To highlight just one element of David Greene’s career in a short introduction is difficult. After all, this Finglas native has had his styling feature in Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE Russia, Vogue Italia and The Cut. He recently jumped at the opportunity to move to Los Angeles, where he now holds the title of Head of Styling at Farfetch North America.
Not one to rest on his laurels, he was also recently named fashion editor of Reserved Magazine and a contributing fashion editor for Man About Town magazine. Here he tells IMAGE.ie about the importance of assisting, following your passion and finding balance.
Were you always interested in fashion?
I’ve always had the mantra that you should “do what makes you happy”. If you’re not happy going to work everyday, only you have the power to change that. Otherwise you’re settling and you should never settle! I knew I’d work in fashion or interiors because it’s what I truly enjoy.
Why did you choose to study building surveying?
It was as close as I could get to architecture at the time. If I was choosing a degree now, I’d do something more along the arts line. However, I still use a lot of skills I learned then and just apply it differently now – shape, proportion, texture and silhouette.
What was your first ‘real’ job?
My first real job was in Tesco when I was 16. I met lifetime best pals and had the absolute craic for years! If ‘real’ means serious and fashion-related, it was in London some years later.
What was the most valuable thing you learned early in your career?
Assist, assist, assist. Work hard. Build your connections. Stay true to your identity and always be the best version of yourself. Everything else will happen when you do that.
What’s a common misconception about what you do?
I guess the most common misconception is that being a stylist is exceptionally glamorous. Don’t get me wrong, at times it can be and I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with amazing people and lived amazing experiences. But for the most part, it’s long days, early mornings, fast-paced and high stress. But if you work hard it eventually pays off. You can be sure of that.
What made you move to LA?
I moved to LA with Farfetch to take over from my boss who was moving back to the UK. I was in Hong Kong for two years before that and between London and Portugal for five years before that. So, I thought “why not”. I love it here now. I’ve settled in so much easier than I thought I would. It can be a crazy place at times, but it’s also extremely laid back and the weather is hard to beat.
What’s your main responsibility at Farfetch?
Right now, I oversee all styling and creative content for North America. I have a pretty large team of stylists, juniors and assistants. I also have a studio coordinator and an image quality specialist who is essentially my second set of eyes.
Biggest career highlight to date?
Last week I got to shoot with Alexi Lubomirski, who is one of the world’s most sought-after fashion photographers. That was pretty special. The drag shoot I did for Vogue Italia was also a big moment for me. Being named as one of “Ireland’s 30 Under 30” (by the Irish Independent) was nice too!
How stressful would you rate your line of work? What do you do to de-stress?
It’s pretty stressful. I probably work myself a little more than I should, juggling Farfetch and doing my own editorial stuff on the side . . . but I’ll never change that!
To de-stress, I read most nights for 30 minutes before bed. I do yoga at least three time a week and on weekends I hit the beach for a swim and have a couple of margaritas with my pal on the terrace at the Soho beach house in Malibu. That normally does the trick. If you haven’t already, read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and then do yourself a favour and listen to Oprah’s podcast where they discuss every chapter in detail. It’s pretty major!
Do you have a career mentor or someone you look up to?
I’ve been so lucky to meet some incredible people all of whom I take guidance and influence from. There’s no one person in a work capacity. However I’d be nowhere without the life lessons that my mam gave to me. She’s the most honest, selfless person I’ve ever met and for that, amongst many other reasons, she’ll always be my number one.
What’s the biggest risk you have taken in your career so far?
Moving to Hong Kong. I was so out of my comfort zone and I had to sacrifice a lot. I still question it at times.
For people who want to get into your line of work, what’s your advice?
Decide what area you want to specialise in, whether that is styling, photography, art direction, set design, etc. Then really focus on developing your knowledge and skills on how to do it and do it well. Research and read. Work relentlessly hard, stay determined, stay creative and, most of all, stay true to your identity. Be prepared for things to take time. It’s a competitive industry, but if you love it enough you’ll get there and you’ll succeed.
Check out Greene’s portfolio here.
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