The making of the look book ‘Boys’ World’ reveals a girl in charge

I took an interest in fashion the moment I started dressing myself, and in my mind one of the most covetable roles in the fashion industry is that of a stylist. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this notion, given the Bravo TV reality hit “The Rachel Zoe Project” and its spin-off, “It’s a Brad Brad World.” Granted, these shows feature celebrities and fashion’s most illustrious couture, something we in the action sports world don’t see much of, but nevertheless, any proper photo shoot incorporates the same core elements: loads of glamor, frequent trouble shooting, and intermittent doses of the stylist’s self-contained angst.

Stylist Fatima Lwany and photographer Aaron Smith; photo courtesy of Fatima

Stylist Fatima Lwany, photographer Aaron Smith, and Kansas; photo courtesy of Fatima Lwany

Given the differences between the action sports world and the high-fashion world, you can imagine our delight when our pals at Skateboarder magazine dropped their spring look book featuring photographs that could have been torn from the pages of our favorite fashion magazines. We jumped at the opportunity to connect with the pro behind their latest look book: Fatima Lwany, and we quickly discovered why she’s the girl in charge. World, meet the creative force behind “Boys’ World.” You can view the look book and read our interview with Lwany below.

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As the art director and stylist for Skateboarder magazine’s spring look book “Boys’ World,” tell us a bit about what responsibilities fell to you.
For this project I wore many hats. I was responsible for setting forward the concept and finding the right people to execute it. Aaron Smith, the photographer (my boyfriend) and I are always thinking up ideas for photo shoots, so coming up with a concept was probably the easiest part of it all. Once we had the concept nailed down, I created a mood board, had a model casting call, selected a model, pulled product from a bunch of different skate companies, found a location, and finally made a shot list. Much of the tedious work all happened before the shoot, so during the shoot it was all about directing the model, making sure everyone was on the same page, and most important, keeping track of time and making sure we got every shot we needed. Lastly, I gave a bit of guidance for the video edit, selected the final images, and designed the look book.

Shot list for "Boys' World"; image courtesy of Fatima Lwany

Shot list for “Boys’ World”; image courtesy of Fatima Lwany

We read on your blog that you like to create mood boards. Walk us though the board that you created for this shoot.
Funny you say this because the mood board I created for this is actually my least-favorite mood board ever! We had such a clear vision of what poses, outfits, and ambiance we wanted to get for this look book that I invested a lot more time into the shot list. I taped the shot list onto a huge mirror in the hotel room to ensure that both the photos and video were being executed according to the concept. We organized the shot list by priority and spots within the location to avoid moving around the lighting set-up, thus making everything more efficient.

We noticed that each look is very colorful and ‘boy’ inspired. What are the trends that we need to know about for this spring and summer?
It’s really hard for me to talk in terms of trends. Trends are made out to be season by season, but really they come in waves of five years. Obviously, the whole girl-meets-boy look is super relevant right now, and I really don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. So to any girls out there with nothing to wear, skip the shopping trip and steal something from your boyfriend, guy friend, or even brother!

Lwany on set with model; photo courtesy of Fatima Lwany

Lwany on set with model; photo courtesy of Fatima Lwany

Share with us your spring/summer essentials.
I’m super obsessed with my shades from Yellow108. They’re made from bamboo and are handcrafted crafted by village artisans. For summer, high-wasted cut-offs are always an MVP of my closet. My boyfriend’s flannels have become my new favorite jackets—they are super light, warm, and I tie them around my waste to keep my hands free.

Outside of styling, do you have other interests?
Aaron and I have been making it a point to experience all the outdoor activity we can think of. So far we’ve done sailing and have became certified scuba divers, but our favorite activity, hands down, has been rock climbing! I’m somewhat afraid of heights, but I love slowly working towards something, getting to the top, and realizing what I’ve done. Next week, we’ll be taking a kayaking camping trip throughout Catalina Island for our four-year anniversary. I’m super psyched about it!

Photo courtesy of Skateboarder

Photo courtesy of Skateboarder

Tell us about an absurd moment that you had to troubleshoot during a photo shoot.
There are many hiccups that happen within a shoot. I often make split-second decisions to ensure that a photo shoot stays on track so I can deliver great imagery at the end of the day. Without a doubt, though, it’s always a little hard when there are multiple ideas being thrown in for one particular shot. Models can get confused, and it’s my job to make sure we stick to the concept. I hate being the bad guy and turning ideas down, because most of them are really good but often don’t fit the concept—it seems to happen every time!