Back in February, ASOS launched a competition on Twitter where you could win the chance to interview one of their amazing personal stylists. I know, pretty exciting! All you had to do was pick which stylist you’d chat all things ASOS with, and tweet in your reason to Access All ASOS using #InterviewAStylist. Obviously, I chose the girl with the amazing hair, Rachel Mae Tyson.
To my fellow ASOS lovers, you’ll recognise RachelMae on your social feeds as the girl who can rock a good pair of flares. For the past 10 months, she’s been living her dream working as an ASOS stylist, spending her days virtually styling the likes of you and me (what a challenge!) and cringing whenever she hears her voice on camera.
We caught up in a little London restaurant where I quizzed Rachel-Mae on how I could pull off flares, and where she gets her love of styling from. Sitting in the corner in yes, an amazing pair of flares and an rocker tee, she was epitome of effortlessly cool. Read what she has to say here…
Thank you so much for letting me interview you! I absolutely adore your style, what inspires it?
I tend to go for one thing that really stands out to me and then I will kind of blend that in with other things, but at the moment I’m really 70s so I really into flares like paisley and suede.
I was actually going to ask you about the paisley flares later on, you’ve beat me to it!
Yeah flares are the thing right now. I’ve got like seven pairs already! But yeah, I kind of go through stages. I really like streetwear, but then I also really like stand out pieces.
Do you tend to follow trends a lot?
I think I’m definitely trend led in certain aspects, 70s is really big right now, and then ASOS keeps bringing out more things and I’m like, that’s amazing and it’s usually something on trend. But then this t-shirt that I’m wearing (it’s a vintage rock tee), I’ve had for years and I’ll always bring it out and mix it with things that are really on trend. My style is really hard to pin down. I like standing out I guess, so anything that’s a statement, I’d probably wear it.
Do you get inspired by the trends themselves or certain people like icons that you like to channel?
I always seem to channel, in some weird sort of way, old school California style. So I’d put that in every sort of look that I have so old school Cali and vintage 70s. I’m always really influenced by that and I’ve got loads of vintage t-shirts and things like that.
What about your parents? Do you ever get inspired by them? My dad was a mod and I’m constantly wearing monochrome.
I think I’ve got that from my dad! My dad was a rocker so I’ve got all of his old vintage t-shirts, all the rock and roll stuff. I’ve got a Rolling Stones t-shirt from the actual festivals when he went to see them. He used to have really long hair and a big leather jackets, so I’ve got all of those. My dad definitely influences my style.
What about life working at ASOS. Are there any brands that are coming out soon that you’re loving?
There’s a million! There’s a brand called Rat & Boa that are coming out and they’re very much like beachy, crochet crop tops. Anything 70s this summer, that’s what I’m all about. I’ve posted a picture on my Instagram. They’re just really pretty and cool, and that’s coming out soon.
I’ve seen you post that! Do you get any previews of what’s new?
Yeah we have the fashion cupboards, which are literally any girl’s dream. It’s just a cupboard full of what’s about to drop at ASOS. It’s all the new things that haven’t been seen yet, and they style them up for shoots and things. We get to go in and have a look around, see what’s going to come in and pick out what we think is good for our style. It’s just a dream, it’s amazing.
I’d spend hours in there. Talk me through how you pull an outfit together when you get up in the morning.
I normally think about it the night before. I live with my best friend and she also works at ASOS, so we’ve got loads of rails in the kitchen and I tend to cook dinner and then look at the rails and think, what shall I wear tomorrow and put some things together. Normally I’ll just do that and then have it ready and it’s good to go.
So it comes quite naturally to you then?
Yeah I think so. Unless I have something to wear that’s really specific.
It takes me hours! So, we talked about the 70s, but is there a kind of trend that makes you feel like you?
I feel comfortable in both 70s and streetwear but when I’m not at work, streetwear is so comfortable. I just wear a beanie and my big bomber jacket with everything at the moment and then normally my Vans. When I’m at work I find it really easy to put flares with an outfit because I love them, and they’ve always got lots of colours. The paisley flares that I have are clashing and I love clashing colours. I always go back to the 70s look because I think I can mix it up it so much, I just wear it with anything.
I wish I could be like that. So life at ASOS, you’ve been there 10 months now right? Obviously I know your day-to-day will be different but generally, what is life like working as an ASOS Stylist?
It’s really different. Our basic day, which never normally is what it is, is really heavily social and we have to focus on all our own social platforms. We pick out our 5 favourite items from ASOS each day, so I’ll go to New In and pick out my favourite items and then I’ll pin them and tweet them. I’ll put the links with them too so you can buy them, and you can see those on Pinterest. Then we’ll do our Outfit of the Day so people can see what we’re wearing and then we have our Stylist chat so people can come online between 1pm and 6pm. If you’ve got any style queries you can come on and chat to us, so if you need an outfit for a wedding I can put something together for you.
