Oprah and Alvin Ailey dancers for O, wooden soldier costume styling only, The Oprah Magazine Cover, Photographer: Ruven Afanador
In my past career as an agent and producer for photographers and stylists, Cannon (Brendan Cannon) was one of my favorite people and certainly one of the most talented artists I worked with. He was always upbeat and genuinely a nice person: a breath of fresh air in a business full of big personalities. Brendan runs The Cannon Media Group and is always traveling the world to style projects with A-list celebrities. He took time out of his hectic schedule to share what it's like to be a stylist, who are some of the greatest people he has worked with and why, and where he loves to go in New York City.
JD: How did you get started in the world of fashion as a stylist?
Cannon: I went on a shoot with my friend who was modeling at the time and I did not like the way they were putting the clothes together on the shoot. I gave input because there was no stylist and I ended up taking over the styling aspect of the shoot and helping the photographer. The photographer then hired me for a lot of jobs and I got a ton of tear sheets for my portfolio. So I guess you could say, the profession of styling chose me as opposed to me choosing styling. It came very naturally to me.
JD: What does a typical day look like for you?
Cannon: Everyday is different and presents its own challenges. Each fitting and job has its own obstacles, whether it be because the job is last minute, the celebrity changes the schedule, or the overall idea of the shoot is altered at the last minute. These are all things I have to be prepared for.
Surrounding myself with a great team is essential for several reasons. I always surround myself with people who know my style, people who can pick up where I left off, and people that I feel comfortable knowing they will prep the job according to my vision as well as the magazine's, creative's, or celebrity's vision of how they view themselves and the project.
JD: What have been some of your favorite shoots?
Cannon: Colin Farrell for GQ Mexico, Photographers: Bleacher + Everard
Alessandra Ambrósio for GQ Brazil, Photographer: Gavin Bond
The cast of SNL for Gotham Magazine, Photographer: Robert Ascroft
Sean O'Pry for Prestige HK Photographer: Mike Ruiz
Karolina Kurkova for Prestige HK, Photographer: Mike Ruiz
JD: Who have been some of the best celebrities to work with and why?
Cannon: Annie Lennox, Angelina Jolie, Colin Farrel, and Jimmy Page.
A lot of times we do not understand the trials and tribulations that celebrities go through on a daily basis - whether it be paparazzi, something disparaging in the news that is not necessarily true, or bad reviews on a project or movie - but this separates the most present and sincere celebrities. It is refreshing to meet people who are so incredibly present while I'm working with them and who listen to my ideas and allow everyone to be a part of the creative process. This collaborative effort in turn creates the best work.
JD: Who are your fashion icons?
Cannon: Halston, Iris Apfel, Linda Evangelista, and Patrick Demarchelier.
JD: What stood out to you most about this years New York Fashion Week?
Cannon: There is an intense creativity constantly in New York and there are various great organizations that are helping emerging designers become more visible.
JD: Favorite NYC based designers?
Cannon: Jason Wu - I've been very lucky to share a great relationship with Jason Wu and watch his rise to fame. He is extremely passionate and driven and has remained humble and true to his artistic vision.
Albertus Swanepoel- I'm absolutely in love with his hats and he is truly a visionary.
Kintu New York - There is a new vegan luxury hand bag designer, Sarah Nakintu. It is always refreshing to see such creativity in emerging brands.
JD: Who do you wear on a daily basis?
JD: What about New York City inspires your work?
Cannon: There is a real energy in New York City that few places in the world have. I sometimes love sitting at a café or a park and seeing how people put their outfits together. It's also incredible to see how driven so many people in New York are and how many truly successful people are there to help them become successful.
JD: How did you get involved with the handmade Italian jewelry line, PLUMA?
Cannon: I was consulting with a designer who really pushed me to take the leap and start working on my jewelry designs because I had offered so many great ideas while I was consulting for them.
We have been incredibly blessed with the press we have received and have many of my favorite top celebrities wearing PLUMA, including Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, and Julia Roberts to name a few. We have a really great team working on the company and are expanding rather quickly.
Starting another company definitely poses its own challenges and everything is a learning experience. We truly have some great ideas and cannot wait for future roll outs. You can get a sneak peak at the jewelry as well as our newest collaboration with MONSE at www.pluma-italia.net.
JD: What are your top 5 favorite spots in NYC?
JD: Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
Cannon: I would like to be more philanthropic and give back to emerging creative minds as well as the community. I would also like to take more time to be in nature, explore more and I'd like to go on a safari before elephants are extinct.
JD: Do you have a dream project?
Cannon: I can honestly say one of my dream projects already came true. I had the chance to become the Fashion Ambassador for Snoopy and Peanuts, where I curated designers to make one-of-a-kind museum pieces for Snoopy and his sister, Belle. The project launched at the New Museum and is currently traveling worldwide.
I got to work closely with the teams and top designers of DVF, Isaac Mizrahi, Rodarte and Zac Posen to name a few and in the process Peanuts donated over $250,000 to charitable causes chosen by the designers. I also got to work with three of my favorites: Melissa Menta, Matt Murphy and Snoopy!
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JD: Thank you so much for your time, Cannon.
Cannon: Thank you, Joe.