In Touch With Stylist Chloe Hill - Par Femme

by Maddy Woon

Pluck a clever, peripherally observant, and beautiful woman from the world. Literally any part of the world—far or near, rich or rare, physical or internet. A skyward follower count is not a determinant for selection. Ask her a set of questions that invite a discussion of sexuality, sensuality, modern feminism, career, and creativity, explored through her very personal lens. Have her answer them. And there you have it: that’sIn Touch, a Par Femme segment, assembled, for you, with pleasure. 

Chloe Hill is a New Zealand-born stylist, photographer, and founder/fashion editor of coolpretty.cool—a melting pot of fresh new faces and fun fashion from around the globe. 

Chloe’s technicolour, maximalist style is surpassed only by her sunny disposition. Whether she’s giving young creatives a leg up or using her platform to promote various social and cultural issues, kindness is her main currency. We go deep with the mega talent on the importance of eagerness and compassion, healthy communication in relationships, and life mentors, among other things, below... 

Can you give us the Chloe Hill elevator pitch?
I’m Kiwi and I love colour! I forever bring up that I'm from New Zealand as it makes me so proud to be from the most beautiful country in the world. The colour part generally goes without saying, since I probably stepped into the elevator in some hectic, bright outfit.

What were your intentions when starting coolpretty.cool? Have they shifted over time?
It was originally about creating a fun, fashion-focused space where the talent featured could be themselves and talk about things that matter to them. That's still very much the basis of the site, but now we have so many contributors involved and it really has become such a creative and inclusive space where I think everyone involved and everyone seeing the content can feel a connection in some way.

 
What about coolpretty.cool makes you most proud? 
The amazing knowledge and wisdom that young people possess that we are able to showcase through the interviews we run. I am constantly in awe of the younger generation and how much they care about the planet and people.

From the outset, CPC has been inclusive without feeling tokenistic, and there (slowly) seems to be a wider industry shift towards this. How far do you think we still have to go? 
We have so far to go! I still receive model packages from agencies with entirely white passing models, not one person of colour, let alone anyone who can represent or speak for the LGBTQI community. I still speak to countless models of colour who tell me stories of turning up to shoots and shows where hair stylists don't know how to do their hair and makeup artists don't have makeup to match their skin tone. Everyone needs to step up their game across the board.

What’s a piece of advice about relationships/sex that you wish you knew when you were young?
I wish I had been taught more about how expressing anger should be done constructively and not aggressively in the heat of the moment. I feel like I'm still learning to communicate my frustrations in a healthy way—I'm still holding on to some of my childhood habits of being stubborn and/or yelling to communicate issues I have. It's not OK, healthy communication in all relationships is so important. 

What qualities are you drawn to in another person? 
Eagerness. I love people who are always eager to have conversations and learn. That inspires me.


Do you think it’s important that we treat our friendships with the same level of care as we do our romantic ones? Why?
I feel I'm really bad at giving a lot to my friendships and often I can let them be so top level. I think that it probably varies from person to person, but regardless of which relationships you put the most energy into, it's so crucial to always express to those around you that you are there for them. That's something I need to do more—to show my friends if they need me I will be there at the drop of a hat.

What gets you in the mood to create?
I don't often take time to sit alone with my thoughts, so I find when I'm forced to take time away from devices and other distractions (like when I'm on the tube in London with no WiFi or headphones) that's when I come up with ideas, which in turn gets me feeling inspired. Working with eager creatives also gets me in the mood to create—people who project energy and a willingness to collaborate. 

What does sensuality mean to you? 
It means feeling comfortable in my skin. Feeling valued and loved by myself first and foremost.

When do you feel most alive? 
There are two opposing scenarios that make me feel this way. Firstly, when I'm busy working on creative projects that are inspiring. I can be running on next to no sleep and have my day packed from 9am until 9pm, but I get so much energy from creating something I love. Secondly, when I'm in New Zealand, up early in the morning and in nature, recharging my body and mind. 

What are three Instagram accounts we should be following? 
@shaunking to keep you outside of a safe social media bubble—a constant reminder of issues that don't always get covered by mainstream news outlets.

@nature.iloveyou for such interesting facts about animals and beautiful visuals. This account brings me so much happiness.

@joshua.heath Australian photographer-turned-artist Joshua posts his happiness-inducing paintings almost daily.

What was the last book that shifted your perspective of the world, or something in it?  
‘Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge. This book presented so many confronting elements of racism that I had never even considered. It challenged my privilege in ways I didn't expect. Everyone in the world should read this book at least once.

Three podcasts we need to listen to? 
My friends Grace and Isabelle have a cute pop culture podcastAfterwork Drinks. I love that wherever I am in the world I can tune in and get a dose of Kiwi/Aussie friendship and a fresh perspective on the week’s current events.

I also loveThe Cut, and I just started listening toHear to Slay with Roxanne Gay and Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom on Luminary.

You’re a mentor to so many people and you’re very generous with your time. Why do you think this is so important (especially in our industry where it seems like people forget that there's plenty of space for everyone to succeed)?
That's right, there is space for everyone. I always try to put myself in the shoes of others, and for young creatives that means giving them a space to ask questions and receive feedback. When I started in the industry I had the privilege of assisting and interning and learning about the industry through experiences. Nowadays it's so hard to gain experience like that, firstly because you have to be in a privileged position to be able to intern for free or work for such a low rate. But, also because those entry level jobs and internships are drying up with so many magazines closing. So it's important that we give the next generation as much of our time as possible, whether it's simply replying to an email or meeting for a coffee. And, also being upfront about the hardships of working in the industry—we present only the best moments on social media, but the reality is that no matter how established you are you have to work long hours, do unpaid editorials and hustle a whole lot to stay relevant and get jobs! 

Do you have a mentor of your own ? 
Two stylists that I worked under earlier in my career influenced me so much and provided me with so much knowledge and wisdom which I will forever be grateful for. In my first magazine job I worked with Aileen Marr who is one of the most amazing stylists in Australia. She has had so much experience working on massive jobs in New York, so being trained by her was invaluable. Then, when I moved to InStyle I worked with Peter Simon Phillips who really inspired me. Like Aileen every shoot he styles has a narrative and he would spend days researching the story he wanted to communicate. He also has such a strong energy and love of fashion that inspired me to push my career in a direction that revolves around doing what I love instead of just trying to make money! Both Aileen and Peter are people I know I can go to should I need advice or mentorship, that's so special to me.

The world can feel overwhelming and uncertain at times. What do you do to stay sane?
This is something I struggle with daily. I get really overwhelmed by news and when I see people around me being indifferent towards issues like climate change and human rights. But I have found Instagram can really inspire me—I have such wonderful DM conversations with people about the environment, political issues and other things that matter. It makes me hopeful that there will be enough people doing good in the world to make a difference.

Which females inspire you most?
The women I connect with in my day to day. Lula Cucchiara, an emerging Auckland filmmaker who has plans to get a full female team working on her next project. Daphne Nguyen, a new photographer whose energy, eagerness and talent has already garnered her editorials for top Australian brands and publications. Anna Plunkett from Romance Was Born, who has stayed true to her eccentric aesthetic since starting out, despite the local industry, for a time, being obsessed with minimalism. My close friend and stylist Gemma Keil who had twins last year and is juggling motherhood and work. The list goes on! 

How do we make the most of our time on Earth?
Be compassionate always. If you live by this you'll be able to do what’s right for the planet and for people first and foremost.

Maddy Woon
Maddy Woon



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