Like any stylist worth her salt, Martha Violante started off her career by interning and assisting. After stints at Elle, Self, and Levi’s (among others) during her undergrad years at New York University, she landed her first job as a closet assistant at Seventeen. Her first step toward becoming a stylist (“I realized I didn’t really want a desk job”) came when, following a market position at Teen Vogue, she scored the plum role of assistant to W’s then–fashion director Alex White. To put it into perspective, it was only a few days into the job when she found herself on a shoot with Naomi Campbell and Steven Klein; not long afterwards she was on a plane to Ibiza to work with Kate Moss. “I almost passed out when I met Kate Moss, but she’s one of the most professional, on-her-game models I’ve ever seen,” she recalls.
These days, Violante — who describes her aesthetic as quirky, kooky, and “a little off-putting” — does editorial work for Paper magazine (where she’s fashion editor-at-large), 125 Magazine, and Dazed & Confused Korea, as well as commercial projects for Saks.com and Target, among others. And although the 29-year-old Chicago native isn’t exactly sure where she’d like to end up, she says she never wants to to stop exploring “the crazier side of fashion.” Click through our slideshow to see her work and hear more from our interview.