Stööki styled by... Antonia Thompson
@stookijewellery Excited to announce the first edition of our new series! Stööki styled by… @TONI TEXTURES ✨ Check out the full feature & Q&A • • • #style #fashion #jewellery #jewelry #antoniathompson #fashiontiktok #ootd #CollageVideo ♬ Long Way 2 Go (Instrumental) - Cassie
Nadia: Hi everybody! We're back here again at the Stööki Studio, and today I have a beautiful Antonia Thompson. How's it going?
Antonia: I'm good. How are you guys? I'm doing well, it's a beautiful day out there the sun is shining.
Nadia: Exactly, we had a good shoot! How did you find it?
Antonia: I loved it. I thought there's so many good locations where the studio is based. We had some nice colourful backdrops and scenic Thames River settings. So it almost doesn't feel like you're in London.
Nadia: Honestly you could be in the middle of the country round here. Well thank you for joining us today.
Antonia: Thank you for having me.
Nadia: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
Antonia: My name is Antonia and I also go by Toni Textures. I'm a designer and I do all kinds of stuff. I do Creative Direction and digital content creation, styling and I'm also venturing into creative events. So I work within a creative events company and we try to do projects for young people, just for networking and across all categories, fashion, music and pretty much everything.
Nadia: Awesome, so you do a lot!..
Antonia: Yeah I feel like as a creative, you just have like a thousand titles.
Nadia: Cool, so how did you get into fashion?
Antonia: I would say, I've always been creative and I've always had an interest in the arts growing up. I was always drawing, singing and doing music and then when I went into secondary school I felt like that was the pivotal point for me, when I was in about year nine when you pick your GCSEs.
Nadia: Oh yeah! Tough decisions… Tough decisions…
Antonia: I decided to pick Textiles and it was just a perfect fit for me because it was just bringing in all that drawing and all that creativity to 3D, I love working with materials from scratch which is similar to jewellery. Textiles is a very materials driven area. Then from there it just kind of progressed into making pieces, not for interiors but making it for the body. In 2020 I properly went into the fashion game and I stood out with my brand and here we are.
Nadia: Would you say it's happened quite quickly?
Antonia: I would say when I look back it feels like ages, but then three years is not a lot of time. I've grown, I've changed my style, I've learnt how to manage different things. I feel like now I'm in the era where I want to branch out, but designing is always my favourite thing.
Nadia: Why would you say designing is your favourite stage of the process?
Antonia: You know, I feel like as a creative when you get creator’s block, it's the worst thing. I feel like sometimes it's needed to have that step away and take some time before stepping back into it. I just start from scratch and have all my materials out and I just kind of get drawing or I get different colours and textures together. That's actually what fuels me. You know you're in the moment, you know you're in the zone and you're like yeah, this is me and you're in the right surroundings. I feel like being in London my peers also inspire me all the time and I love seeing it. I love seeing that with the different cultures in London. I'm inspired by my own culture, so designing just allows me to kind of communicate that.
Nadia: Would you say that's your best outlook when you're designing and making something?
Antonia: No, 100%. Even if it's just visual storytelling or styling for a set or working with an artist, you're still kind of designing something, a space or you're designing their outfit. Whatever it is, it's creating something out of nothing.
Nadia: That’s exactly how it is with jewellery at the moment, like you said.
Antonia: This jewellery selection is amazing by the way I have to say.
Nadia: Thank you. What would you say is your favourite Stööki piece?
Antonia: Do you know what? Every time I've come back to the studio, I change my mind to something different.
Antonia: But, I really love how Luke was telling me how these pieces are all sustainable and with my brand, that's a cool message, I always upcycle, I'm always finding material scraps.
So, the fact that this is made from recyclable materials, that has to be my favourite, especially these hoops, I wore them for our shoot today.
Nadia: These ones?
Antonia: Yeah. I'm really messing with these. I'm going to wear gold more.
Nadia: Yeah, you're wearing it nicely.
Antonia: Thank you, but yeah, definitely the sustainable jewellery, I love that.
Nadia: Okay, well that's our newest collection, actually, which we started this year.
Antonia: Oh, amazing.
Nadia: Because we really wanted to focus on being more sustainable as a brand, as a whole, that's why we just introduced these very classic pieces that you can wear up or wear down.
Antonia: Nice. No, I love that, like, you don't have to do too much. It still makes a statement even if it's just a little bit, it still proper elevates the fit.
Nadia: Exactly. So what are some of your main fashion inspirations?
Antonia: Do you know what? It's crazy because I feel like I don't really look at one specific person or like five specific people. I just kind of like what I like, what shapes my sense of fashion, I have to say my mom definitely, she has actually shaped my fashion sense in the fact that it's more elegant, it's more like sleek, that's a style that I kind of try and do. I love ‘out there’ things, I love statement pieces, bold things that no one would really like, that's kind of what I'm drawn to and then I make it work or I balance it out. Rihanna is my all time [favourite]. She's my queen. We even share the same birthday, I feel, you know, there's a connection there.
Nadia: You’ve got to manifest it, right?
Antonia: No, you’ve got to speak it into existence. I would say, if I had to say one person, I would definitely say Rihanna. I just love her. I love that she doesn't care. She doesn't care what she wears. Everything is empowering. Everything that she wears is supposed to look good.
Nadia: Did you like her Super Bowl performance?
Antonia: Oh, the red? Yeah. I did and the reveal. Yes. She always does something crazy, so that was nice.
Nadia: That was nice. It was a world stage as well.
Antonia: No, honestly.
Nadia: So tell us about your favourite pieces you wore today when putting your look together?
Antonia: Obviously the Stööki jewellery, I would say the things that I wore, that I made. So this is actually a piece that I made myself. It's not actually a top, it's just a square panel material, but the fact that I've actually put blood, sweat and tears in, to knit in the fabric. I study knitwear. This is all like … machine knitted, blended. It was a test sample for when I had a shoot with Skee. So when we were working out colours that we wanted to use for the set, I decided just to knit a panel as a tester, just kind of played around with it, made it into the top. I love draping, with my brand always draping it in different ways and like trying to wear it in.
Nadia: It's just a one of one piece?
Antonia: I would think so, but I could say a little something. Another piece that I wore today that I really like is my jeans. You know I recently had a denim party where I upcycled the jeans that I wore. It's the first time I'm starting to actually wear pieces that I've made. I always loan it but I have other uses, I never wear it myself, I just [thought] why not?
Nadia: I think that's how I've come with the jewellery as well. I'm always making sure I wear Stööki stuff because as a designer, people always expect you to wear them, you know? When you're meeting people, they're like, “oh, did you make that?” There was a time before, I was like, no, I didn't. So now I'm like, yes, I'm making it. So you make sure you're wearing what you've made because you're your best advertisement as well.
Antonia: Exactly. I've realised when they [people] see you, they should see your brand. You need to, if you're not wearing it, why does anyone else want to wear it? You know, that kind of mindset. It's kind of scary because you don't know how people are going to respond. They respond better when they can see it being worn though.
Nadia: 100%. Because, it just looks good.
Antonia: Right, yeah, period. Awesome.
Nadia: So what do you enjoy about being a stylist?
Antonia: Do you know what I would say? It's stress but I would say it's creating that relationship with your client. I feel like once I have that relationship, it gives a lot more, the set that we create, the pieces that I like, it's a whole story. So once I get their vision and we've built that first relationship, I feel like it makes the process a lot easier. It makes it more fun. There's just more love in it. Do you know what I mean? So I would definitely say that, not the running all around London. That's a little bit… yeah, I would definitely say it's getting to know your clients. Of course, also seeing [them] on set when everything is together. It's just like, yeah, I did that.
Nadia: What was it like working with Skee and styling for his recent music video?
Antonia: Wow! Skee’s a character, Skee’s honestly… I came out of doing creative direction and styling for him and I can honestly say like he's my brother. We definitely have that brother and sister bond. So we actually met in December time. We started having conversations in January and then we had our shoot in April. So it was a three month planning period. It was just us properly getting to know each other through FaceTimes, and calls, and meeting up to do location scouting. So yeah, I really feel like he's a brother to me - He's so annoying. We met at one of our events.
Nadia: I feel like you guys have known each other for time.
