The lobby-to-taxi photo moment has become a street-style opportunity for models Gigi and Bella Hadid, who navigate the revolving doors of hotel and apartment block receptions like seasoned professionals. Bella’s repurposed Dickies workwear by Axecents by Orah LeMaître, new-season Prada boots and signature teeny-tiny Le Specs and Gentle Monster sunglasses are not just throw-on-and-go effects, however. Nor are Gigi’s Off-White tracksuits, graphic Oscar de la Renta suits and box-fresh Reebok trainers. Each piece originates in stylist Mimi Cuttrell’s New York studio, where, she tells Vogue, “genuine artistry” happens as she moodboards her clients looks.
Gigi on the way to the Off-White AW19 show
“I entered this industry associating the word ‘styling’ with the glamour and excitement of a red-carpet event,” Cuttrell explains. “However, this notion has evolved over time. I find that sometimes the best fashion can happen as street style looks. The category can sometimes be extremely underrated.”
Bella on her 23rd birthday
For twenty-somethings, like the Hadids, the “line between ‘casual’ and ‘dressy’ is a thin one,” continues Cuttrell. This makes dressing them “as exciting and challenging always”. She started working with Gigi first, and, as Bella’s career took off, she began lending her tips, too. “I have spent so much time learning my clients’ individual likes and dislikes, observing and understanding their personal style, and knowing what works best on their bodies,” Cuttrell explains of how she knows instantly whether a look is Gigi or Bella-appropriate.
“It’s difficult to differentiate between the girls in just a few words because their styles are constantly evolving and flowing. It has been a pleasure to grow with these two. We’ve worked together to develop and build on the style they feel most like themselves in.”
Cuttrell doesn’t associate job satisfaction with whether her clients are on trend, but ensuring they are “happy, confident and comfortable” in what they are wearing. “A recent comment on an Instagram photo I posted really stuck out to me,” says Cuttrell. ‘“The comment said, ‘You make women look so proud of themselves’.”
Her favourite looks in the Hadid style evolution so far are a Mugler by Casey Cadwallader nude bodysuit look worn by Bella – “It was such a fresh look that accentuated her body unlike anything I’ve ever seen on her” – and a Kriest metallic pink suit modelled by Gigi. “The tailoring was flawless and our vision really came to life,” she says.
En route to the 2019 VMAs
© Raymond Hall
Cuttrell’s eye for detail – she’s a stickler for tailoring and quality fabrics – means that she always has to ensure every outfit element is finessed before sending a client out to face the cameras. “I want to be awake and available no matter what time zone,” she notes of the Hadids’ travel-heavy schedules. “I make myself available whether that is sending pictures or FaceTiming for any last-minute changes and updates.”
In comparison to many celebrity dressers who are on call to secure the latest Bottega Veneta bag at the mere ping of a WhatsApp notification, or to send references back and forth via Instagram DM, Cuttrell describes her process as more artful. She cites nature as a key source of inspiration, as well as diverse cultures, environments and personalities. “I try to continuously stay up-to-date on relevant pop culture and news outside of fashion in order to best represent my style and my clients,” she says. “Fashion has the power to be extremely culturally informative, so it’s crucial that stylists are aware of what is going on outside of the industry in an effort to best inform our creative process and ultimately our style decisions.”
The handbag by The Row that Bella has been toting recently? It comes with more than just kudos.
Heading to the wedding reception for Char Defrancesco and Marc Jacobs
More from British Vogue: