May I Introduce: Adam Selman & Mel Ottenberg
There she goes again looking fresh to death in her latest ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ music video. Yes, I am talking about the coolest chick around: Rihanna Don’t you sometimes wonder who is behind her fashion magic? The fabulous Adam Selman He’s the one who made the legendary sheer crystal-covered dress Rihanna wore to the CFDA Awards, one for the books.
Let me tell you a little bit about this mastermind. Selman was raised in a very religious family who went to church five days a week and wasn’t ever allowed to watch TV. When he moved to New York he was suddenly exposed to pop culture and got inspired. After graduating in fashion at Pratt, he started to work as the assistant of Zaldy (costume designer). They ended up working together for a decade long, doing custom stuff for Rufus Wainwright, Ru Paul, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears; you name it, he’s done it. Along the way Selman fell in love with Mel Ottenberg, his lover and creative partner who inspired him in many ways.
Mel Ottenberg was already a well-known stylist among the stars, working alongside Terry Richardson and David LaChapelle. He started as a designer, but got quickly bored working on one collection during a period of six months. Ottenberg fell into styling by accident when he bumped into a photographer friend, who asked if he could style a shoot for The Face. He was young and cocky and thought, Sure, why not? After that, he got job after job for cool magazines. The first time he worked with Rihanna was for Elle magazine around 2006, when her song “Pon de Replay” was a hit. I remember that song playing on my twelfth Birthday party like it was yesterday. Ottenberg didn’t styled Rihanna again until 2011, when her office called to see if he was available to style her tour in three days time. First Ottenberg passed because he hadn’t done live performances before and it was so last minute. But then he thought: fuck it, let’s do it anyway! Ottenberg asked Selman’s help because he had no clue what he was doing. Selman planned on taking a few months off with Zaldy anyway, but he never went back. That’s how the ball started to roll for Selman’s career and how Ottenberg became Rihanna’s number one stylist.
Selman, Ottenberg and Rihanna made a great trio, but Selman needed a new challenge in his life. So he decided to start his own ready-to-wear namesake label. I’m in awe of his latest spring collection inspired by Taylor Camp, a ’60s and ’70s nudist colony on a smaller island of Hawaii. It’s a wink to pot-smoking, free-loving hippies but also a poem to an authentic “craftsy” look. I adore the little details like the models baby hair, super cute! Something tells me that Adam Selman will become a powerhouse in the fashion industry.
Text: Jill Lippens
Rihanna Performance VSS // Rihanna Denim Jumpsuit // Rihanna We Found Love
Oct. 25, 2015
Labels: May I introduce