When it comes to dream jobs, it doesn’t get much more exciting than being a personal stylist. Which is why we were so thrilled to catch up with Marijana Marsanic, endearingly known as Mars, who lives and breathes the much sought-after profession. Mars caters her Personal Styling and Shopping services for men and women of all ages, offering access to all labels from High Street to designer, in the comfort of your own home.
From the key piece you need in your wardrobe for 2017 to her thoughts on mixing designer labels in one look, read on for our exclusive interview with Sydney’s top Personal Stylist and Shopper.
Tell us a bit about your clientele.
My clientele is made up of executive men and women, women on the go, busy mums, women needing a change and 17-year-olds. It’s very diverse, which I love. It keeps things interesting for me.
What is the key piece to invest in for 2017?
Trainers. We all need trainers, and there’s so many incredible styles out there. Don’t be afraid to go outside the box and get a pair that aren’t Adidas. You can wear trainers with everything, whether it’s leather pieces or a little dress. Everyone’s doing them, from High Street to Chanel and Hermès.
How many handbags do you own?
(Bursts into laughter). I collect. I have quite a few; I have two daughters. A fair amount that I have are doubled, but in different colour metals, so that the girls have them when they’re older. That’s what I’ll be leaving to them!
How often do you revamp your look?
It depends on my mood, as every day’s different. Sometimes I’m very ladylike (that’s very rare!), but generally I’m pretty rock ‘n’ roll. I just love leather; I’m known as ‘Mars Leather Pants’ because I have so many pairs in different colours. I love accessories too, especially jewellery both vintage and new. You can’t beat a killer pair of heels either.
Do you help your clients with hair and makeup too?
Everything; it’s about a lifestyle. I know a lot of hair and makeup people, so I can advise them on things like skincare regimes, makeup to buy… pretty much anything related to personal grooming. I also know great Pilates instructors and Personal Trainers, so I can offer them advice on all aspects of lifestyle and wellbeing.
What is the craziest request you have ever been given?
I was asked for a New Year’s Eve outfit about four months prior to NYE at three in the morning once! Was it a drunk call? Not sure! (Laughter).
I generally go shopping instead of the client coming shopping with me. They slow me down as they generally don’t have the stamina to keep up. I don’t need to eat, I don’t need to drink, I just shop. Crazy I know; I’m in the zone and there is no stopping me!
How do you change someone’s look when they already think they know it all?
See the thing is, when they call me – they actually don’t think they know it all and need new inspiration/guidance. I think that’s something that resonates with all my clientele. If I don’t like it, I’ll let them know. And I think that’s why my clients return to me, it’s about honesty. There’s also the whole trust thing going on as it’s so personal. You’re in their wardrobe and they’re pretty much in their underwear, men inclusive. I start off gently, but five or ten minutes into it they can tell by the look of my face what I think….good or BAD.
How many hours can go into one look?
Only 15 to 20 minutes for a look. But a whole wardrobe can take about 15 to 20 hours. It depends on how big and what we’re doing. I do summer wardrobes, winter wardrobes, holiday wardrobes, packing. It’s very bespoke. I generally go shopping instead of the client coming shopping with me. They slow me down as they generally don’t have the stamina to keep up. I don’t need to eat, I don’t need to drink, I just shop. Crazy I know; I’m in the zone and there is no stopping me!
Who are your favourite designers?
In terms of Australian designers, I absolutely adore KITX. Her stuff is directional; it appeals to an 18-year-old, but equally so to my 60-year-old clients. I love her and her designs. Also Ellery; everyone needs an Ellery Raglan top, as they’re the best. You can throw them in the wash and don’t need to worry about ironing them. I should have bought shares in the company as it’s my go-to piece!
Is it a crime to mix designer labels in one look?
Not at all. I think you need to establish your own look and I love the fact that people can say “I have purchased a $20 pair of trainers from Kmart but I’m wearing a $1000 pair of leather pants”. When it comes to jeans for example – go to Zara. You’ll find a pair for $59.95, which my client will pair with a Thom Browne jacket from New York retailing for $6000 and an expensive pair of shoes. I mix everything. I don’t like the whole one-look-from-a-designer thing, or having to wear all designer.
Tell us about your exciting range on Brands Exclusive (the sale has now ended).
This exciting venture just goes to show how my business is always evolving. My clients have allowed me to take their pieces to find them a new home. It is good for the environment, it’s good for my client and it’s great for the person who purchases it. Look at all the new-condition Chanel shoes. They’re amazing!
What’s your favourite piece in the collection?
The sequined Chanel bag is extraordinary and rare; it’s also in store-fresh condition. Equally so is the Kelly Cut Hermès crocodile bag which is in brand new condition and absolutely gorgeous. The Hermès Kelly in Gold is incredibly difficult to purchase in store as the waiting list is years long. This is the piece to buy, as it’s timeless and classic. The Chanel shoes are also just amazing, but they’re not my size. Otherwise they wouldn’t be here! So count yourselves lucky.
Mars offers Personal Styling and Shopping for men and women of all ages. Send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call on 0432 029 825. Follow her on Instagram @everybody_knows_mars and keep an eye out for her website which is coming soon.