Meet The Family featuring stylist Mari Hidalgo King

Mari Hidalgo King is a versatile stylist who is a lifestyle fashion designer at heart. Cherishing the rare, unusual and historical, she brings an excavator’s curiosity, designer’s agility and artist’s eye to her work. This is her story…

In 2005, I was living in New York having just finished my studies in fashion design at Parsons and was designing for an independent women’s luxury label when a friend who was a photographer moved to the city. We began collaborating – her behind the camera with me styling the models using a combination of pulls and clothing I designed at the time.

It was awesome, fresh and had great synergy. So, I started asking around to help with other people’s photoshoots and soon after found myself in the Hamptons on a Seventeen Magazine project with peacocks flying through the garden. I was hooked.

Mari at work styling for Neiman Marcus

I signed up with SisBro in the summer of 2010. By then, I had known Jenn Dunn a little over 3 years from working on Container Store, Neiman Marcus and Virtuoso Mag jobs at Manny Rodriguez’s studio where Jenn repped Manny’s roster of photographers. It was a great time and one of the best studios I’ve ever worked in so I had no hesitation signing up with Jenn’s agency.

The styling business is a well-rounded endeavor. Collaboration on concept, growing relationships with clients and sources, making and designing props and figuring out how to execute a flawless onset styling production are all equally important.

Mari on set styling a scene

Artistically, I’m a fashion designer at heart, and my studies of form and construction never cease. Drawn to the basics, I value pieces that communicate depth and integrity because they’ve been created by the hand.

Mari Hidalgo King appreciates textile detail

I’m attracted to incorporating items that are aged beautifully, crafted beautifully, and rare. Recently, I sourced an incredible surface from 1700s provincial France – the tones of life on the surface, the textures…just amazing.  The artistry lies in reappropriating it for a new interpretation. To be on a team that cherished its existence as much as I was a genuine honor.

1700s French table

Spring 2015 took me on a long-awaited journey to the Sacred Valley of Peru where I was exposed to the culture and beautiful textiles that come from the area. I’m furthering that experience with studies in natural dying methods, legacy hand-weaving techniques and ongoing education about pre-colonized ways of living everyday life.  The modernizing of elemental basics is extremely interesting to me, as is the delicate study of bold color usage.

Mari in Peru studying culture and textiles

On set, we take great care and attention in every shot. Pieces we ultimately select are specific and purposeful. You’re always trying to seek out that new piece that hasn’t been honored yet.

Wallflower shoot with Trevor Paulhus

More and more I’m falling in love with perfectly imperfect beauty. Catching the half-moments of a model’s movements to the textures, lines and silhouettes of the set and products involved.

Mari Hidalgo styling, Lauren Withrow photographyS15_FARM_Breakfast_Editorial_02 MH Road Trip 2

I’ve been in this industry for about 10 years now, and am still hooked because of the people I get to work with and how each job calls for a completely different set of needs. From concept, inspiration and sourcing to fit, product and materials.

Behind the Scenes with Mari Hidalgo King

This is my life and I’m damn aight with that!

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