I'm with Steve | Michael Kozak




A chat with celeb stylist Michael Kozak.



How long have you been a stylist?

For about 9 years.

What is your philosophy when it comes to styling?

Work organically and with the mood and vibe. I sometimes have no idea what I am going to do on a shoot and just let it flow. Don't get too set in doing anything because it all could change at the last minute so be open and ready to switch it up at the last minute. That being said you must be prepared for anything and know your shit. Doing your research on EVERYTHING may be my best advice on philosophy as well as preperation.

What got you into the fashion industry?

Seeking out internships at a young age before I went to college, during college, exploring every part of the industry I could absorb myself into. Meeting people. What really got me into styling was my internship at Elizabeth and James with Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen where I met some great mentors and people who wanted me to succeed. Mentors are so important to guide you, I can’t stress that enough - Especially when you are in the beginning of your career and unsure of where you want to go in it.

Favorite vintage stores in NY?

Search and Destroy in St. Marks in NYC also Stella Dallas in BK. I go to a lot of out of city vintage stores for the crazy good real vintage + cheap non overpriced shit/ like Unique, Savers, Goodwill etc. I’ve found vintage Marc Jacobs, Dior, Gucci for like 10 dollars.

Gucci or Vetements?

Gucci (I'll always take Vetements hoodie though to wear with my Gucci).

How does NY inspire and shape your creativity?

NY has the most highly creative people in the world in every creative field and the resources are beyond endless. The people watching is endless. I go to a lot of places, parties, fashion shows etc where you meet these people, see all different ways people dress etc. I guess that would shape or inspire my creativity. It's about just submersing yourself in it and keeping your eyes open.

Favorite spot to eat in NY?

Jacks Wife Frieda in Soho, super chill easy and relaxed and good people watching.

How do you define your creative process?

Research and going the extra to find the coolest stuff to shoot - doesn't have to be designer- It could be a 5 dollar belt from the garment district or a rhinestone hat from a tourist store in Times Square that you use in every shot but it makes the shoot. I try to make a character in my head and a whole environment and constantly look at my mood boards to keep on track and only look for things that would fit into that world.

As a New Yorker, what are some must see shows or events you recommend for visitors?

If you are here for the Met Gala go there. Any good FIT exhibit. For a tourist go to Barney's, Saks, Dover Street, Opening Ceremony, or Bergdorfs - these can be a museum like experience for a tourist really interested in fashion. A drag show is good to go too.

What does the Steve Madden brand mean to you?

It will always mean youth, rock and roll, fuck you attitude, always cool, always on trend, definitely NYC, always kind of referencing old gritty NYC. But mostly that rock and roll sexy vibe, cool girl status. And the classic cartoon advertising from the 90s which i think represented all of the mentioned.