In our revamped monthly series, Styled By, we’re putting the creative reins in the hands of some of our favorite fashionable ladies. Outfitted in the looks they love (and put together!), the influencers take to the streets and give us the scoop on everything from their budding careers to their wardrobe go-tos.
It was an unusually gloomy day in Los Angeles, but you wouldn’t know it being in the room with Nikki Pennie. The British stylist turned DJ is like a ray of sunshine entering Hollywood’s Redbury Hotel—our home base for the day—thanks to her signature fiery red hair and bubbly personality. But then again, she has plenty to smile about these days. In addition to the covetable ambassador role for Dior Beauty earlier this year, Pennie’s rising career has her traveling the globe and spinning for some of fashion’s biggest parties (#dreamjob).
As we’ve come to learn, working as a fashion DJ is equal parts setting the tone with a perfect playlist and assembling a standout party look to match, so Pennie was right at home putting together flashbulb-worthy outfits for her Styled By shoot. The theme? Easy outfit combos paired with the coolest accessories to cure all your June gloom blues!
Shop the looks and read our exclusive interview with Pennie below.
Auden Lana Pearl Ear Climber Earring ($138); Jane Post Hooded Rain Slicker ($325); Sacai Lace Back Poplin Shirt ($249); Rodarte Leather and Lace Skirt ($690); Jordan Askill Triple Delicate Heart Ring ($355); Chanel Tweed and Black Metal Bag ($3800, 800-550-0005) and PVC Patent Calfskin Shoes (price upon request, 800-550-0005).
This is the kind of outfit you’d imagine wearing to see your rocker S.O. play a show.
WHO WHAT WEAR: How would you describe your personal style?
NIKKI PENNIE: My personal style is really a mix. It has a bit of a British sensibility, which I call the chic disheveled look, but can go quite bohemian. Living in L.A., you can wear jeans and a T-shirt and make an outfit really cool with a fabulous pair of sunglasses or bag. One of my favorite outfits to wear right now is I have these high-waisted jeans and I’ll wear them with a black bodysuit underneath, a suede jacket, and some cool heels. Then I’ll finish the look with a red lipstick, like Dior’s Rouge 999 ($35).
WWW: How does your personal style play a role in your job as a DJ?
NP: Being a fashion DJ, it’s such an integral part of the job. The DJ used to be just someone in the corner of the room playing music; now it’s the key thing of the event, and they set the tone and ambience. It’s all about the glamour of it. So there’s always a look, from the makeup and hair to the outfit. Harley Viera Newton, Hannah Bronfman, and Chelsea Leyland, everyone has their unique style, and it comes across in how they put clothes together and that’s their DJ personality. I think that’s really important.
WWW: Is there a piece you’re always wearing at work?
NP: A friend of mine, designer Corto Moltedo, has a bag line, and years ago I bought this clutch bag. It’s gold metallic and in the shape of a cassette. I always put my computer in that and take it to gigs. I feel like it brings me luck, and everyone always comments on it because it’s such a unique thing that I just happened to have before I was even a DJ.
I felt like I was a fabulous bullfighter in this look.
WWW: Where do you love to shop?
NP: I’m a really bad online shopper. I will order [something], and then it won’t fit me and I won’t bother to send it back. I’m a huge H&M fan. The high-waisted jeans are so good. Everyone asks me where my jeans are from, and when I tell them they can’t believe it. I love to mix it up. I’m quite a big Zara fan too.
WWW: Can you tell us about your last haul from H&M?
NP: It was two weeks ago. I got multiple pairs of those [high-waisted] jeans, a beautiful bohemian jacket that looks like it’s from a Morrocan market. They have these bodysuits, which are great to wear with jeans. I got some bikinis.
WWW: Do you have any favorite under-the-radar brands?
NP: I love meli melo, which is a British bag line. I’ve known [the designer, Melissa Del Bono] for a long time and her bags have just blown up. They are so chic. I have one of the mini pink backpacks and it’s super cool.
Warby Parker Lionel Glasses ($145); Saint Laurent Smoking Jacket ($1195); Balenciaga Silk Blend Blouse ($1050); Rachel Comey Bishop Pants ($345); Y Project belt; Auden Hayden Knuckle Ring ($328); Chanel Charms Bag ($7400, 800-550-0005); Darner Burnt Orange Mesh Socks ($36); Adidas Superstar Sneakers ($80).
If I had it my way, I would live in sneakers all the time because they are just so comfortable.
WWW: What does it mean to be Dior’s beauty ambassador?
NP: In my role, I curate playlists and DJ for the house, and then I get to attend the shows and official events. It’s cool that they recognize that the DJ is the new thing, especially female DJs. They are aligning themselves with DJs because standing behind a DJ booth, the key thing people see is your face, and they thought that was a really good showcase for a girl to be their ambassador, to wear Dior and to also have a face made up with Dior makeup. When I’m DJing, I will have my Dior Crème de Rose Lip Balm ($28), I’ll have my Fix It ($36) and my Dior Addict lip glosses, and I’m constantly reapplying those. Rather than just aligning with a social girl or a model, this is quite a cool thing. They are the loveliest team in the world. The whole thing is a dream for me.
WWW: Which Dior Beauty product should every woman own?
NP: That is such a difficult one. I probably would say, for me, the Fix It ($36) because due to my profession, there are a lot of late nights and traveling and lack of sleep, and you literally just put that under your eyes as a concealer and it’s the most incredible thing. It makes you a new person. It’s the best concealer. Also, if you ever have a pimple or blemish, it literally does fix it.
WWW: Tell us about the looks you put together for this shoot.
NP: I have to tell you the whole shoot really captured my style. Without sounding cliché, I am a fashion girl, I love to be experimental and I’m always trying to push the boundaries. Every single outfit that was picked for the shoot captured a different side of me.
Dior Thin Double Face Wool Crepe Jacket ($3300), Dioroscope Necklace ($840), Garden Choker ($370), Cotton Voile Ensemble ($2300), and Conquest Patent Flats ($2300, all available at Dior boutiques nationwide, 800-929-DIOR); Re/Done Relaxed Straight Jeans ($340); Christian Louboutin Sweet Charity Baby Black Leather Shoulder Bag ($1700).
“These are the shoe of the summer for me. They are the first thing you notice because of the white.”
WWW: What do you listen to when you are getting ready in the morning?
NP: In the morning, I like to listen to Carla Bruni radio or I’ll listen to some Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, or Ella Fitzgerald. I developed a really big appreciation for the older music, and I love to discover old-school jazz musicians. It’s a really nice atmospheric sound.
WWW: What about when you’re getting ready for a night out?
NP: My morning and evening playlists really differ. If I am getting ready to go out, my favorites right now are AlunaGeorge; she is an amazing British act. I like to listen to Beyoncé and Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Major Lazer. I love to listen to some old-school ‘90s hip-hop like Ice Cube and Notorious B.I.G. The other day, I was listening to TLC.
WWW: What songs should we add to our summer playlist?
NP: Dua Lipa: “Be the One”
Louis the Child: “Strange”
Nao: “Fall to Love”
St. Vincent: “Digital Witness”
Beyoncé: “Hold Up” and “6 Inch Heels”
Gary Clark Jr.: “Star”
Photographer: Jenna Peffley; Hair: Ryan Richman; Makeup: Tamah; Market: Doria Santlofer.