Veneda CarterAn interview with a superstar stylist.

Veneda CarterAn interview with a superstar stylist.

  • Words Rosalind Jana
  • Photograph Sissel Abel

Veneda Carter’s style is assembled from clashing parts: skewed proportions, billowing fabrics, unexpected details. After growing up in Copenhagen, where she admired her older brother’s taste (her teenage soundtrack was heavy on Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill), the former model caught the eye of Kanye West in 2016 for her boldly layered looks posted to Instagram. A stint as Kim Kardashian’s stylist followed, and Carter began working with brands including Stüssy and Timberland. She’s a stylist who’s always trying to “freak it”: ballet flats worn with cargo pants, or heavy boots paired with something delicate. 

Rosalind Jana: What was your first point of contact with the fashion industry? 

Veneda Carter: I got really into fashion around the same time I started modeling. I was only 13, brought into the industry at a very early age. It introduced me to a world that I had no knowledge of. 

RJ: As a model, you’re the most visible but you have the least autonomy. Were you interested in styling as a way of having creative control? 

VC: One hundred percent. It’s such a fulfilling feeling doing something that you’re good at, and people appreciating it and wanting more, [especially when] for so many years you didn’t feel like you had a say in anything. You were just there—like a product or a mannequin. 

RJ: You developed a specific aesthetic—mixing street style with more elegant elements. 

VC: I always tried to elevate it because I feel like streetwear is one thing and it’s cool for what it is, but I’m still female. I love the tomboy look, and I love baggy clothes, but I always had a mission to flip it or give it a strong feminine perspective. 

RJ: You have a knack for tapping into a style that is very much your own, but also seems reflective of wider aesthetic shifts. Do you pay attention to trends? 

VC: It is very intuitive with me. I feel like if I looked too much at trends, or what someone is wearing, it would take away my authenticity. I can definitely be inspired by or attracted to elements of what designers are doing, but I always want to make it mine. Right now I’m really into denim, like a capri pant: long, over the knee. 

RJ: How do you find it styling yourself versus styling other people? What’s it like when you’re not using yourself as the canvas?

VC: Sometimes it’s easier because I think certain things don’t look as good on me. I feel a bit more limited with myself; I can be more experimental when I work with models. There’ll be certain ideas that might not [be functional] in real life. When I work on a photo shoot, I have more freedom. 

RJ: The fantasy space of fashion imagery is quite separate to the daily realities of personal style. Are there any styling moments that feel particularly memorable to you? 

VC: Obviously, my time with Kim [Kardashian] was very special. I learned so much working with her, just exploring my ideas and her being open to a lot. She’s one of the most photographed women in the world, so being able to see some of my looks on her, I can’t lie, that was a huge moment.

RJ: Are there particular items in your wardrobe that you feel especially proud to own?

VC: I spend a lot of time on eBay. I don’t have anything specifically in my closet that I’m like, “Wow,” [but] I like to find really rare stuff or even deadstock or old pieces you can’t get anymore. I have this one Avirex all-white leather jacket, which I love so much.

You are reading a complimentary story from Issue 47

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