Meet MIRIAN NJOH, a fashion stylist who is ever growing and developing her style, technique, and philosophy. Always striving to follow the navigation of her inner compass, MIRIAN NJOH has the passion and unique innovation that she applies to her life and equally to her work. She has fun with her work, knowing that other people can see her happiness while being in the spotlight of the fashion world, she wants to promote the message of freedom and being individual. She also gives us some sound advice regarding social media, as well as her past with music and songwriting.
Could you introduce yourself?
Hello! My name is Mirian Njoh, and I’m a fashion stylist currently based in Toronto, Canada. What’s your life philosophy? How do you try to apply that to your work?
I’m still developing my life philosophy, actually. I suppose one keeps developing a life philosophy until they die, and I still have a lot more living to do. But lately my philosophy has been all about honing and trusting my intuition. Whether it’s about a new job, a person, anything. I’m always striving to follow the navigation of my inner compass. When it comes to my work, I try to do what feels right. It’s usually been the projects where I didn’t speak up when I should have or didn’t do things my way that I end up not liking. Could you tell us one change you would like to see in the world?
More empathy. The world needs a lot more of it. I think one of the biggest factors in many of the world’s problems is a lack of empathy. With such a unique image and style, do you feel that it helps you stand apart in the fashion and styling industries?
I think it’s definitely a fun bonus. Everybody gravitates to the places where they feel most at home, and for me one of those places is the fashion industry. Differences are celebrated here. Flaunted even. Dancing to the beat of your own drum is not only encouraged, but expected, and those who dance freely have the most fun. I’m having a lot of fun and I think people see that. You seem to have a strong liking for minimalism, do you feel that less is more?
I never really pegged myself as a minimalist. Looking at my book I could see how one might get that impression, but often times it’s because I’m working with a fashion direction that calls for a more refined, streamlined look. I like experimenting with all kinds of styles and I have a few projects coming up that explore my maximalist side, so I’m excited about sharing that part of myself too.
Do you believe that media platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr are the key to sharing artistic talents, and moving the generation forward in terms of creative sharing?
I love social media, but I also think it’s a double-edged sword. I think it’s great to use for sharing, but it’s also abused through oversharing and overexposing. I think the key to sharing art that moves people forward is first having or developing genuine talent and then sharing it in a way that feels purposeful and authentic to those receiving it. Social media is just a tool. It’s a great tool, but it’s not the key. With the list of major clients you’ve worked with, what’s one thing you’ve learned from it all that’s bettered your skill and confidence?
One thing I’ve learned is that clothes and fashion are only 50% of the job. The other half is how you make people feel. Do they trust you? Do they think you’re competent? I think styling is very subjective, so understanding the part of it that has nothing to do with clothes and excelling there is something I think is really important. Do you feel that Toronto is the place to be to forward your career?
I wouldn’t say Toronto is ‘the’ place, but I would say it’s a good place to be. There is a lot going on here, but I don’t see myself exclusively working in this market. I’ve been to NYC a few times and I love working there. I’d love to go to LA. Montreal has an amazing fashion industry as well. So for now I see myself based in Toronto but exploring different opportunities in different cities. If you could style anyone, dead or alive, who would you style and why?
What a tough question! I’m not sure I could pick just one person. I love Rococo –era fashion with all of its opulence and frivolity, so I feel like it would be really fun to dress a figure like Marie Antoinette. Would it be uncomfortable for someone else to style you, since your career is styling others?
I don’t think it would be uncomfortable, but I think it would be a challenge for the person doing it. I’m sure I’d be exacting. I’d liken the experience to trying to cook dinner for Wolfgang Puck. I’m sure it could be done, though I’d much rather style myself. What are your thoughts on the role feminism has been playing in fashion today? Do you feel that this generation is making a change for the better?
Fashion has long been a vehicle for subverting, challenging and disrupting culture for different movements. It’s a medium used for the communication of different agendas including the feminist agenda if that’s what the wearer wishes. It can be as overt as Beyonce rocking a “FLAWLESS” t-shirt aimed at promoting positive body image and self-acceptance among women, or as subtle as Miley Cyrus wearing next to nothing as an expression of her autonomy and sole ownership over her womanhood including the freedom and power to express her sexuality. Feminism also shows up as a topic of discussion on the runways as it did in Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2015 Suffrage-style protest. I think all of those examples have and continue to spark conversation and debate which I think is always a good thing. Are there any quotes or sayings that have stuck with you over the years?
I recently heard a quote that goes: “No one interesting is universally liked”. It really stuck with me as I think that’s true. Interesting people are complex; they often have polarizing opinions and just as often have a level of self-contradiction. What are three of your go-to pieces of clothing, and why?
Currently I have a pretty big obsession with crop tops and sports bras. Maybe it’s because the weather is warming up and it’s slowly becoming possible to wear them outside. I also love fitted pencil skirts. I think they’re a great mix of femininity and sexiness. One thing I don’t have right now but I’d love to get is a leather biker jacket. You can wear them so many ways. It’d be hard to go wrong with a good quality one. If you had to choose one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
Dynamic. In terms of music, what song would be the perfect soundtrack to your style?
I don’t think such a song exists as my style is always changing and evolving. I used to be an avid songwriter for most of my life and I wrote a song called “My Way” a few years back which is probably the closest thing I have to a style theme song, but very few people have heard it. What do you surround yourself with to feel inspired?
I don’t surround myself with anything with the sole or main purpose of being inspired. I’m just a naturally curious person, so I constantly seek out things I think are interesting in general, learn about them, and file them away in a mental reference library. Then I might call upon them later. What are some future projects you have in mind, that you don’t mind sharing?
I recently started a blog called cul+ure (pronounced “culture”) at www.whereculturelives.com. Currently it’s just a home for random musings, selfies and other anecdotal life stuff, but I’d love to grow it more once I decide a direction to take it. I also have a few different editorials I did earlier in the year finally coming out in the summer print issues of a few magazines, so I’m very excited about those. What makes you happy?
I heard somewhere that happiness is a moving target. I’d have to agree with that sentiment. Besides family and close friends of course, right now being my own boss makes me really happy. Being able to live a self-directed life. Any closing comments?