When it comes to fashion, art and creativity, there are a few people you may wanna follow and learn from. Naz Kisnisci is certainly one of them. Turkish stylist and artist, she now lends her talents to Italian fashion publication PAP magazine but her artistic upbringing starts with spending time at her grandma’s atelier and being surrounded by powerful women.
Her constant pursuit of improvement through education, research and utter dedication made her the pro she is today. Her career is nowhere near its end but she can already share the stories, advice and insights of a fashion veteran. We had the pleasure to chat with Naz about all of the above and learn more about what moves her, what inspires her and how she approaches her work and creativity.
Who is Naz Kisnisci?
This is an extensive question as I would say that my story is changing and evolving every day. I studied graphic design in Turkey – which is where I’m from – then moved to Milan and completed my masters in visual brand design and fashion styling.
I’ve been working as a fashion stylist and art director ever since. Before PAP Magazine, I worked for a luxury fashion store, a fashion-tech start-up and more
How did you decide to become a stylist?
I’ve always been into art and fashion. My grandmother is a fashion designer in Turkey whom I really look up to and admire. She recently retired actually, at the age of 80!
I spent so much time at her atelier when I was a kid. I would go through all the magazines she had and sit in on her client’s fittings and meetings etc. I was surrounded by strong and visionary women in my family which I think unconsciously pushed me to pursue a career in fashion
Was there a point of non return in your career?
My career has been about non-stop working so far! Tenacity and dedication. I don’t think there’s any specific event or moment that turned my career around. I just believe everything I do is a stepping stone to my next challenge.
How did you get to be fashion director at PAP?
Dongmin Kang, the founder of the PAP magazine, was a very close friend of mine when I was studying at Istituto Marangoni in Milan in 2016. Back then, Dongmin had just founded PAP Magazine.
After graduation, we kept in touch, collaborated on various editorials and always shared ideas back and forth on to improve PAP. Last year we met again in Milan and started bouncing ideas around and I guess that was the time he noticed that I needed to be part of the team!
How is the Italian fashion scene different from others?
Like everything else, it has its pros and cons. The Italian fashion scene is really connected to its roots and heritage. This is reflected in the appreciation of the quality of garments and the curation of the background story and message behind any kind of project.
However, this also equals less room for emerging talents at times. Based on my experience in the Italian fashion scene, I can say it’s less open for young talents or foreigners compared to other fashion capitals. Though I see signs of this changing every day which gives me hope!
Who was your mentor?
Having only a mentor or taking advice from one person could be tricky sometimes as you tend to be influenced by a single vision and mindset. I found the best solution for me is to get inspiration from different cultures, backgrounds and disciplines. Reading, researching and being open to new ideas & people is what keeps me going.
Top 3 photographers/artists you would love to collaborate with
Oh wow it’s just too difficult to give only 3 names! I have an endless list but If I have to narrow it down I would pick Ib Kamara, Carlijn Jacobs, Hugo Comte, Kito Munoz.
Is there a message behind your work?
When I start to develop a project I always begin by thinking about how to depict the feelings, issues and story the project wants to portray. This process really electrifies me!
Generally, it really depends on the particular time, mood, energy and contemporary events I experience as a human being. I always try harder to embrace and give a voice to diversity, women empowerment, body positivity, LGBTQIA community and minorities in my work.
What would you change in the fashion/artistic scene today?
I would be happy to see much more openness for young people, emerging artists, designers and talent. I’m trying to do my part to change this with ONNOW which is a digital platform that I started to support and celebrate emerging fashion brands.
I would also change the whole fast-fashion system as mass production and the old consumption-oriented state of mind doesn’t serve us anymore.
We should find a way to slow down, search for meaning, contribute and give back to the world in a much more conscious and sustainable way. However, I don’t believe blame should be assigned to certain people or companies. This has to be a collective effort which I think is finally happening.