EBS² x Mykel C Smith

Mykel C. Smith

Adi: It’s so lovely to sit down with you, the energy of the shoot is so fun! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and the creative process.

Mykel: Yes! I started in the industry about 25 years ago as a stylist and in production. I’ve done shows from the beginning, casting models and really realizing that I just had an eye for it. I continued as an agent and really learned all aspects of the business, even working in restaurants and owning a bar. Now, my creative studio, Mykel C. Smith Creative, is a boutique creative think-tank. We design websites, apps, we do production, cast and style models, It’s not a service- it’s an experience. When you came in today, didn’t you feel an experience?

Adi: Definitely!

Mykel: We’re unconventional in our methods and that’s why our clients trust us!

Adi: How has the pandemic affected your business?

Mykel: Before the pandemic we had so many clients on board for projects, but of course everything had to put everything on hold. Actually, this is my first client coming out of COVID, and it feels good to be back! We’re doing everything for them.

Adi: What do you see changing in the industry?

Mykel: Among other things The Black Lives Matter movement and the push for more diversity has been a great effort. I’ve been doing this for 25+ years now and have always casted a diverse group of models and talent. In fact, I’ve even quit jobs that wouldn’t allow me to cast with diversity. Also today, It’s not even about a new normal, it’s really about pivoting your business. Part of my business is based on doing events, and right now because of COVID, we’ve had to shift to a lot of online strategies until it’s safe. Additionally, people are focusing on a low-waste strategy more than ever now. This year’s made us all realize that tomorrow isn’t promised, and all of these social changes are so important.

Adi: What can you tell me about the styling and shoot inspiration for the collection?

Mykel: The shoot inspiration and theme is Back to the Future - we’re shooting the collection outside later too for a day-to-night look to show the transitional element of the brand and how it can be styled for going out. We want the shoot to give an optimistic look, almost to tell people that this too shall pass and we’ll be back soon. I wanted it to be high-end and fun, and not commercial. It’s futuristic yet glamorous. The line is about ease and it’s about looking good, which is what people want today.

Adi: I couldn’t agree more, the collection and styling is incredible! With everything going on now, what do you see as the future for NYFW?

Mykel: This season will definitely be majorly virtual. I’ll be working with a few new designers and actually, there are a lot showing this season. Most collections are still invite-only in online showrooms and presentations. I’m interested to see how it goes, but I’m glad we’re still doing something. This whole thing really blew the tires out of everybody, and this has given new designers a bit of hope.

Adi: It’s definitely difficult now to keep things on track, but it will be really interesting to see how going online will do. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk!
Adi Shoham