Sylvia Haghjoo | Art Director

Sylvia Haghjoo
Art Director


Hailing from Hamburg, she describes herself as a visual poet and creative mind. Led by her instincts and intuition, she lets her emotions do the talking, feeding her soul through art, travel and ample time in the countryside. Believing the best things comes from keeping it simple, meet the now Paris based Art Director, Sylvia Haghjoo, as we catch up with her in France's Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY
I came in touch with the fashion industry through fashion retail. After my apprenticeship as a retail sales manager I went directly to New York. In 2010, I considered studying at Parsons in New York. A student consultant at the university gave the idea of establishing a blog which could in turn increase my chances of receiving a scholarship. At first I didn't like the idea of putting myself and my work on the world wide web.

After some thought and solace from one of my closest friends Susanne, I created Hug-You and asked my sister Julia to join the passion for photography and arts. That’s how we ended up building a source of visual poetries and are now, besides creating content, involved in creative creation / art direction and consultancy for our clients. And I could not do it without Julia, our work blooms together. So basically when I came back from New York and established the blog I started to study Fashion Management in my hometown Hamburg and blogged part-time. Devotion, passion, hard work and trust of our strong network brought me to where I am today. Very thankful.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ART DIRECTOR LOOK LIKE?
In Germany we say it's kind of an 'Überraschungsei', / Surprise egg, every day turns out to be different to another. I could say that I live and breathe visual communication. It goes back and forth between, collaborating, creating, overseeing.

If I am not travelling my mornings do have a routine, I try to have a walk in a park in the morning as it awakens my senses and is a great source to stay grounded throughout the day. I always have a cup of coffee in the morning while I browse through mail and scroll through social media. I have to be honest, I don't like structure. I feel more productive when I just work by the motto 'go with the flow'.

I have days, weeks, that I spend with InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator when I work on concepts or create my gallery and I have days, weeks where I am away running all over the place in different cities.

I spend a lot of time meeting our clients personally, traveling between Paris and London. And I love the idea of surrounding myself with talented people, with people who might have more experience than myself. The outcomes of any project remain something to be proud of.

Most of the time of the year I am involved in attending the Fashion Weeks. I find a lot of artistic inspiration in books, editorials, magazines, nature.

Conversations, moments and emotions can be my source of inspiration too. I do take notes of thoughts, lived moments or things I have seen, specific emotions I have felt and I save imagery that inspires or touches me in a certain way.

Some days never come to an end, especially during Fashion Weeks. I do work a lot, I wake up at 6 or 7 am and come back by 11PM sometimes even 2AM and that continues for weeks. And then there is the beloved summer season when things get more calm and I find the time for myself and research. It could also be named the time of regeneration and inspiration. But as this job is unpredictable, who knows maybe the next year will change...

DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I feed my vision and soul by spending a lot of time in nature or the countryside. It's essential for me to be surrounded by calmness. The process of being an image maker takes a lot of energy and that's why it is so important to me to have some quiet time in between where my creativity can flow. I do take a lot of inspiration from art exhibits, galleries, fashion shows, books, travels and conversations. I typically put together moodboards, but my creative process has no rules. I just take it as it comes together.

 

YOU'VE SAID THAT FASHION SHOW ARE SOME OF YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION SOURCES, WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE/FAVOURITE SHOW OF ALL TIME
I personally feel most inspired by fashion shows, to participate in the shows is very important to me. Everything from location, to the music, the styling and all small details you only can see in person. The captivating atmosphere and those details are something that inspire me a lot. CHANEL in Hamburg was one of the most memorable shows for me of all time. A show to remember...

MERGING FASHION WITH ART IS A PROFOUND PART OF YOUR WORK, TELL US WHY THIS IS AND HOW YOU INTERWEAVE THE TWO
Fashion is a very important form of self-expression and art truly has the power of transcendence. For my work, I filter things down and show what I personally like. A curation which is based on my personal aesthetics.I don't follow trends. I look at fashion as art and consequently combine current and vintage fashionable pieces. I see the body as the canvas, decorated by style.

Mostly intuitive and fluid, drawn to an emotion or feeling that comes from within while creating and curating. Sometimes it’s a mystery to myself how the curation comes together. I have days where I have the idea right away of a dream painting and other times I am led to a place that I had not initially expected.

My eye is often drawn to perfection of shapes, colours and composition, and it's layers in meaning. The choice of art depends on my personal photographs and outfit imagery which complement each other by complementary colours. And this is it.