Antonia: I know, it's crazy, it's crazy. Don't gas him. Nah, it's crazy. Nah, he's honestly become a brother to me. I think he's a great artist to work with because he has a clear vision. He knows what he wants, his songs have a message behind them, so you have something to kind of communicate, so that helps.
Nadia: So you think you guys aligned quite early on?
Antonia: No, a hundred percent
Nadia: Because this happened quite quickly, didn't it?
Antonia: It honestly felt like a rush. Everything was literally a hundred miles per hour, I would say, but looking back, it was the best thing, especially because we had a lot of time to plan and kind of build that relationship, because normally you don't really have a lot of time, you just have a brief and then the shoot's like next week or whatever and you've got to pull pieces from wherever, but yeah, it was good.
Nadia: Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Antonia: Well, I did say Rihanna, of course. I would like to design her Met Gala look in the future. I feel like I really want to work with more UK artists first and then kind of build my way up to working with overseas artists. I would say, right now, I love the girl group, Flo. Just the vibes of their fits and their songs would be really nice to represent in knitwear or just in some really funky colourful outfits. I love colour. So, I would say Flo. Other Female artists I would say… Cleo Sol, I love her. I feel like it's an elegant look, I just… I can just visualise what kind of…
Nadia: She's got a voice as well.
Antonia: Ah, she's got a beautiful voice. There are a few male artists that I'm interested in, breaking out from that underground, I would say. Nippa, Odeal, JayO, of course. I feel like they have an aesthetic where they're bold enough to step out of the usual street wear. I feel like a lot of artists, kind of, dress in the same kind of street wear. I would be elevating that and taking them out of your comfort zone and working with something different.
Nadia: I love that you picked more underground artists as well.
Nadia: So what are your goals for this year and 2024?
Antonia: I would say by the end of this year, I really want to put a face to the brand. A lot of people know the name Toni Textures, but they don't know me behind the designs. I really think I want to do more panels and discussions and just kind of show face more, share knowledge as well. Obviously, I've worked in the music industry, but I would love to work in the film industry, so, some sort of crossover into costume design or something, that could be really fun.
Nadia: So what is your ideal day off?
Antonia: My ideal day off? Sleeping. Sleeping for the whole day. I would say I love a walk. I love a good walk. So I'd say my ideal day off would probably just be with friends and family. Or just a really nice scenic walk, peaceful walk. I'm a very chill person, so I don’t do too much all the time. One of my friends is a DJ, so, I would say, me going to her events, that's a fun day off. That's a good day.
Nadia: That's a good day off. Are you going to Carnival?
Antonia: Of course! The friend that I mentioned, so she's actually playing on a float on Monday. So, we're outside. I'm going to let you know what float and come by us. Come by us. Bring the brand with you. You should be having a pop up at Carni. That would be ideal, you know.
Nadia: So how would you describe your fashion style?
Antonia: Do you know what? I would say it's very versatile. I switch it up often. On a day to day, I'm more comfort-wear, casual. Then when I have an event to go to, it's definitely statement colour, texture. I love to blend different tones together. Or, kind of, have that material contrast I would say. I would just say, statement.
Nadia: Why are you so into the textures? Like, why is it textures?
Antonia: I don't know, I honestly feel like because I come from a textile background, I just appreciate materials so much, so, finding scraps of material, finding one good material or pairing materials is just so satisfying for me, or when you just have a box of just so many different random materials, that is. I just get to properly embellish it, embroider it, there's so many different options, I feel like, to create texture, I just like the sensory aspect as well, if you see something that looks visually textural, you're going to want to touch it, you're going to want to interact with it, you're going to want to play with it, so it just a natural response, it's more fun - you know the process when you're designing jewellery. It's kind of similar in the way that you know things change in the tools set, mould to different shapes, you just get to be creative and have fun.
Nadia: Nice. So what do you love about Stööki jewellery and the Stööki Movement in particular?
Antonia: I would say that it just feels so homey. It just feels like a space that you can really showcase yourself, showcase your individuality within jewellery. I feel like you can find a piece that represents you, there's so many options. It's so versatile that you can always find a piece that really embodies who you are. I would say there's a kind of personable aspect to it. I really love that of course, & the sustainability, you know? We love sustainable.
Nadia: Yeah, we're trying, aren't we? So, can you tell us a bit more about the Denim event that you took part in?
