Your Creative Future, Ryan Holliday Stevens (Aqua by Aqua)

Ex Aqua by Aqua Stylist and Creative Director shares his experiences of the fashion industry. Here's what you need to know...

The next top industry professional on our panel from Your Creative Future is none other than Yorkshire lad Ryan Holliday Stevens, former Aqua by Aqua Stylist and  Creative Director, whose clobber’s been worn by the likes of Nicole Scherzinger and tweeted about by Rihanna!  How he became a stylist is pretty unconventional though. Here’s what you need to know about Ryan.

Link to full talk by Ryan below.

1. Ryan dropped out of university twice & learnt from his Nanna

On two different courses, one being Business. He had always been entrepreneurial but the traditional route just wasn’t for him. After realising the clothes he wanted to wear to the club weren’t in shops, he started making them himself, something he’d picked up as a kid from his grandmother. 

2. Aqua by Aqua wasn’t always designing.

Ryan joined Aqua by Aqua in Leeds eight years ago, when they were stocking other labels and selling them on. But there didn’t seem to be much money in that, so they started producing their own. Fast forward to now and they’re stocked in Harrods and ASOS, with a further two stores in London.

3. He learnt on the go

Having skipped the educational route into the industry, Ryan learnt most of the craft as he went along, picking things up with experience but also because he collaborated with others. Networking has allowed Ryan to develop his knowledge, with people like Scott Wilson who taught him about global fashion trends and where he placed his products.

4.Tips for creatives, include collaborate! Now!

Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate! Collaboration gives creatives a chance to develop new skills and networks and it’s super cost effective. However, you should take care with who and what you affiliate yourself with, as often it is those things that will define you as an artist.

5. The industry is a game of smoke and mirrors

Ryan’s parting advice is to not believe the hype. You’ll be let down and you’ll be broke, so you have to be resilient. The fashion industry is a game of smoke and mirrors and if you want to make it, it’s integral that you’re passionate because as much hard work as it is, it’s also pretty rewarding. 


Watch the full video here.
Ryan's NOISE ePortfolio
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