Interview: Meet Natalie Joos, Tales of Endearment
by Alie Cuomo
Belgian-born Natalie Joos moved to New York to begin a successful career in fashion. Starting as Glenn O’Brienn’s assistant, she became Craig McDean’s studio manager before launching her own casting agency in 2003. With Hugo Boss and Phillip Lim among her clients, Natalie also works with several renowned publications such as Purple and V magazine. Her keen eye, ability to inspire loyalty (she launched the career of fellow Belgian Anouck Lepere), and unrivaled class make her one of the main players of the fashion industry. Through her blog ‘Tales of Endearment,’ she shares with us her glamorous and stylish routine, featuring her fashion crushes and her love for vintage. Intrigued by the whole muses phenomenon, and because she is so active online, we asked her opinion on the subject, and whether or not the internet can help create them.
Alie: As a casting director, you decide which model is going to be “it.” Do you think it is easier now for a model to become known than it was during the supermodels golden age in the 90’s?
Natalie: Not really. There are hundreds or girls working in the industry who will reach a certain celebrity status eventually, either very short-lived one hit wonders or some elite girls with more longevity. Everyone gets a chance. You just have to be at the right place at the right time.
Alie:What is a muse for you?
Natalie: I have always had Muses on my blog. They are the girls I shoot, either at their home or in a vintage store, or both. I choose the girls based on their personal style and whether it inspires me, or will inspire my readers.
Alie: The first muse you featured on the new site was Annabelle Dexter-Jones. For you, is she the living definition of a modern muse? What made you choose her for this special occasion?
Natalie: Annabelle is many things, not just a muse, but also a role model, an inspiration, an idol. Girls her age look up to her because she has an interesting life. She dresses in a certain way and doesn’t stray from her style. She’s consistently cute. We had many ideas for the relaunch muse but eventually chose her because she was the most enthusiastic and also very relevant. She’s the new generation it-girl.
Alie: Many designers have a strong connection with particular models (Karl Lagerfeld with Claudia Schiffer and Freja Beha Erichsen for example) Can models become muses?
Natalie: Of course. All models are muses. A model has to personify and carry a collection. A designer will not choose a model that does not embody his collection.
Alie: Do you feel a special artistic connection to them as well?
Natalie: I have my favorites. They’re not necessarily girls that inspire me creatively. I like certain girls because of their personality and I connect with them on a personal level. Those are the girls I tend to want to book the most because they’re fun to be around.
Alie: Due to the Internet, do you think it is easier to become a muse or fashion icon right now than it was in the 60’s and 70’s?
Natalie: Definitely. Anyone who has style can be seen on the street style blogs. They get photographed but also take their own pictures. Look at Susie Bubble, The Glamourai, and me even. We all hope to give people something cool and inspiring to look at and in this way we be-muse an audience of fashion fanatics.
Alie: What do you think is the most important action someone can take to develop creativity?
Natalie: You are either creative or you’re not. I don’t know if you can take steps to develop this….
Alie: Who inspires you? Who are your muses?
Natalie: My friends inspire me. Their lives, their style, ideas and dreams. There are a few girls whose style I adore but I don’t aspire to be anyone else. I am who I am and could not change if I wanted to.