Antonia: So, I work with a company called Riffs and Rhymes. We started off doing mainly music networking events, then we launched Riffs and Vibes. That's how I actually started working with the team. I think it was last November, we had our first fashion show, me and Abby, the director, we creative directed the show. It was our first time ever doing something like that. That was our first launch into a different kind of space for networking and creatives. Recently we had our first day party and it was denim themed, we called it ‘The Denim Daydream’.
Nadia: That's amazing.
Antonia: Oh, thank you. Now, we want to do more events like that, it was amazing, everyone really showed out with their fits. I think because we made it denim everyone could find something. People made their outfits, which was really cool. It was just nice seeing people making an effort, and say I'm actually feeling this space and taking the time to celebrate… you know it was really nice.
Nadia: Did anyone come dressed as Britney and Justin?
Antonia: No, they should’ve gone there. Oh, let me show you some photos from the day. So this is something. So we had like denim backdrops we made. The team met up before , we made denim backdrops to take pictures next to.
Antonia: Nah, it was, it was a fun day. Oh, look at me and Skee. Brother and sister. Nah, it was nice. It was a nice day.
Nadia: I like your outfit. Do you want to talk about your outfit?
Antonia: Oh yeah, so the backdrop that we made… we basically did a call out with my page and other people's pages. As I said, we're trying to be as sustainable as possible. We didn't want to have to go out and buy denim. We actually just made a post.
Nadia: Does anyone have leftover denim?
Antonia: And there was one girl in particular, Darcy, when I tell you she had like a massive IKEA bag worth of denim. So we used that denim for the backdrops. We just cut them up and then made two canvas backdrops. And then all the leftover pieces, that's what I used to create my outfit.
Antonia: Just a great day.
Nadia: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists and content creators?
Antonia: Advice you say?
Antonia: I would say, come out of your comfort zone. I would say definitely come out of your comfort zone. I would say if you're afraid to make a page, make the page. That's the first step, whether it's a TikTok, making the page is the place that people can find you. Just put your work out. Share your work and then I would say your network is your networth. I scream networking, everyone's probably tired of me talking about networking, but it's so important, so I would say network, it doesn't even have to be going to a creative networking event. It could literally be going to work or going to the shop… do you know how many opportunities… just even going out and having a simple conversation, on the bus, or wherever you are, or just being, you know, “Yeah, like, I'm a designer”. “My name is Antonia, I'm a designer”. Or, “Yeah, I work in creative events”. Just making that brief little remark. You never know what you're going to get back. “Oh, I produced for this person”. Or, it's just bridging that gap, I would definitely say, Talk. Talk. Network. That's why I think Skee chose this piece for me, because I'm always, always talking. Definitely, I would say, If you're an aspiring content creator, get your work out there first. Yeah, just network and just make sure you're making the right contacts.
Antonia: Collaboration is key at the beginning. Collaboration is very key. I would say don't be afraid to reach out to people. You might get some no's, but it's that one yes that you really need to kind of...
Nadia: Yeah, from that collaboration, it leads to paid work sometimes. So where can people find more of your stuff?
Antonia: You guys can follow me on Toni Textures, on Instagram, on TikTok. I've got a website coming out soon.
Nadia: Do you know GUAP magazine?
Antonia: What? Yes. Yes. So they've actually selected one of my pieces to be shown this Friday at the V&A, they're having a big exhibition called ‘Friday Late’. And it's the 75th anniversary of Winrush, so they're having a fashion exhibition, performances, workshops, things like that.
Antonia Thompson and the Stööki Craft Makers at the V&A Museum. Antonia had her garments on display as part of the V&A x GUAP: London Is the Place for Me? event.
Nadia: Is it free to go to?
Antonia: Yeah, free to go to, all ages, all backgrounds. Yeah, so pull up.
Nadia: Yeah, that sounds amazing.
Antonia: I would say if you want to see me next Friday, come on Friday, come to the V&A, South Kensington, but otherwise I'm on socials, around TikTok.
Nadia: Anything else you would like to add?
Antonia: Nothing more really. Just, thank you so much for having me in this space. [I] really appreciate you guys. Always, you know, [I am] always ready. Thank you, thank you. Your piece’s are so beautiful.