Behind The Swimwear Rituals Campaign: Nicole Adolphe

  • Style
posted by James Willmott

From wrapping up gifts to wrapping up photoshoots, Nicole Adolphe started from the bottom now she here! Accompanying us on our Swimwear Rituals campaign, the talented, yoga-loving beauty took the role of Head Stylist, bringing her years of expertise and bubbly personality to the table.

We managed to take two with the brunette beauty to find out more about herself, where she draws inspiration for her mindblowing styles, the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the talent and much more.

Nicole, thanks for catching up. For those who don’t know, give us a brief run down of yourself and what you are about?
I’m a freelance stylist who loves to travel and surf. I was previously the Fashion Director for Cosmopolitan, Cleo and beauty Editor on Dolly mag. I love checking out new places and am obsessed with more street style type fashion, denim and swim. I currently live in Bondi and my fave place in the world would have to be Bali.
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You were the Head Stylist for SurfStitch’s Swimwear Rituals campaign, shot in New Caledonia. Tell us all about it!?
Amazing! Yeah, seriously what other job allows you to hang in the sun all day on a catamaran with a great crew of people producing awesome summer shots. I’ve never been to New Caledonia so I was looking forward to the trip and I’ll definitely be back here.

Can you tell us about the relationship you have to have with both the photographer and motion guys to ensure your look and style is presented exactly how you want it to be?
I have all the swimwear and accessories pre-styled in bags before we start the day and have already arranged who is wearing what, so it runs smoothly. I dress the models and try to stay close by watching for twisted swim straps or bum eating pants. If I see something that doesn’t look good I’ll jump in and fix it and if I have any great ideas on what to do pose wise or location wise I will also suggest it. Working with Carly and Mike, the vibe was so easy and chilled, we had heaps of references in our head of what we wanted to create, so we were all on the same page.

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How did you first break into the world of style?
I did work experience as a visual merchandiser at David Jones whilst still in school which lead to a job as a Christmas gift wrapper… after my gift wrapping days I interned at ELLE magazine which lead to a job as the Editor’s assistant on another title. Just being open about how much I loved fashion and beauty, lead to them giving me fashion opportunities which I must have done an OK job, as then I was offered a Job at CLEO as the Fashion Lifestyle Editor. Cosmo came after that. Oh and of course on the way I had random jobs in bars and retail stores to help pay for the clothes I wanted to wear!

Did you study?
Yes. I have a BA majoring in education & psychology. To this day, I have no idea why I studied this as I have never used it but my parents were keen on me getting the piece of paper that said I had a degree. Fashion wise, I have learnt on the job.

Where did you draw inspiration for the styles and combinations on this campaign?
Luke Scharkie the Creative Director showed me a complete brief of what he wanted to achieve for the campaign. I loved it as it really embodied summer and the carefree whimsical lifestyle that everyone wants. From there, I took on board the colours and trends the buyers had focused on to team the swimsuit combinations together and add the boho jewellery to match.


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How do you decide what will work for each of the talent?
I’d worked with Monika and Kristina before so I knew their personality, heights and body shapes and I insta stalked Tristyn, Brinkley and Anya to see their body shapes and see what styles they usually wear to get an idea of what looked good on them before the shoot. On a shoot with 5 girls it’s always a mad rush so I had to prep this prior. I look at the talent and then the swimsuit and think… hey this will flatter Monika, or only Kristina can pull off this brazillian brief off, or this bikini is teeny and may only fit on Anya. I want every model to look hot in what they have on. Of course, if a bikini didn’t work on one girl, I also swapped it at the time.

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Can you tell us about your work process and rituals?
I start everyday at 6am with an hour walk and then coffee. My best creative ideas come to me on the coastal walk in the morning. By 9am I am ready to get into my emails. I prefer to start late on my prep days and work later so that I can to enjoy my mornings. I love a mid week party or drink and then on Saturday and Sunday I do yoga and surf and always have arvo drinks both days. Work-wise, shoots always tend to be early so that means often 4.30am starts. So we are ready to shoot by 6.30am. Some weeks I might have 2 shoots on with early starts and other weeks 5 days of shooting, so it’s a bit unpredictable but I love it.

What advice can you give to up and comers looking to chase the same dream job?
I say go for it, you make your own way. If you are talented, you get noticed. Make sure your Instagram feed and socials reflects your style and start doing some practice shoots styling friends, and do internships to network. I have had heaps of assistants on jobs that have been epic and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again and put them forward for jobs. You need high energy to do the job as often I’m working 4.30am – midnight, and on a regular basis. Taking a couple of photos takes a lot longer than you think and there is the travel time and prep time, not to mention all the emails, and opening boxes and washing and ironing clothes.

Does your job help shape your own individual style?
Yes, I see so many trends because I’m always looking at new collections and international fashion shows for inspo. I add elements of trends to my outfits whenever I see something cool. That said, I can just as easily live in a pair of denim shorts and a tee all summer long.

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Tell us about 5 trends you are loving for the summer ahead?
1. Crochet – I am loving this trend and seriously am getting myself a crochet bikini first up. Actually anything crochet or macramé is on trend right now.
2. Frayed denim in contemporary styles eg. A long denim skirt or a denim top or dress rather than the usual jeans
3. Boho suedes… in anything, bags, sandals, skirts, really love this look with a floaty top. I’m definitely not a girly girl, but I love giving those floral tops a cool edge with boots or a hat.
4. Stripes. Coloured stripes in 70’s colourways or thin black and white stripes.
5. Sports luxe. Yes its back, mesh, primary colours and grey marle.