We’re shooting a video, and you’re styling Protoje and Koffee, was all up-and-coming stylist Deidré McKenzie wanted to hear.
That was all the part-time model, full-time creative needed to hear to set the ball rolling on one of her most ambitious projects yet.
Grammy-winning female artiste Koffee and Grammy-nominated reggae artiste Protoje? The bill’s pretty high, but McKenzie would not be dismayed.
‘I’m grateful for the opportunity…Protoje and his team are open to creative ideas, and they’re supportive of local creatives, so I’m glad I was chosen for the job,’ she shared with Lifestyle.
For the visuals, the Like Royalty crooner brought along with him a few friends for the production of the Switch It Up short.
Viewers saw cameos from Jesse Royal, Lila Iké, Royal Blu, Sevana, Jaz Elise, and creative director Yannick Reid.
Oshane ‘Chef Vita’ Warren and Grammy-nominated writer/producer Ziah Push joined the all-star cast and were outfitted with looks based on McKenzie’s Gatsby-inspired concept.
’Twas yet another production from the Xtreme Arts team, that they’ve dubbed one of the ‘best projects we have worked on thus far’.
But, Loop Lifestyle wanted to hear more from the woman behind the scenes directing the look and feel of the video.
Loop Lifestyle (LL): What was your initial reaction when you got the offer?
Deidré McKenzie (DM): ‘Yuh couldn’t contain me.’ When I got called for the job, I got nervous, I had anxiety, I was stressed’ due to the weight of the celebs in the video.
This is the first video that I really got to be in control of all the looks, so when I saw the video, I was super happy with the results and the fact that the feedback was mostly positive.
LL: Was it difficult managing all those personalities on the set of Switch It Up?
DM: It wasn’t difficult at all, they’re all professional, with the ability as international celebrities.
They each have their quirks and sense of style, but they were pretty accommodating.
Starting with a game plan made it easier for the team to go with the flow, however, McKenzie opted for a marriage of each talents’ style with the Gatsby, ’40s-inspired theme they were aiming for.
LL: Describe each character’s style persona …
Lila Iké…her style persona is a mix between feminine and structured, not necessarily masculine; she likes to fuse the two and will tell you she’s a ‘thugs’. She likes it simple and understated.
Protoje…he’s a mixture between vintage, earthy, and trendy. He’d wear a tracksuit, structured blazers, bright colours, muted tones.
Koffee… she’s very trendy and chill about what she wears. She’s not into the ‘girly’ type fashion, and more into the androgynous fashion, leaning more masculine pieces. She likes to keep it simple and likes to play around with fit, going for oversized pieces, too.
Yannick… ‘At first I wanted to completely switch it up with his style and put him in suits’, he told me that he wanted to go for it. So we pulled his trendy personal velvet shirt with a printed overcoat. For the second look, he wore a fitted jacket in a more casual look.
Sevana… ‘She’s a sultry queen’. She likes soft and elegant things but at the same time, she likes to take risks and doesn’t want to be in the a-typical kinda looks. ‘She likes to fuse fashion with being elegant and sultry.’
Jaz Elise… she’s not afraid of taking risks at all, and you can tell that from her hairstyle, how many people you know with purple hair? She’s very true to her aesthetic in fashion.
Jesse Royal… he’s a team player, he’s very outgoing and classy. Refined and regal, but not unapproachable.
LL: What was your most used accessory or styling tool throughout the vid?
Diamonds. There were a lot of diamonds throughout the entire video from Jaz Elise’s diamond headdress to the diamond appliqué version on Sevana.
‘Even the pins on Protoje’s collar had diamonds’, and, where applicable, she ‘incorporated a lot of gloves’.
LL: How have you personally switched things up in terms of your personal style?
DM: On my Instagram page, I style according to commercially acceptable looks. But, on a day-to-day, you might catch me in black and white – those are my go-to shades.
I wear colours because of the commercial appeal it has and it helps with my modelling career, too.
Get more updates from McKenzie at her @mz_xeristyles page.