A Conversation with Luke Storey: Stylist & School of Style Founder
Stylist Luke Storey moved to Hollywood at 19, with his sights on a career in music. While playing and touring with various bands in the 90’s he found himself in the frequent position of being called upon as the “stylist” for the bands he played with. It wasn’t long before he became more interested in channeling his creativity through fashion, and quickly became a highly sought after assistant, working with styling superpowers like Andrea Lieberman, Trish Summerville, and B Akerlund.
Eventually Luke branched out on his own and worked with a wide array of artists like Kanye West, Marilyn Manson, Foo Fighters, The Kills, Lisa Marie Presley, and No Doubt. Other celebrity clients have included Sebastian Stan, Ryan Kwanten, Kendall Jenner, Levin Rambin, Kim Kardashian, and Krysten Ritter.
Luke has also had the opportunity to work with some of the industry’s most renowned photographers such as David LaChapelle, Matthias Vriens, Kenneth Capello and Richard Burbridge. In addition to magazines like Bullett, Flaunt, Spin, and Zink, in 2011 Luke became a regular fashion contributor to London based Fault Magazine.
Known not only for his talent behind the camera but also in front of it, Luke has appeared on numerous television shows including Style Star, America’s Most Smartest Model, Glam God, and The Hills.
In 2008 Luke founded School of Style, a unique training program for aspiring stylists held at Smashbox Studios in LA and Ace Hotel in NYC. With an extremely high success rate, School of Style graduates have gone on to assist the industry’s top stylists like June Ambrose, Arianne Phillips, Karl Templer, and Collen Atwood, as well as working with countless top fashion photographers, magazines, and celebrities.
Tell us the story behind your favorite wardrobe item
Luke: My favorite item I own is currently a pair of YSL leopard print pony hair sneakers. After 2 years of listening to my partner Lauren relentlessly clown my trashy sneakers I finally caved and got some grown up kicks. The YSL's were quickly followed by a pair of wicked suede and patent leather Lanvin. I can now see a pattern developing, and have come to understand how women can spend $900 on a single pair of shoes. You really do need a different pair for every outfit!
What's your most memorable 'panic moment'?
Luke: My worst all-time panic moment was when I realized that I had gone $10k over budget on a Christina Aguilera/Nelly music video. That is not a typo. Ten thousand US dollars. Producers typically freak if you go even $1k over budget, so you can imagine the shit storm that hit me when I made the call. To make matters worse the budget was only for the background talent and dancers! Probably the worst fail ever in the history of styling. This was 9 years ago, and still easily ranks #1 in my book of disasters.
How did you recover from it gracefully?
Luke: I was only able to pull off a partial recovery. I had actually adopted the job halfway through from another stylist, so there were endless justifications as to why the job went so far over budget-none of which directly being my fault. My mistake was in not letting the producer know how far over budget we were until it was too late to reallocate funds from other departments. In the end I was only able to justify half of the screw up.
What is your favorite era for fashion?
Luke: My favorite era is usually the current one. Even though all art, including fashion, is somewhat derivative there is always something exciting about seeing things for the first time. That being said, I would have to site the late 60’s as being the most dynamic and exciting period in fashion.
What was your big break?
Luke: My big break actually took a few years! I was assisting a grip of amazing stylists in LA, so eventually I started to get some pretty decent “hand me down” jobs from the stylists which I assisted. A few of these turned out to be clients which I still have today, such as Spin Magazine.
Whose closet would you most like to raid?
Luke: Rick Owens
Who are your favorite designers?