A moment or two with the lovely Belle Kröl.

Belle Kröl is a Buenos Aires-based creative director, illustrator, and one of the faces of beauty brand Glossier. She specializes in fashion and beauty imagery creation.

Q / Hi Belle! How do you usually start your day?
A / My day starts with a juice, and almost every day a piece of dark chocolate. It’s quite weird but I love it. Before that I wash my face very briefly and apply rosehip seed oil. If I have to step out right away, I apply a mix of two creams, moisturizer combined with an SPF 50, every day.

Q / Do you have a daily uniform?
A / I kind of do. I am 6 out of 7 days a week dressed in black. I love wearing comfy loose pants, t-shirts, and sneakers. During winter, black skinny jeans are my go to.

Q / Is there anything you carry with you every day?
A / YES! My necessities are keys, I have a small clutch with a little cream, hand sanitizer, balm, and my perfume.

Q / Is there a time of day that you feel most productive? Anything specific that helps keep you focused?
A / Yes, the mornings, for sure. Yoga keeps me balanced, motivated and grounded. I am a really anxious and over energized by nature [and have been] since I was a kid. So I find yoga (bikram, to be more specific) really great to de-stress and forget about everything for two hours.

Q / What is your favorite place to work?
A / Mhm.. I don’t think I have one, I’m a nomad. Anywhere that’s inspiring.

Q / Do you prefer being on set or preparing for a project or shoot?
A / On set I thrive, but working on it weeks before is amazing. I feel like I’m in my element and I enjoy every moment. But I love both, from ‘moodboarding’ as I like to call it to the actual day of the shoot.

Q / How do you keep yourself organized?
A / I am a little messy. I have lists which I end up doodling on, so I write everything on my phone and send myself emails to remind me. Although, if I work with a team and need to give direction I become organized and create plans and calendars for the different goals, it’s very useful.

Q / What is something you are good at? Something you struggle with?
A / I think I’m good at connecting and I love having creative people to work with so we can brainstorm and come up with cool content. I struggle with balancing my own time with work. There are moments during the year when I have no time to myself at all, but I guess when you love what you do it happens naturally. I find myself on tumblr saving pictures at  4am and I can’t control it.

Q / What do you like most about photography and creative direction? What’s the most challenging thing about them?
A / I don’t think there’s only one thing. I just feel it’s such a creative and never-ending source of both inspiration and creation that always surprises me. Sometimes it is challenging when you need to combine different ideas of people in a team and come up with a concept, but it’s also fun.

Q / How big of a part do your illustrations play in your work?
A / Sometimes a lot, sometimes nothing at all. I always combine it in some way, even if it’s not seen, doodling or designing story lines. Sometimes it’s the only way I can explain what I have in my mind, to draw it.

Q / Is there anything you will never take seriously in terms of your work?
A / I try to always have fun on set. Working in fashion can be stressful and not that glamorous, but being friends with the different teams and the models I think is key…and you don’t need to be that serious to get great work done.

Q / Something that’s very important to you?
A / My family, doing what I love, staying sane by eating as clean as I can, and yoga!

Q / Where do you go to be quiet and think?
A / Yoga room! Or my bed, wherever that is.

Q / How does your home influence the kind and quality of work you produce?
A / A lot! I’ve been quite a nomad these last few years, and that has helped me to be inspired all the time.

Q / You’ve spent most of your life living in Buenos Aires. How would you say the city has shaped your perception of work?
A / Buenos Aires is a very cosmopolitan city. It’s not easy to make it there and it shaped me to have a strong work ethic and learn from great talents. Argentina has amazing artists and professionals and I was lucky to work with the best!

Q / What led you to start working in New York recently?
A / New York is where I get the most inspiration and where my heart is. Most of my friends are there too. But I keep working on the go, anywhere I am.

Q / What is your first memory of work and success?
A / Working for this little fashion magazine that sent me to every fashion & art event and product launch in Buenos Aires. It was such a fun job! [In terms of success] when I discovered that art direction was my calling. By that time I was working at an amazing Argentinian brand called Kosiuko where I learned so much and was able to experiment with all that I know today…even being a boss sometimes, which was scary.

Q / Do you keep any collections? If so, how do they influence you creatively?
A / Leather jackets maybe, I actually have a side project with my good friend Juan. We have this very small, almost one of a kind curated leather goods line in Buenos Aires, it’s called 1.2 Bleeker. We will see where it goes. For now it’s our creative nutshell, a space where we just do cool things with no time frames or stress.

Q / How would you define beauty and what part does it play in your work?
A / Beauty is in everything. Right now I define it in the form of a healthy lifestyle. Beauty for me is feeling sane in my mind, having natural meals (I’ve been a vegetarian for 8 years) and enjoying my family and my friends, they are my angels. I’m a lucky girl. It plays a good part in my work, because if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t feel good enough to devote energy into anything that I do.

Q / Social media and the internet play such a huge part in the fashion industry. Do you find them useful as tools? How would you say they factor into your work?
A / It’s a major factor and very useful. Everything is seen on the web. Even if it’s first a printed or physical product, it ends up online anyway. Also for networking, communicating with people, and as a mood board and endless inspiration resource.

Q / Is there anything you find problematic about social media?
A / Not really, not now.

Q / Do you use the internet on vacation or do you prefer to completely disconnect?
A / I can’t disconnect…although I have this bucket list trip to a yoga retreat in India, which won’t allow cellphones whatsoever. I’m just not in that mindset yet.

Q / Is there anything in particular that you do to take care of yourself and relax?
A / …even the tiniest thing like having a juice and a yoga class or even a walk makes a big difference in the crazy world we live in.

Q / How did your parents feel about your career path? Does anyone in your family work in the same industry?
A / They are very proud and happy to see me have this wanderlust soul. Nobody in fashion, although my great grandfather was a shoe designer and my grandmother was a gown designer. My dad studied architecture and my mom studied art. We are quite artistic in our own ways.

Q / What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? The most fun?
A / I’ve liked all my jobs. The most fun…my first real job as a fashion journalist…I got to go for cocktails almost every night and get goodies all the time! SO GOOD!

Q / You recently began working on your own. How do you balance your work and personal life?
A / YOGA! 🙂

Q / What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
A / The whole working process…but there’s that amazing feeling when the final product comes out and people see it, that gives me the adrenaline to keep on working more. It’s like your baby, a proud time.

Q / How does your work affect the rest of your life?
A / In every way possible. Like anything, work can give you the most amazing satisfaction, but also a lot of stress. I’ve experienced it all. It’s all about creating that balance where you feel comfortable saying when it’s enough and not letting people take advantage.

Q / What has been your proudest career moment thus far?
A / Every time a project is released it’s amazing.

Q / What are you looking forward to this year?
A / Hmmm…I have these two really cool things but can’t say anything just yet, they could turn out to be great. 🙂

Q / Lastly, a few of your favorite things?
A / My parents, my pencils, bikram yoga, dark chocolate with sea salt, kale, chia seeds and goji berries, my passport, London (I love it. I wish I could spend more time there), Whole Foods, Saturday’s Surf CoffeeKabinett & Croque Madame in Buenos Aires.

 

Interview & Photography
Catherine Litke

Artwork
Courtesy of Belle Kröl

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