Working with the industry’s most reputable photographers for the most influential fashion magazines and dressing the most iconic models, reformed sequin addict Jack Borkett is über stylist Edward Enninful’s right-hand man.
“I think my first ‘fashion moment’ was on set in LA working on The Black Issue of Italian Vogue with Steven Meisel and Naomi Campbell. To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement.” First coming into contact with i-D’s former Fashion Director Edward Enninful via his father’s friend and world famous make-up artist, Pat McGrath, Jack discovered his destiny. Securing himself a position carting returns back and forth from shoots, the 25-year-old Central Saint Martins graduate quickly became besotted by the glamour he encountered upon entering Edward’s office. Carrying as much as he possibly could in a bid to grab Mr Enninful’s attention, Jack has since gone on to dress the beautiful bodies of Kate Moss, Gisele, Lara Stone, Naomi Campbell, Gemma Ward and Stella Tennant.
Citing his mum as his inspiration and describing his work ethic as being all about bare hard graft, Jack spends all of his spare time researching reference images for shoots he styles alongside his self-assembled team, which consists of Nick Dorey, Billy Ballard, Lucy Bridge, Lucy Burt and Mari Osahi. i-D online caught up with the party boy turned cook (he loves a decent feast) to find out how he keeps his head above water in the high tides of fashion.
When did you first become interested in fashion? I think I have always been interested in fashion. I was one of those little kids telling my mum what to wear at the age of five. I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision. I remember playing street fighter with my brother and being more interested in which outfit Chun Li was going to wear! I feel lucky I have known for a long time what I want to do. Women play a big part, I have gravitated towards glamorous, enigmatic women. I think my mum plays a big part in that too.
What’s life working alongside Edward like? Fantastic, I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable and talented, he is also a very kind person. It is obviously very hard work with long hours and a lot of pressure but that is far out-shone by the people/team he works with. I have had some fantastic opportunitues to see things I would never have thought possible.
Describe the dynamic between the two of you? I would say we are similar in a lot of ways. We are both Pisces so have our heads in the sky a bit.
Describe a typical day in the life of you… That’s a hard one. One of the great things about this job is that every day is different. Most days we work from an office in West London close to Edward’s house where we discuss ideas, create mood boards, call in clothes and prepare for editorial work. Other days we could be in Milan consulting for a designer, in Paris working on advertisements or New York shooting Vogue Italia or i-D and now W. It’s a real mixture.
What has been the proudest moment of your career to date? I think meeting Paolo Roversi. I never would have imagined seeing him loading his Polaroid into one of those old cameras he uses and just shooting away. He has long lunches outside in his garden with his dog and wine, I was proud to be there and meet him.
When have you been the most star struck? I think Meisel, he has such an aura and just knows how to take an amazing picture.
Who is the most beautiful model you have had the pleasure of working with? Kate is amazing when whe is modelling, she has a real sense of vulnerability, quite child-like in a way. Naomi is flawless and strong, Gisele is so comfortable with herself. Lara Stone is pretty much perfect, her body and her face are just beyond anything real and when they are combined with her personality, wow.
What makes someone beautiful? Aside from the obvious and it sounds like a cliché but more often than not it is the person’s spirit. For someone to be able to inspire people to feel emotion from just looking at them or being in their presence, that is special. Beauty is power.
What stylists and photographers do you admire? Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Steven Meisel, Mert and Marcus and of course Edward. I love Ray Petri and Panos Yiapanis too.
What has been your most extravagant purchase ever, bought in the name of fashion? Probably a Balenciaga V-neck when I was 17. I saved up £375 for a jumper so thin it laddered the first time I wore it. My parents nearly had me sectioned.
Where do you see yourself in five year’s time? Hopefully creating great images, working with good friends, having a laugh but also being comfortable and settled financially. Hopefully there will be the chance to continue doing what I am doing now.
What up-and-coming talent are you excited about right now? I really love the work of the photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager. He has done so much great work and he is only 30.
What inside tips would you pass on to aspiring stylists? Be patient, it takes time. Work hard. It’s not going to be glamorous immediately. I lifted and carried bags for over three years, I would say if you have a real love for clothes and images then it’s worthwhile.
Who is the most stylish person of all time? Brigitte Bardot or Jane Birkin.
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