are at my core.

Ko Ngāti Hei tōku iwi

Ko Te Arawa tōku waka

Ko Manukarere tōku hapū

Ko Toketea tōku maunga

Ko Ko Te Ra Matiti tōku Mara

On a life lesson…

Stop, take a few deep breaths and be in the moment. You cannot change what happened in the past and can never know the future. All there is is now.

On being grateful…

We are all so incredibly lucky with the basic of things. I’m grateful for my family and loved ones, our beautiful country and environment, my health and home. What is there not to be grateful for?

On gratitude in 3 words… 

Aroha, Manaakitanga, Kaitiaki.

On standing together… 

There is too great a divide between the ‘haves and have nots’ in this country. We all need to lend a hand where we can and support those that are not as fortunate or are in need. 

On why to support Great Full…

To me, access to healthcare and education are paramount for our future.