Celebrity Stylist Lysa Cooper is one of the fashion industry’s most noted talents– just ask Elizabeth Hurley, Common, Ashton Kutcher, and so many more. She, along with hairstylist Ursula Stephen are responsible for conceiving Rihanna‘s bad girl makeover– appropriate, as Cooper herself has that still-charming don’t-give-an-f attitude. The stylist was full of spunk, tea, and quips when she sat down to chat with Vogue Italia’s Robyn Carolyn Price. In the supremely entertaining interview, she talks about the evolution of the fashion industry, styling Beyoncé, and why she cut her time styling Rihanna short.
On the changing fashion industry:
“I think we’re all in this weird moment right now and the World Wide Web, as I like to call it because I’m an old lady, has really f*cked some sh*t up. It’s true that there are many pluses to everybody having access to information, but, what happens, when people have access to information, is that they think they are the authority of that information. Or quite frankly, that they made it up themselves. Or even better, that they know better than you do.
So what you’re dealing with is a lot of marketing people, a lot of executives, a lot of people sitting in a room, wearing f*cked up shoes, trying to tell me about fashion. And you don’t even know how to get down to the cobbler and fix your heel, and you’re going to tell me what I should be doing? And the fact that marketing is even involved in the hiring is, to me, insane. It’s almost backwards. Shouldn’t we make a beautiful product, and then decide how to sell it, rather than already know what you’re selling and then try to make the product match? It never works and that’s why music has sunk to the level that it has. And that’s why everybody looks like a hooker.”
On Celebrity clothing lines:
“The only one that’s any good, and I hate to say it, are our girls, the twins. The Row. But the reason that works, is because they hired designers. They [the twins] “yay” or “nay” [the concepts]. And they are the best line at ripping off other lines that I’ve ever seen. I mean they’ve taken Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester. But it’s good. You know, they’re good at it. I don’t buy it, but [they’re] good at it.”
On working with Rihanna for the first time:
“I worked with her without knowing who she was. She was just some cute girl, and Ellen von Unwerth and I were shooting her. The one good thing she had was Ursula Stephen, who I knew. And so when I walked in, to tell you the truth, the only person out of her crew that I knew was Ursula. And I thought, Ursula is here, so at least I know the level I’m on…So that was how I kind of connected with her. It was on a job with Ellen. They’re all looking at me like “you don’t even know who you’re working with?” And I was like “no, I don’t really care.” She’s cute. She’s nice. She’s an island girl. I had a good time. We did some really sexy pictures. I kept it moving. I’m not a big practitioner of staying too long. Her and Shakira were probably the two girls that I worked with for a long period of time. I’m more of a hit and run kind of a person. I like to hit it and run.”
On why she stopped styling Rihanna:
“…you don’t become somebody’s slave. That way there are boundaries. And those boundaries got blurred with Rihanna. And with her previous management, we had some major falling out. Also, I’m a lot older than her. I don’t entourage it up. I don’t like to hang out like that.”
On what it’s like working with Beyoncé:
“I love, love, love, love [her]. I’m not joking. She has to be one of the nicest people on the planet. She is a joy to be around. She is kind…..And it’s weird that people can’t tell [how nice she is]. And for me, that’s a problem. If people only they knew exactly how sweet she was.”
On styling Beyoncé’s GQ cover:
“Magazines now are so nervous. Everyone is afraid to lose their job. They’ve already planned every shot. Nothing is very organic anymore. They had an idea of what they wanted to do. And then Beyoncé told me that she didn’t want to do any of that; so we didn’t. And, what I loved, is that Beyoncé knows what she’s going to do, and what she’s not going to do. And what’s she’s comfortable with and what she’s not. And I thought that was a very racy shoot for her. And I kept teasing her and saying that this is going to become the cover. It was amazing. And of course that’s not what they wanted. They wanted some white t-shirt GQ bullsh*t. And I kept saying to her “Watch, this is the cover.” And it was. And it was so cute. Little vintage shirt. And you know, they wanted to put their designers on it. And really at the end of the day, I think a lot of the way things are run now is about selling sh*t and they forget that they’re dealing with personalities. She looked great.”