Where the Street Meets the Runway: Interview with Celebrity Stylist Mariel Haenn

Where the Street Meets the Runway: Interview with Celebrity Stylist Mariel Haenn

Here is Mariel Haenn. Check out those rings! Presenting the Want It Collection for Saks Fifth Avenue. Ooh la la. Stylist on the Street Event at Fountain Square.

If you have ever gazed at the beautiful red carpet stylings of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, or admired edgy images of Rihanna, Ciara, Jay-Z, or Sean “P Diddy” Combs, than chances are you have already been acquainted with the incredible work of Mariel Haenn. You just didn’t know it.

Mariel Haenn is a stylist to the stars, bringing her unique meld of street and high fashion to magazines, music videos, live performances and, most recently, to Saks Fifth Avenue. She has partnered up with MasterCard and Saks Fifth Avenue to develop the Fall 2009″Want It” Collection to help the rest of us incorporate hot seasonal trends into our existing wardrobes. The collection makes celeb looks more affordable and it comes with Mariel’s much sought after stamp of approval.

On a rainy day at Fountain Square, Mariel Haenn and I met up at her Stylist on the Street event to discuss all things fashionable.

Florida Girl: You have partnered up with MasterCard and Saks Fifth Avenue for the Fall 2009 “Want It” Collection. How can aspiring fashionistas use this collection in our wardrobes?

MH: What is amazing is that they have highlighted what we should be focusing on to take the guess work out of it. They really created the guidelines of what you should be looking to replace in your wardrobe. It is not about redoing it. It it just about making it better and adding certain pieces. Everyone thinks that Saks is only high end but they do have things that are more affordable and versions of basically everything from the runway that has been made more accessible to everyday consumers.
Florida Girl: How would you describe your own personal style?

MH: My personal style? I like simple, classic, casual, chic, a little bit of street, rough, tough, and lots of jewelry. So it could be just a tshirt and jeans but lots of jewelry makes up for it.

Florida Girl: It is funny that you say that because looking at a lot of your photos I noticed that, especially with Rihanna, you have a really edgy style but a very classic foundation. How would you recommend that us everyday ladies add a little edge but still remain timeless?

MH: Yes. I think the rocker boot (from the “Want It” Collection) is something that is classic and comes in different versions. You can do ankle, knee high, or over the knee, heeled, or flat, and I think it is a staple that everyone should have. I definitely think the strong shoulder blazer or jacket… There are some that have very aggressive shoulder pads and some that have very minimal… I think everyone should own a strong shoulder jacket which gives you that edge. Again, you can pair that with a tshirt and jeans and be really polished or you can throw it over a black dress at night and make it a little edgier then the dress or the outfit on its own.

Florida Girl: Just yesterday I read that you were spotlighted on Latina.com and they described you as a “half Puerto Rican fashion expert.” How do you think your mulitcultural roots have influenced your perspective on fashion?

MH: Yes! Being from New York your exposed to a lot of different culture which is kind of meshed into one. A lot of times people think that your either rocky, or your preppy, or your super fashion forward but I have kind of mixed all of them and created a unique style for most all of my clients. So it definitely helps.

Florida Girl: Eight years ago you started as an image consultant with MTV and obviously you have done extremely well for yourself. Is there a particular moment in your career that you are especially proud of?

Read More at Florida Girl Meets the Midwest… Tune in for Mariel’s fashion scoop on Will Smith and Jada Pinkett and how to dress like Kimora Lee Simmons.