THE NEW ORIGINALS X MAHA | MEET THE CREATIVES: AGNES
Meet the creatives. Get to know Agnes, the powerful stylist that strives to change the beauty ideal to one more positive.
Hi Agnes, can you give us a short introduction about yourself?
Hi my name is Agnes Montecinos Muñoz, I’m 24-years old, and I was born and raised in Rotterdam. Though I still live in Rotterdam, I spend most of my days in Amsterdam for my work as a stylist.
How did you get into styling?
I guess it all started in elementary school when I could choose how to dress and express myself. I wore 2 different (colour) sneakers, costumized my clothes and was always exploring how I could wear something different than how it was supposed to be worn. For example wearing a skirt as a top and a top as a skirt. When you don’t have a lot you just have to be creative, right? And the funny thing is, I actually still do this to this day on. Growing up I started surrounding myself with young and old creatives, who draw, painted, graffitied, danced, did spoken word, sang, made their own music and clothes, so “thinking outside of the box” has always been preceived as my normal. My surroundings really changed and made the way I looked into the world. Later on in my teenage years I became more and more involved with people who work within fashion. That’s when I found out you could dress people for a living.
In my heart I knew right away I could do that too (but better haha). For the first time in my life I felt this little jump in my heart that I had something special to bring to the table. But I didn’t say anything yet, I was a bit shy about it at first. I learned a lot from asking, talking to people in the industry, gaining knowledge and also from looking how other’s moved in every creative aspect (not only in styling). I think a year later I told people I wanted to be a stylist. And just started, without really knowing what I was doing or how to position myself. I remember I took on jobs at the beginning and didn’t even know where to get the clothes, how much money I could ask and stuff like that, but I always made it work. That’s the husstle. Sometimes you have to bluff with confidence, take that risk, put your mind to it and figure it out. My first real payed job was at Nike as a styling assistent. My friend recommended me. People told me all the time I should learn by assisting. But that just wasn’t something for me. I wanted to learn by myself, on my own terms, without limitations. I think it took me longer because of that. But it also learned me how to stay close to my unique self and vision. The richest thing is, now people come and ask me if they can be my styling assistent.
Can you take us through your process of styling?
I start with getting to know my client: who they are, what kind of personality they have and what makes them feel comfortable. This is why I always start with a conversation. Everyone is different so every creative process is as well. What I find most important is getting close to my client’s personality and seeing what suits them and what doesn’t. I like to believe that’s what makes me strong as a stylist when building an image for artists. For example, I worked with Marlou Fernanda and Ray Fuego. We truly understand and see each other’s vision, which is why we work together. I need this feeling of connection with imagebuilding, and also only work with people I can feel comfortable with.
When working with brands I look more into if I feel the vision they uphold within the company, and without in their visual aesthetic. I also look at how they position themselves (this can be politically and cultural as well) because I want to help brands up, but only if I stand behind it. It has to be a two way street where me weet each other. For example I don’t like working with brands that only use white models, I always try to include black people in all the work I create. Sometimes you really need to fight for what you believe is important. Better that, than selling myself out.
Which project has been the most memorable so far?
All projects till now have been valuable, as they all gave me the opportunity to experiment with my own style and tell a relevant story that others can identify with. I always try to convey a message I believe in and this message feels extra special when I work with women. Women have something soft and warm, but powerful the same time. More than given credit to. I want to empower women and think we all deserve to shine. Sometimes I feel like most women think they need to prove themselves to others. But why not help and build each other up instead? We need to create more space for that kind of thinking. Then we would grow so much faster, mentally, business wise and spiritually.
What would you like to accomplish with your work?
Foremost, I want to create a wide collection of images for young women that changes the traditional beauty ideal. These images should be all about realness, authenticity and no filters. Next to that, I want to bring black, brown and colored people to the forefront. Culture needs to be visualized in the right way, which is still not done in many cases. I always had to fight against the made up stereotypes in order to be myself, and I want to be a part of taking away this struggle from others. This requires reeducation, and also needs to be shown and normalized more in visual aspacts. Eventually I don’t only do this for my own. But reaching these goals I will always keep in mind to stay true to my own style, standards and values.
Next to this message, do you have any other advice for women that live up to the same ambitions as yours?
Well yes I actually do. I want to say listen closely to what your heart tries to tell you and work on things you genuinely want to work on. Even if that means people will not understand what it is you’re trying to do. Don’t let people portay their own insecurities onto you. And don’t take it to hard when they do. There will be moments that you want to give up, but it’s ok to make mistakes. I made A LOT of them before I got where I am today and still will make a lot of them while getting/growing into the next one stages of my life. The process is for sure not perfect. Don’t believe the Instagram hype haha. Work hard, appreciate the process, invest in your passions and learn how to love you for you. You’re valuable to this world.