PHOTO SERIES // Marita Owens shot by Kyra Bennington
Marita donned an albino ferret as an accessory and allowed us to put her face in front of the camera.
Marita, where are you from?
I was born in Jersey but I moved around a lot. I spent some time down South then went to Philly for college. I always wanted to end up in New York. My mom and I would do New York trips once a month. I’d be like “Can we just go to the city? Can we just walk around?” I knew what I wanted to be - it was really only a matter of time.
What actually got me here was an internship during my junior year of college. I studied design and merchandising so obviously New York was it. When my internship was up I stayed - there was no going back. I ended up commuting back and forth - waking up at 4 am and getting in after midnight or 1 o’clock in the morning. It was super intense.
What were your first experiences as a stylist? Where did you get your start?
Playing dress up and my shopping addiction - that started really early on in my life. Then let’s fast forward to when I was living in Philly, selling vintage clothing and shooting with Instagram friends. My boyfriend at the time was a photographer. I remember the first shoot when I decided I would start styling - it was like summer 2015 with the beautiful, multifaceted Dare Moreno. I just forced my friends to let me play dress up with them and shoot them on my film camera around my apartment. I think that’s the most fun approach. I really need to get back to that.
What’s the biggest threat you face as a woman in the industry.
I would say, aside from general things like student loans and the government trying to take away women’s rights and the male delusion and ego and pay inequality …. I honestly think that my biggest threat to myself is myself. It’s my psyche. I can break myself down. I can tear myself apart like no one else can. It’s so dangerous.
Stylists’ work often gets brushed aside in comparison to the photographer, model, etc. Have you experienced this for yourself?
I have, which is why recognition and representation is so important to me - with myself and my peers that I believe in. When I style, my role in the production is background but that’s not to say it’s not crucial. I’ve experienced directly that my contributions get underestimated and disrespected. You deal with so many people’s egos in the industry. Ideally everyone should have a baseline respect for each other but unfortunately that’s not always the case.
There’s another side to it though - when you’re styling you’re creating or amplifying something for someone or something else. It’s not your face that anyone sees. So people take what they’re seeing at face value which is precisely the point. I’m a very lowkey person so I don’t mind a background role, but it’s really why I can’t stress the importance of accurate credits. It’s something that we shouldn’t have to fight for but you’d be surprised.
What is your relationship with social media?
MO: Social media is cool. I’ve been able to create a little e-community for myself which is neat. I feel like I rarely meet people in person who get it in ways that I get it. Which isn’t to say I only want to hang out with people who do, but it’s nice to create a little haven for yourself. Being able to connect with likeminded people and inspire yourself in ways that are unique to each of us is really sick. I have a true connection to people I follow on Instagram. It’s really great.
There’s also the duality to it that we all know - the person you portray yourself to be versus who you really are. Lately I feel like I’ve had to be really careful and therefore not being fully able to be my true self. I’m thinking I need to get back on my finsta - I need something a little more VIP, private, lowkey.
What are your personal aspirations for the upcoming future?
My personal aspirations aren’t that concrete. I want happiness. I want financial stability. I want to be excited for the days that follow. I want to be doing what I want to do and I want to be successful at it. I want to be able to buy myself literally whatever I want to buy myself - I feel like it’s not a lot to ask for.
FIELD LOOK: T Shirt: Vintage / Pants: Jean Paul Gaultier Jeans / Boots: Demonia / Belts, Chains, Jewelry: MAŔA PERALTA
FERRET LOOK: Suit: CEFIE / Glasses: Prada / Belts, Jewelry: MAŔA PERALTA
CHEETAH CAPRIS LOOK: Tank Top: Reformation / Corset: Giami / Capris: Daisy / Shoes: Dior / Jewelry: MAŔA PERALTA
INSIDE/WINDOW LOOK: Tank Top: Reformation / Corset: Giami / Thong: Busted / Jewelry: MAŔA PERALTA
Photographer, Co Creative Director: Kyra Bennington
Model, Stylist, Co Creative Director: Marita Owens
Model: Angel the Ferret
Production Assistant: Khira Goins-Paxton
Graphic Design: Kataleah Cowham
Wig Design: Andrea Vallé
Check out more of Marita's Work //
Instagram // @2xzst_
Website // https://maritaowens.com