INTRODUCING: AIMEE PHILLIPS
She’s the creative brain behind some of the music industries biggest names and events. From the Scissor Sisters to Lost & Found Festival, Aimee Phillips has worked on them all. But that’s not it - She’s a writer, creative director and most recently, a Mum.
We talked to Aimee about swapping New York drag queens for ‘full time mom-ing’ – and her theory on how to make yourself look less tired…
You’ve worked in a range of industries and roles from writing to creative direction to music management and events. Is there any you’ve particularly liked best?
My career has been so weird in a really wonderful way. I’ve kind of just followed my heart and stuck to the people I found most inspiring and fun to be around, from fashion designers to musicians, artists, and beyond. A lot of people say “never work with friends” but I’ve almost exclusively worked with friends and that’s made for some very magical and fulfilling moments in my career.
Is there are favourite project you've worked on?
I was the PR Director at legendary ‘club kid fashion line’ Heatherette and I loved working on the fashion shows every season (even though the stress nearly killed me, the shit we pulled off still blows my mind.) I loved working in management for Scissor Sisters and The Drums, I got to travel everywhere in the world in the most insane situations with some of my best pals and work on records that I really believed in. Working with Annie Mac and the AMP (Annie Mac Presents) team is inspiring for a million reasons but working on their annual festival (Lost & Found in Malta) has been incredible…they basically let me draw set design ideas on a scrap of paper and then we build them in wild locations all over Malta. And I’m currently working with Jax Jones who has an amazing team and isn’t afraid to have fun with his visuals and live show so that’s been a recent joy.
Music has paid a big part in your career, if you could only listen to one song on repeat what would it be and why?
But here are 5 songs that bring me immense joy:
Talking Heads This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)
Lil Kim Queen Bitch
David Bowie Win
Nadine Sutherland & Terror Fabulous Action
"If you wear bright colours you look less tired (that’s my theory anyway)"
You have a bold and playful sense of style, where do you find inspiration?
I moved to New York City when I was 17, unfortunately you had to be 21 to get into nightclubs. I noticed really early on (while standing in line panicking with a fake ID) that drag queens and club kids were breezing in without showing ID; cut to me painting my face like a clown and piling on sequinned, bright and ridiculous garments to match. I soon started hosting homosexual club nights all over NYC and my day job at the time (working for Heatherette) consisted of a basically non-existent salary but a job perk of unlimited access to show samples. All of the Heatherette collections consisted of crazy neon prints, fabrics and hot glue gun concoctions that were bold to say the least. So while my “personal style” was sort of born out of necessity, I have always loved expressing myself through clothes and House of Holland is a huge part of my wardrobe for that reason. Also, if you wear bright colours you look less tired (that’s my theory anyway!)
You’re originally from New York and you now live in London, which cities inspire you the most?
New York definitely made me. It’s true what they say; if you can make it there you really can make it anywhere. The hustlers in NY are like no other city in the world and although I’m very happy and settled in London I am New York to the core and always will be.
You’ve got a young daughter, how do you find managing the work/life balance?
Hard. I’m mostly able to work from home, which was much easier before my kid learned how to move. A lot of what I do requires using a specific kind of concentration…coming up with creative ideas and doing research isn’t something you can phone in while multitasking so on those days it’s much tougher. The mom/work balance thing requires a lot of organization, so you do your best plan everything down to the minute around childcare and then meetings get moved and cancelled and run late and you just have to pretend to be relaxed while secretly freaking out and begging friends and family to take your kid for who knows how long please and thank you.
What does your normal day look like?
I somehow manage to fit a full working day in with mostly full time mom-ing. Today I did 3 conference calls, a meeting, a few hours of research, a pitch for a new project, dinner with my husband and an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race with no babysitter or childcare. I fit work in during naps, in the evenings, and whenever I can figure out something that will occupy my kid’s attention for more than 5 minutes. I take a lot of breaks to read stories, change diapers and play and I make up for it in those quiet moments.
What do you wish you had known 5 years ago – what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Save some money, girl. And all your frequent flyer miles.
What does it mean to be a part of #HOHLife?
I’ve always felt like a House of Holland girl at heart. I remember years ago I came across MIA in THAT House of Holland dress in a magazine...I was spending lots of time in Japan and going through a heavy polka dot phase so it was love at first sight. I was fortunate enough to befriend Henry a couple of years later (and by befriend I mean start crashing in his flatmate’s room and running into him coming out of the shower.) House of Holland has that special magic of being instantly recognizable and making people feel like pop stars. Sign me up.