For those of us who have seen The Devil Wears Prada, the glamorous New York lifestyle of working for a fashion magazine no doubt had a great appeal. Sure, we all said how much we would love to do it, but it takes a very dedicated and hard working individual to actually brave the Miranda Priestly’s of the world and buy a one way ticket to the big city. Internet, meet Ali Kornhauser.
Ali Kornhauser is an Australian stylist living and working in New York City. Having worked for fashion giants such as Vogue Italia and V Magazine, it’s safe to say that she is living the dream. I recently caught up with Ali to have a chat and hear about her incredible accomplishments and how she got to where she is today. Here is what Ali had to say!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
My name is Ali Kornhauser and i’m 24 years old. I can’t ride a bike but I can make the worlds’ greatest sangria.
HOW DID YOU START OUT IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY?
I studied a BFA of Fashion Design at QUT where I then proceeded to become a winner of the Fashion Futures mentor program and was placed on the womens design team at Salvatore Ferragamo in Italy. After much ‘ummming’ and ‘ahhhing’ I decided to move to NYC (It was always my dream) where I then interned with V magazine. V gave me my start and introduced me to most of the people I now work for today. I am very grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way.
HOW DID YOU GET THE POSITION TO WORK AS A STYLIST IN NEW YORK?
Hard work! I am still predominantly an assistant, but I work for extremely huge stylists and at my age it is genuinely not possible to be offered the jobs that they have. Some of my favourite people i’ve worked for include Marie-Amelie Sauve, Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele, Jay Massacret, Arianne Phillips, Katie Grand and many more. Hard work, and being polite is everything to me, we all have to pay our dues and its important to recognise and respect this path.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WANTING TO BE A STYLIST IN A FASHION CAPITOL?
Nothing is easy, so be prepared to work hard, long and under pressure.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT MOVING TO NEW YORK?
Leaving my family behind! I have a really big close family who to this day don’t really understand why I live so far away – hopefully once I can make it here I can return to Vogue Australia and have some influence.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT NEW YORK?
D O U G H N U T P L A N T
WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT AUSTRALIA?
T H E B E A C H
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE MAGAZINES TO WORK FOR?
Super tough, once you start working it sort of becomes less about the publication and more about the crew and teams etc. Working for Vogue Italia was one of the most divine experiences i’ve ever had. I genuinely feel like I can take on anything after managing one of those monster projects. My favourite shoot ever was the Vogue Italia september 2013 cover shoot. The things I was able to do and see were indescribable.
WHAT PART OF YOUR WORK CAN YOU SPEND HOURS ON AND NOT EVEN NOTICE?
RESEARCHING! Prep work is the most time consuming but its also the most enjoyable part of the job. You begin with an idea that you feel really strongly about and 6 hours later you’ve learnt so much and seen so many variations etc – you will almost always have a new direction.
WHICH DO YOU PREFER?
Sydney or New York – NYC
Coffee or tea - COFFEE
Sunshine or Snow – SUNSHINE
Denim or Leather - DENIM
Kim or Kanye – JLO
Head over to Ali’s website to have a look at some more of the fabulous projects she has been a part of!