Here is the second installment of our series on freelancers. This time, we thought it would be insightful to talk to a seasoned freelancer — someone who has been working that way for a long time. With Ada, a stylist who has worked on fashion week shows, editorials, campaigns and more, it’s the only way she has ever worked…
We followed her backstage at the Rodebjer show during NYFW – to get a glimpse of her freelance lifestyle behind-the-scenes, and discuss with her what her take on freelancing is like. Completely different to Hayley, but just as interesting!
Have you ever freelanced? What was your experience like?
Ada Kokosar | Freelance Fashion Stylist
As a free spirit, working on a freelance basis comes to me organically and naturally. I think of creativity as a liquid. It’s like a river that needs to flow freely; constantly moving – upstream and downstream. I need the flux that changes bring.
I’ve always been a freelancer but, lately, I’ve found myself seeking opportunities to go deeper into the creative process. I’m more interested in the whole process and to see myself evolve through it…
There are both pros and cons to freelance life. The pros have kept me freelancing for almost 15 years. I get the opportunity to wear different hats, pick up new talents, and collect many experiences. As a freelancer, you have to keep an open mind to switch from one style to another. You also have to relate to many types of people and adapt to new situations. Consequently, you’re constantly improving yourself through everyone around you. But you also learn to expand your own vision and to not take your own ideas for granted. On the other hand, you can never organize your personal life. Next week is always a surprise, as you never know where you end up. It makes relationships difficult. Always on a plane, always a changing schedule. You can barely plan anything.
Strategically, it’s very important to have someone who oversees that constant flow of creativity, like an agent or studio manager. I want someone who can help me by suggesting directions to take and the priorities to make. As a creative person, it is difficult to have an outside view of yourself in the projects that you love. I make choices based on my gut feeling and they often turn out to be good decisions. At other times, I make the wrong choices and lose time and energy. However, through every experience, I grow personally and evolve professionally.
Freelancing is always exciting – and it fits me very well – but you have to be stable, brave, and determined. It’s not happening if one of those traits are missing.
In addition to styling the Rodebjer show, what other brands do you work with frequently?
I work for many clients in various roles. I styled all the editorials online for Diane von Furstenberg. I also styled the shows for Porsche Design, Frankie B Hollywood, Angel Sanchez and Rodebjer. I’m the creative director of Letasca, and I’ve started consulting on the new FW16/17 for Laneus. I’ve worked with & Other Stories as a designer, creative consultant, and stylist. I’m usually approached by clients who like my work and style, and I maintain a long-lasting relationship with them built on hard work, passion and talent.
And can you tell us a little about your collaboration with & Other Stories?
I love the concept behind their company—the idea of selling a lifestyle rather than a seasonal trend. I created a capsule collection with a stylist’s approach, producing a total of 5 looks for 5 different silhouettes and identities.
So how did you come to decide on the agent you work with now?
It’s primarily determined by having a good connection, mutual understanding and respect. I’m now working with a personal studio manager who can follow my multi-tasking skills and support me in finding the right partner for a collaboration with a brand or an influencer from the creative industry.
What is your best advice for those considering a freelance career?
Be strong, passionate, and follow your inner instinct when opportunity rises. Be ready to take risks.
Words: Neada Jane | Photos: Erik Melvin
Thanks to: Carin Rodebjer & the Rodebjer team