MEET THE STYLIST: GENA TUSO
A Conversation with Gena Tuso: Editorial Stylist
Gena Tuso was born and raised in Southern California. With its strong surf and skateboard culture, her locale helped shape her aesthetic vision from a very young age. A mix of 'street' with chic, timeless pieces are what Gena thrives on. The fact that the pieces come from different times and different 'scenes' creates an alchemy; an amalgam of different experiences reflective of her personality.
It is Gena's particular aesthetic that has made her a favorite of both high-fashion photographers and lifestyle brands. She has worked with publications such as Nylon, V, Vision, Vanity Fair, Spur, Rolling Stone and Bullett. Her advertising clients include Puma, Reebok, Pacific Sunwear, O’neil, Graham & Spencer, Vince, Orly and Virgin Mobile. Celebrities include Kristen Stewart, Kat Dennings, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Kravitz, Jamie King and Alicia Silverstone.
In addition to styling, Gena and her husband co-design an accessory line called Symmetry. Gena currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and her dachshund, Hanz.
Gena currently resides in Los Angeles.
Tell us the story behind your favorite wardrobe item
Gena: There are a few...a vintage 80s multicolor Missoni jacket I bought at The Way We Wore awhile ago. It is just the right texture and print to go with almost everything else in my closet including solids and stripes. It just throws off a look so it's imperfectly tied in. Also my black Acne jeans...they have a great tight fit without being official skinny jeans. They had a straight leg when I bought them and wasn't giving my body the right proportion so i hemmed them shorter and do a roll so they have this cool cropped tight look. My uniform often includes these Acne jeans mixed with my Rag & Bone desert boots from fall a few years back. I have really worn them in to a point where they look older than they really are...in a good way. A couple pieces I love and have had since they were new are my Bones Brigade T-shirt and my Black Flag T-shirt. Lots of good worn in holes and have both faded perfectly.
What’s your most memorable ‘panic moment’?
Gena: Major panic moments are usually dealing with something being shipped and not arriving in time for a shoot or fitting. I had a major fitting with one of my client's for his premiere and press tour. He was leaving the next day and the suits that were going to work for him got stuck in customs coming over from Tokyo.
How did you recover from it gracefully?
Gena: I had a lot of back up suiting, but the missing ones were the perfect fit since he is smaller. The box ended up arriving the same day as fitting, but it was a lot of time on the phone with Fedex and no guarentees it would get to Los Angeles. Everything always seems to work out in the end.
What is your favorite era for fashion?
Gena: That's a hard one! I really love the mod looks of the 60s especially menswear and suiting. I'm influenced a lot by menswear in general for both men and women. I also am really into the late 60s/early 70s style when the punks started to form. I love the rebellion during such a hippy time. So much was going on at that point for both fashion and music. I'm obsessed with the Vivienne Westwood/Malcolm McLaren days when fashion was more of an art project...back when skinny jeans were hard to find. Love all the Teddy Boys back then too. Such a great mix of people I would have loved to hang out with.
What was your big break?
Gena: I had been laid off from a dotcom job in San Francisco and moved to New York where I landed a gig working in visuals at Diesel. I had seen stylists come in to the store and knew it was something I'd be into. I kinda winged it and got an editorial through a photographer friend. That kinda snowballed into more editorials for magazines like Nylon and Anthem which turned into me getting my first agent which turned into me getting advertising gigs. I did meet one of my first clients, Anton Yelchin, during a Nylon shoot. He needed a suit for a premiere so I hooked him up with a great dior look and to this day I am still dressing him.
Whose closet would you most like to raid?
Gena: David Bowie
Who are your favorite designers?