YOUR ADVICE TO OTHERS ON FINDING YOUR OWN STYLE?
I think the key is to keep things as simple as possible. Have a small assortment of basics. Choose what flatters your body shape the most, you can truly adapt the same when it comes to colours. Opposites do attract too, mix feminine and masculine pieces because they bring refreshing contrast in silhouettes and textures. Comfort comes first, because it brings confidence - when you feel good in what you are wearing you carry yourself with more self-assurance. I would rather invest in essentials or vintage pieces that complete the rest of my existing wardrobe than in changing my entire wardrobe.

Also I love the less-is-more dressing. Understated and understandable looks with an attention to detail - a mix of clean and cosy, an aesthetic that is classic and minimalistic but with a focus on interesting details. Everyday dressing that references trends without being completely led by them. When buying cloths, choose wisely. Think long-lasting pieces that you can wear for many years. Also many things get better and look more casual when they have been worn in.

The Alice Blouse and Dalby Trouser

YOUR TOP FIVE GO TO WARDROBE STAPLES
High waist skinny jeans
A blazer
My Chanel ballerina shoes
Black dress
Trench coat

 

FAVOURITE PIECE OF ALL TIME IN YOUR WARDROBE
My CHANEL handbag from the Métiers d'Art Paris - Hamburg Collection.
It adds texture and interest to any outfit.

BEST THING ABOUT YOUR HOME TOWN OF HAMBURG
My family and friends. And I love the Alster Lake and the traditional Franzbrötchen (Cinnamon Bun).

 

BEST KEPT SECRETS / ADDRESSES IN HAMBURG
Elbhilharmonie, we Hamburgers call it Elbphi. Book the concert in advance, outstanding architecture and acoustic in the concert hall.

Henriks for Lunch or / and Dinner
Elbgold for the best Cinnamon Bun / Franzbrötchen and Coffee
Elbgold for the best Cinnamon Bun / Franzbrötchen and Coffee

FAVOURITE PLACES IN YOUR NEW CITY OF PARIS
Recently I have been to Le Petit Keller and loved the atmosphere.
This one became a favourite place which I will visit more often, a discreet and very charming restaurant with super delicious food.
I also love to go to the Palais Royal and have a coffee at Café Kitsune.

My absolute favourite Arrondissement in Paris is the 7th! The galleries, antique shops and the special atmosphere, it's so soothing to my soul.
The Bouquinistes of Paris, the booksellers of antiquarian books who ply their trade along the large sections of the Seine.
Passed by Le Petit Varenne and loved the interior, need to try out how it is for dining.
7L Librarie which was created by Karl Lagerfeld! Truly the best book selection!
And as I take a lot of my inspiration from books, this bookstore is a true delight.

Comptoir de L'image
Musee Picasso
The Broken Arm for Breakfast or Lunch
Musee de la vie Romantique / it is such a romantic café!
LouLou Restaurant for the best truffle pizza.
Telescope for the best banana bread.
Kunitoraya for Lunch.
Jardin des Plantes for a nice walk!
I love strolls through Montmatre.
The Grand Palais as I have already so many beautiful memories linked to CHANEL within.

The list would become endless if I were to continue! So as you can see I really love my new city.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FRENCH AND GERMAN STYLE?
e French always look so incredibly elegant, effortless and chic, even the simplest stylization like jeans and shirt looks sophisticated.
Also the way they move, such unbearable elegance.
The German style is plain, minimalist and sober. Comfort and practically comes first!

 

FAVOURITE PLACE YOU HAVE TRAVELLED?
Venice, it's so so romantic and I am truly looking forward to return at the end of August.
And I love the South of France! Especially Provence!

SOMEWHERE YOU HAVEN'T TRAVELLED YET BUT WANT TO?
I would love to visit Japan!

 

WHAT DOES YOUR STAR SIGN TELL US ABOUT YOU?
I am a Taurus Lady, incredibly patient, humble and of very loyal nature. Also a true creative, I am led by my intuition and emotions.
Once my trust is broken, there is no going back.

 

THREE THINGS YOU NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT?
15ml of Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream, an external charger for my phone and sunglasses.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FROM YOUR NEXT / ANY EXCITING PROJECTS YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?
After we finally accomplished the project *sign an apartment in Paris* ...
I will be focussing on the launch of our online journal.

We will transfer all creative work on the website as it gives us more space for creation.
I have been working on the journal now for over 1 and a half years.
 
The delay comes due to travels, or other unpredictable situations.
 
Also my sister Julia and I shot and directed as well as modelled our upcoming story for Glamour Germany in collaboration with CHANEL.
I am truly looking forward to when this project comes out this Fall.

Aje Insider : Sylvia Haghjoo
Photographer : Julia Haghjoo

Shot in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France


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