[EXCLUSIVE] Malaysian Top Stylist, Haida Yusof-Yeomans Is A True Fashion Chameleon
With a total of almost 8 years of experience in the fashion industry, Haida Yusof-Yeomans first worked as an intern at STYLO—a fashion event known for producing avant-garde runway shows with great local couturiers like Bernard Chandran and Jimmy Choo—before she was offered the role of an assistant to the then General Manager of the company.
Eventually, the glitz and glam environment somewhat became the biggest stepping stone for someone who wanted to venture into fashion, like Haida herself. She also has dabbled in multiple styling work for local celebrities and editorials alongside biggest magazines names including CLEO, Harper’s Bazaar and Malaysia Tatler.
Now, the name Haida Yusof-Yeomans is no stranger to the local—and international—fashion industry. We’re fortunate to have a quick chat and asked her about a typical day in the life of a fashion stylist, her favourite style icon, and one fashion trend she’d like to see disappear.
How did you make the leap to become a fashion stylist? Have you always wanted to become a stylist / fashion blogger? Tell us a bit about your journey.
I knew I have always loved fashion, but unsure with what I really want to do. Therefore I tried my hand in fashion PR and somehow got roped in to do a whole lot of roles. It is through this curveball that I discovered that I really enjoy styling and conceptualizing looks on people. I applied for a role as a fashion stylist in a local magazine and the rest is history.
Describe your first ‘’fashion memory’’?
I would definitely credit my fashion and arts infatuation to my late mother. She herself—who was an accomplished seamstress—would meticulously create and design looks for us. I was very active in theatre and dance and joined lots of singing comps in school, so she took on every project to realize her dressing vision for me. I loved following her to DIY and arts store to find cute trinkets and fabric to make my outfits. (I hated it in the beginning but as I grew older, this tugged my memory strings).
Fashion Stylist or Fashion Bloggers usually have their own trademark they’re known for. How would you describe your ‘’signature look’’?
I really want to differentiate myself away from trends and truth be told, I am still finding my signature look. But at the moment I am trying to blend in essences from my Nusantara roots into an edgy and chic contemporary vibe.
I would definitely credit my fashion and arts infatuation to my late mother. She herself—who was an accomplished seamstress—would meticulously create and design looks for us
With over 30k followers, her Instagram feed is immerse with flashes of colours, textures and references. Making one would immediately push that ‘’follow’’ button. From leather outfit to neon jacket, she’s a true definition of ‘’Go Bold or Go Home’’.
Currently locked in Dubai due to the pandemic, her day-to-day routine would include checking and tracking her customers order from her @hydefselections shop, followed by an overflowing research on things that she can do to experiment herself and artform to full her time. The 31-years-old beauty also noted that being in lockdown in Dubai in the summer is very ‘’demotivating’’ as she barely knows anyone there. So, she tries to find ways to put her work out there and develop more of her skills.
In over 8 years, you have travelled across so many countries to manoeuvre different projects—what has been the most memorable or ‘’I made it’’ moment of your career, so far?
I don’t think I have any projects that would put me in that position of ‘being there’ yet. I had travelled over to many places for work, styling international celebs in my bucket list and doing runway shows in New York—but I have yet to cement one project as the project that truly is life-changing. I am still chasing for that next thrill, and the next project that would hopefully define that.
What is the biggest misconception people not working in your field have about your job?
That it is an easy job, it’s glamorous and our fees are overpriced. People have had no idea on the kind of work that has to be put into. It is an all-encompassing job from conceptualizing, physical work, social skills, you name it. You can be talented but useless without the right marketing and social skills, and vice versa. It is about having the right package and mental readiness to succeed and excel forward.
Now, what would you consider the most rewarding aspect of being a personal stylist? What’s the most fun part of your job?
I think feedback is major for me. I love when people find my work to be different or above par from others. That is a major pat on the back that is very fulfilling, even more so than being paid good money for it. Also, when clients make it fun and easy for us!
Describe a celebrity whose style you admire. What makes them so well-dressed?
I admire celebs or style icons that do not rely on stylists to help them look good. This is now very rare among many of today’s influencers and stylists, so I tend to go for the OGs like Chloe Sevigny, Grimes, Tilda Swinton, Grace Jones, Faye Dunaway, and locally, it’s gotta be Noorkumalasari! Both pre and post hijab!
People have had no idea on the kind of work that has to be put into. It is an all-encompassing job from conceptualizing, physical work, social skills, you name it
What advice would you give an up and coming fashion stylist? Also, do you have any advice for those who are interested in becoming a fashion stylist, but not sure where to start?
Keep creating and collaborating, that is the best way to put it out there for clients to want to hire you. I started off doing exactly this, and my ‘selling’ of my brand and work out there on Instagram helped me secure jobs on the regular. Always reinvent and find ways to step out of your bubble too!
What’s one fashion rule or trend you like to see disappear?
Platform Louboutins. This is just a personal thing! Also, to stop being a ‘hypebeast’ and just for people to dress uniquely as themselves and not follow trends. (Also a rule I am applying to myself).
If you could only wear one designer the rest of your life who would it be?
I cant choose one! I am colorful like that! Currently digging Daniel Roseberry of Schiapirelli to dress me in couture, Raf Simons x Muccia Prada for street-worthy looks and maybe a mix of Supriya Lele, Phoebe Philo and Julien Dossena of Paco Rabanne too! Greedy, I know!
Last but not least, if you could travel back in time to one fashion era, where would you end up?
I love the 1970s at the moment. I think it was such a colorful era of experimentation, risqueness and decadence. Everyone’s just so fashionably dressed and can even pull off wearing some of those looks today.