Melissa Nixon is a fashion stylist, creative director and producer. Melissa is also the Fashion Styling and Creative Direction mentor at Melbourne Fashion Institute (MFI). We sat down to chat about her professional background, the fashion industry, what she loves about mentoring at Melbourne Fashion Institute and what a budding stylist can expect from the course.
[To enrol or enquire about the Melbourne Fashion Institute Fashion Styling & Creative Direction course please call (03) 8669 1530, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out this link.
MFI – Melissa, tell us about your professional background.
MN – I have a media/radio background, I ran an events management business and I’ve worked with production houses between Australia, the UK, Europe and NYC.
MFI – Where and how did your fashion journey begin?
MN – It was more of a natural progression. While working in media, running events and working on film clips, I soon learned I had an eye for garment construction, a love for fabrics and design and the ability to pull it all together. I was then asked to dress and shoot international talent for promos and from there I found my niche which is styling and creative direction.
MFI – Where do you find inspiration?
MN – The creativity and inspiration comes from films, print magazines and everyday life. When I see something that makes me reflect or is thought provoking, I will use this as a starting point for the different concepts I create.
MFI – Who are your style icons?
MN – Audrey Hepburn and Margaret Zhang.
MFI – What areas of the industry do you work in?
MN – My work varies a lot from music videos, editorials, commercial campaigns, domestic and international runway, personal styling, celebrity styling and other red carpet events. I also fulfill brand ambassador roles for companies like Foxtel and Sass and Bide.
MFI – Tell us about something fun you have coming up?
Style Week for Sass and Bide. I’m a guest stylist for the second year, it’s a really fun week of music and styling. [style week 1-12 March]
MFI – What’s your best advice for an aspiring stylist?
MN – Work hard, believe in yourself and be patient. If you have the opportunity to volunteer or assist, take it. Treat this work experience with importance and learn from those who inspire you.
Be a good communicator and don’t make promises you can’t keep. The industry is all about networks and you need to earn trust and a credible reputation.
MFI – What do you enjoy most about mentoring at MFI?
MN – Over the four years since the MFI Fashion Styling and Creative Direction course started I’ve really loved being able to give back and to impart what I know to the next generation. Being able to motivate and help people realise their potential, achieve their goals and work hard. It’s awesome to see my students graduate and achieve great things in the industry.
MFI – What can students thinking of enrolling in the course expect to learn?
MN – Besides gaining the practical skills to be a stylist, students also learn about work ethic, communication, team work, time management, business and they also experience the real life challenges of the industry and how to overcome those challenges.
It’s an amazing industry and the creative potential is endless but there is a lot of work, learning and detail that goes into being job ready and that’s what MFI offers, industry based experience so students can hit the ground running after graduation.
MFI – Industry experience is what MFI is all about, how often do you get your students to help out on your shoots and projects?
MN – There are always opportunity for work experience in the industry but it is 100% up to the student to put their hand up and want to work. By being pro-active and willing to learn students will be given the chance to thrive.
MFI – What is it about the MFI Styling and Creative Direction Course that sets it apart from other courses?
MN – MFI is all about industry-based teaching and outcomes. This is not a text book course, it’s about practical learning, based on current industry trends. MFI employs teachers who are also working in industry and in the area that they are delivering training. I would not be a mentor at MFI if I wasn’t current in my styling and creative direction career.
I offer great support to the students throughout the course in all areas; I want my students to succeed and be industry ready, feel supported, happy and above all creative.