meet the assistants, the behind-the-scenes wheels who keep the fashion world moving

​Always ready to lend a pair of hands or give a second opinion, we meet the eyes and ears of some of the industry’s most prolific talents. Introducing the assistants of today and the future stars of tomorrow.

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Mar 3 2016, 1:10pm

Lily More, 26, assistant to David Sims 

How did you start assisting? I started in 2013 after spotting the role on my university job board. Describe the role... I'm a creative researcher for David Sims; I help facilitate his ideas and concepts for shoots. What are the most important rules for an assistant? Don't leave work until your boss has left, pro-activeness, watch and learn. What are the biggest challenges? Late nights. What is the best advice your boss has given you? "Question everything." What advice would you like to pass on? Don't be afraid to start at the bottom. 

Ai Kamoshita, 31, assistant to Panos Yiapanis 

How did you start assisting? Five years ago, I sent my CV to Intrepid. Describe the role... My main focus is to help Panos so that he can concentrate solely on the creative side of the job. What are the most important rules for an assistant? Make things happen under any circumstance, be organized, perform well under pressure and without sleep. What is the best advice your boss has given you? "Be patient, always try to achieve perfection, and have a great knowledge of fashion archives."

Tex Bishop, 22, assistant to Jamie Hawkesworth

How did you start assisting? I  was working for a black and white printer who introduced me to a couple of photographers, and I got my start with them. I met Jamie in 2015. Describe the role... I look after the cameras, the film, the lighting, the archive and a lot of other things in between. It's about making the photographer's life easier and making the shoots as smooth as possible. What are the most important rules for an assistant to remember? Be early, be prepared, and be energetic. What are the biggest challenges? There is a lot of responsibility, pressure and work to handle all at once -- but these are good things to be dealing with. What is the best advice your boss has given you? "Just take pictures... and see where it takes you." What advice would you like pass on? Wake up early, talk to people, and take pictures.

Gerry O'Kane, 24, assistant to Joe McKenna

How did you start assisting? I was dancing on a table top in New York when a short, dark,and handsome man walked in and changed my life. Describe the role...Running in heels. What are the most important rules of an assistant to remember? There is always more than one sample set worldwide, speak when spoken to, have the ability to mind read. What are the biggest challenges? Running across Antelope Canyon in flares balancing four pairs of Yeezy Boosts! What is the greatest advice your boss has given you? "Never compromise your personality for your work."

Lex Kembery, 31, assistant to Alasdair McLellan

How did you start assisting? Around 5 years ago, Lev Tanju introduced me to Alasdair. Thank you Lev. Describe the role...A large dose of anxiety! What are the most important rules for an assistant? Make a good tea, be polite, and never assume. What are the biggest challenges? It's one big challenge. 

Siobhan Furlong, 28, assistant to Lucia Pica

How did you start assisting? We sang karaoke together at a friend's party. Describe the role... I'm there for Lucia in whatever capacity she needs me. What are the biggest challenges? Trying to find a discontinued blusher at midnight in Milan for a show the next morning. What is the greatest advice your boss has given you? "Be instinctive."

Felix Bischof, 27, assistant to Sarah Mower MBE

What are the most important rules for an assistant? I have yet to learn those! What is the best advice your boss has given you? "A little politeness goes a long way!" What advice would you like to pass on? I chose to study Fashion History and Theory at CSM instead of law in Germany -- best decision ever! 

Eliza Conlon, 27, assistant to Jane How

How did you start assisting? I was introduced to Jane through one of her old first assistants. Describe the role... Incredibly varied. It ranges from prep, researching, requesting samples to being on set, working on editorials, shows, and advertising campaigns. What are the most important rules for an assistant? Be tenacioius, be prepared, keep an open mind.

David Harborow, 33, assistant to Anthony Turner

What are the biggest challenges? Having an airline lose Anthony's kit in the middle of Texas! I had to run around every mall possible trying to get a kit an hour before they all closed. What is the best advice your boss has given you? "If the execution is done to perfection, then it's just a matter of opinion."

Josie Hall, 23, assistant to Venetia Scott 

What are the most important rules for an assistant? Be totally reliable and punctual. Anticipate and show initiative. Immerse yourself fully and bring a good, positive energy. What are the biggest challenges? Fighting for the right samples from press offices. What advice would you like to pass on? Work for someone you respect and admire.

Billie Turnbull, 22, assistant to Madeleine Østlie at AAMO Casting

What are the most important rules for an assistant to remember? Never take a problem to your boss until you've done everything you can think of to fix it first. What is the best advice your boss has ever given you? "Pick your battles without losing your values."

Declan Sheils, 35, assistant to Sam McKnight 

What are the biggest challenges? Staying calm in crazy situations. What is the greatest advice your boss has given you? "Always make the client happy." What advice would you like to pass on? Practice every day and master your craft. Be prepared to work hard, long hours and work well in a team so forget your ego. 

Credits


Photography Christoph Wohlfahrt
Interviews Bojana Kozarevic