Alexis Badiyi is an impossibly cool stylist and creative designer based in New York. We spoke with her about where she finds inspiration, what it’s like being a freelancer during a pandemic, and all the ways she harnesses her creativity.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. My family dwelled in the film and design world of Los Angeles, New York, and Paris. I have fond memories of visiting my father on set or reviewing packaging design proofs with my grandmother. My family has always had a way of creating beauty. I still draw much inspiration from them daily. I received my BFA in San Francisco. My first job out of college was as a fashion editor and designer for Proef, a trend forecasting agency. I had been interning with them during school. From there I moved to New York and went on to work in textiles for Helmut Lang and Ralph Lauren. I eventually left it all to be a freelance creative. I am currently living in Brooklyn, New York with my fiancé.
I love working with brands and individuals to create a story and share that with the world. My grandmother was a packaging designer and painter, while my dad was a photographer and filmmaker. Expressing myself creatively has been something I always felt fluid in. Since my father's passing, I find photography is a visceral way to connect with him. Styling has also always been something that has been a part of me since before I can remember. It is a language that can transform oneself and others. For me, photography and styling, the two go hand in hand when telling a story. I practiced both photography and styling growing up, later studying them both in school. I learned so much from assisting in California and New York and through collaborating with my peers and sister.
Working with florals feels so intuitive for me. I've spent time studying different types of flowers and creating arrangements with my mother and grandmother since I was old enough to hold shears. My best friend and I began creating florals for friends’ events and photoshoots - then things took off from there. I've continued to work with flowers through COVID-19 in my home as it brings me joy and relaxation. I look forward to creating arrangements for others again soon.
Pre COVID-19 versus now looks completely different when it comes to my day to day work schedule. Currently, I wake up and try to do some stretches or a little pilates in my apartment. I wash my face, moisturize, make an espresso, drink some water, and start sewing. I try to get to the machine by 9 A.M. I cut all my patterns one day, then sew everything in the next couple days. I take a full day to package everything up to ship and another day to do all my back end work, and accounting. Then, I start over from the top. I've begun shooting and styling again, which I'm excited about.
I cannot imagine this time without this project. I feel so grateful that a purpose and hobby of mine is able to make a difference. I've been sewing since grade school, and I also trained further in college, but I had not used a machine in about a decade. One day early in our quarantine, I dusted off the machine and just started sewing. Since working in textiles, I had collected quite a bit of dead-stock fabric, and my fiancé gave me some of his old cotton button-ups. Now, I have been sourcing vintage and dead-stock fabrics weekly. The support has been amazing. I love seeing the masks I've created out in the community and on friends new and old. In the beginning, all proceeds were donated to New York health and hospitals, now I rotate causes each month.
The biggest challenge for me I have faced as a freelancer, especially in the beginning, is the up and down nature of work flow. You must be prepared to work every single day and then not work for a bit. Striking a balance is hard, on yourself and your finances, when you are beginning.
Try to take time to be creative, for the sake of being creative and not just for jobs. In the kitchen, in the garden, on a canvas, continually strengthen that playful creative connection with yourself.
I'm an A.M. and P.M. routine person. In the morning, I wash my face with the Biologique Recherche Lait VIP 02—I like to massage it into my face and leave it on while I brush my teeth. I use all natural toothpaste, either Vicco or Dr. Bronners. Then, I comb my hair with Crown Affair’s comb and apply sunblock—my favorite is EltaMD Tinted. I always drink one liter of water with my vitamins. I love Nue Co. Mood and Nootro-Focus vitamins and The Foundation from Sakara Rx. Then, I give myself a spritz of Sigil perfume, make an espresso, and start my day.
For night time, I double cleanse with Biologique Recherche Eau Micellaire Biosensible and Lait VIP 02, then dab a little of their P50. If I'm masking, which I don't do every night, I use Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant mixed with their Masque VIP 02 and a dash of baking soda, or LESSE Bioactive Face Masque. Once a week, I use ZIIP to help combat any of my father’s jowls making their way to my face. Before bed, I use the Crown Affair brush and hair oil, then sweep it all back in their silk scrunchie. I always pour a large glass of water and magnesium and I set my Vitruvi diffuser with lavender essential oils. I've had a hard time sleeping during this time, so this is helpful for winding down the mind and body.
I think it is important to have well-rounded sources of inspiration. I am not a chef but I love to cook and entertain. I find inspiration from vintage Persian and French cookbooks and old images from ‘80s Los Angeles dinner parties from our home growing up. Traveling has always been a strong source of inspiration for me. Mexico, Japan, and Italy have been my favorites to continue to visit. I hope to visit the Middle East someday. We try to visit local artisan markets and tour homes in each city we visit. Richard Neutra, Luis Barragan, Rudolph Schindler, and the Eames + Saarinen projects are some of my favorites. I source a lot of inspiration from my family from Iran, Paris, New York, and Los Angeles. I love looking through photographs of theirs from the ‘50s to the ‘90s. I'm inspired by individuals who transcend their industries with their talent, taste, and vision. Rudolf Nureyev, Grace Jones, Azzedine Alaïa, and Isamu Noguchi to name a few.
Simple. Great Eros lingerie!
Love a GHAI bitters, on the rocks with a twist, in a green stem vintage glass. If I'm drinking in the evening, mezcal on the rocks, preferably outdoors, or a glass of Pét-Nat unfiltered wine. Peoples Wine always recommends a great female-made bottle.