Do you find that quite easy to do that? I know it’s your job and you have to be good at it, but is it hard to do it online?
I enjoy it and I like doing it so when someone comes on with a query, it’s fun to have a look around and play with outfits. Before I worked at ASOS I was a personal stylist in a store, so that was fine because I could see the person and I could say that’s going to suit you, that’s not going to suit you. But at ASOS, it’s a lot different but it has actually been quite easy!
Sounds like quite a fun challenge! What else do you do?
Every two weeks we’ll do a street style post and then other than that it’s totally different. Next week, I’m going to be doing a shoot for the new trends coming out for the summer, so all the girls have had to put together a look for a trend they’d never normally go for. We’ve got to go to the studio tomorrow and talk through it to the camera. Each week, we do a different campaign and a different shoot, so it’s really cool.
What’s your favourite thing to do?
Out of everything, I like doing the shoots and the different campaigns that we do because we get to go to the studios and on a big set, and it’s pretty fun!
Does it come natural to you to be in front of the camera? I find it so hard!
Yeah you kind of have to know your angle. When I first got the job I wasn’t sure. Megan was really good because she did her blog, so I followed what she did but other than that, I’m not the most natural but I am slowly getting better. Vlogging is pretty big for us so I’m going to have to get used to it! Until I got this job I’d never presented a thing in my life. I never even had my picture taken this much before so it was this whole new thing. I literally cringe every time I watch myself on a video, but I love doing it!
What’s it like working with the other stylists? Are you like one big family?
It’s really weird, I’ve never worked anywhere where I feel like they are literally my best friends. We all get on so well. I think it’s because we’ve all been part of this really new thing together and we’ve all become really close friends. I sit in between Megan and James and I spend most of my life with them, so now they are literally my best friends.
If you had to pick a handful of items that you could only wear, what would it be?
Right now, it would be a pair of flares and flatforms, they’re my favourite things. I’m never going to get over them. Oh and my Adidas Superstars, my bomber jacket and some sort of denim item like a skirt, because denim goes with everything.
I can’t walk in flatforms! What about your personal relationship with fashion, what does it mean to you?
I can’t even remember when I wasn’t into it. When I first started uni, I started freelancing. I was 19 and it was all for free, so I’d go to all the shoots I could and work for nothing and I didn’t even care. When I realised I could actually do this, that was when I started doing actual jobs and interning. I started working for a few magazines. I’ve never not thought about fashion, it’s always been the main thing that I’ve loved doing.
Do you have any pictures that you look back at and think, oh gosh what am I wearing?
All the time!
I can remember having Spice Girls flatforms and a metallic bomber jacket.
Yea, although all those things you’ve mentioned, I would totally wear now. I went out for dinner the other day with the girls, and we were sat through eachother’s Facebooks and going through old pictures from 5 and 6 years ago and we had the worst outfits. Freshers was all about the bodycon dresses and I had really long blonde hair. I basically looked like a Barbie.
What about experimenting with you hair? I love it.
I wanted to go all over yellow, but I’ve dyed it pink and I’m really used to it now. It fades really quickly and when it does, it doesn’t feel right. I need to add the pink back in straight away. I love my roots.
Onto my question about flares. I want the paisley ones, but I have no idea how to wear them So if there’s someone who wants to try something out of their comfort zone, how do you bring that into their wardrobe?
I always think that layers help. If you’re not comfortable wearing something like a flare, maybe layer it with a coat or a jumper. That always helps me and makes me feel more comfortable. Or maybe if you have loud trousers on, keep everything else quite muted and that helps.
What tips do you have for someone who wanted to gently refresh their wardrobe?
I’d say get a statement accessory, something like a fluffy clutch and then if it’s in the winter get a really good coat as you can put that on top of anything and it will form part of your capsule wardrobe. And then like a good pair of trousers or jeans, they’re the three main things. Mix and match it. You want to dress to how you feel.
Definitely. Just one more question, are you allowed to tell us about anything exciting coming up at ASOS?
I’m sure people will be dying to see our summer shoots, they’re really cool! And all of the press days will be coming soon too, as well as the festivals! We’re also all doing collaborations too, so each of the stylists will do a mini collab with someone so that’s going to be exciting and definitely something to keep your eyes on! There’s some exciting campaigns coming up, but they’re a secret for now so you’ll have to come back to ASOS to check…