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Style + Design

Todd Selby Gets Fashionable

From storefronts in Tokyo to studios in Antwerp, creative mastermind Todd Selby traveled the globe to compile his latest work, Fashionable Selby. Here, he speaks to Charlotte Steinway about the mammoth three-year project, and shares an insider peek at pages from the brand new book

See recent posts by Charlotte Steinway

At first glance, Virginia Bates’ London shop looks like a perfectly curated boudoir: Delicate garments of lace and silk are draped over Victorian-era ottomans, vanities and hanging lamps, which all lie beneath a loosely tufted chiffon ceiling. But through annotated scribbles, whimsical illustrations and a lovely interview, author and director Todd Selby assures us it’s not. Rather, its Bates’ exquisitely styled antique (not “vintage," she says) clothing shop — and Selby makes us feel right at home.

Following home décor-themed The Selby is in your Place and culinary-focused Edible Selby, author/photographer/illustrator/director Todd Selby is back with his first fashion-driven book, aptly named Fashionable Selby. Although he’s showcased big name designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Alexander Wang in his books and blog before, Selby felt like a fashion-focused tile was a natural next step. “Moving from home to food to fashion just made sense to me,” he says. “There are so many colorful characters in fashion and there’s so much about that world that people don’t know. I thought I had a lot of contribute by showing a different side of it.”

And show a different side, he did — like TheSelby.com, Fashionable Selby features a colorful mix of photographs, illustrations, interviews and handwritten questionnaires filled out by the designers themselves, who range from Italian shoe maven Giuseppe Zanotti to the Nashville denim experts behind cult fave imogene + willie. But the robust group originally started quite small: “When I got the Fashionable Selby book deal, I only had three or four shoots in mind to start,” he says, explaining how that number grew to a grand total of 42 shoots. “It’s an organic process for me — I began with who I immediately knew I wanted to profile, but then once I started talking to people, that group began to snowball. The final list sort of naturally came together over the three years I was working on the book.”

Though the group of subjects runs the gamut of fashion’s finest, “the thing that brought everyone together was the fact that they’re all visual people who pride themselves on their unique way of working,” Selby says. “Everyone had their own way of doing things, which was my big takeaway from working on the book.”

Isabel Marant’s process was especially memorable: “When shooting Isabel’s studio, I was scheduled to shoot one of her fittings. Once I got there, I learned that she doesn’t use a fit model — she actually fits everything on herself. She’ll try on a piece, look in the mirror and make tweaks to samples as necessary,” Selby says. “It was very personal process and something I hadn’t encountered before.”

Across the pond from Marant’s studio in Paris to Nicola Formichetti’s space in Manhattan, check out Selby’s annotated sneak peek from six of the shoots featured within his newest book.

Fashionable Selby is out now.

Style + Design fashion Shop crowd
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**Dries van Noten** Fashion Designer, Antwerp

“Dries is a master of fabric: He really knows how to put different types of materials together in a way that works. This is a photo of his incredible archive — it looks like a fabric store you’ve never even seen the likes of. It’d be a designer’s dream just to be able to spend an hour in there.”

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**Marisol Suarez** Hair Designer, Paris

“I think that hair styling and hair design is such an important part of fashion in that she is making these visions. She’s almost a sculptor in the way that she works — and human hair is her medium.”

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**Nicola Formichetti** Creative Director, New York

“I’ve known Nicola for many years, and I’ve always been a big fan of his effortlessness. He’s got a very refreshing attitude in the way he works and his styling is totally unpretentious. I think this really came through in his interview and shoot.”

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**Virginia Bates** Antique Shop Owner, London

“This was quite interesting because it looks like this over-the-top boudoir but it’s actually a photo of her store. I was really taken with the whole design of her antique clothing shop.”

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**Ambika Conroy** Progressive Fiber Entrepreneur, Woodridge NY

“A lot of other people in fashion only work on a small part of their design chain but Ambika is unique in that she controls the whole process, from actually raising the sheep, bunnies and goats, to shaving them and using that material to make her own unique fur blend and finally knitting it into the product. She really takes it directly from bunny to beanie.”

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**Kimberly + Nancy Wu** Product Designers, Los Angeles

“I got to see them working on the sampling process here in their studio. I love that they stick with this theme of the primary shapes — they have a real concept to their design. There’s a real strong DNA to their brand that’s very unique.”

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