Even if you've never heard of Marni Senofonte, you've definitely seen her work. She's the woman behind some of the most memorable fashion moments in recent history, including Kendall Jenner's socks-and-sandals look at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and Beyonce's famous pregnancy-announcement photo.
Marni is slowly taking over the fashion industry with her unexpected mixtures of patterns, textures, and proportions and is helping to change how we perceive style. At an event for Reebok's Floatride running shoe, coincidentally a favorite of Marni's both on and off the treadmill, she spoke about her unique take on fashion — and maternity style in particular. (As in, why TF does "maternity style" even exist as a concept?)
You're always mixing up seemingly crazy pieces of clothing and making them work together. Where do you get your inspiration?
Honestly, just sitting on a stoop and watching people go by in Manhattan ... in New York, you have Jersey style, you have Connecticut, you have Australia, Milan, and Paris style. You have Tokyo. It's everything. Also, I can look at Pinterest for like nine hours. Like the sun [could be] coming up, and I'm still on Pinterest.
Speaking of statement-making fashion, Beyonce's style during her pregnancy was so fresh and fun. What was the thought behind it?
I don't have a maternity style philosophy. I just feel like you should always be comfortable. Right now is such an amazing time because you don't have to hide anything anymore. Like, when my mother [was pregnant] they wore the big shirts — but no! Bellies are beautiful. Show your stomach! I think more people are doing that, which is really great. Every woman that I've ever worked with who was pregnant, everything just kind of carried over, we kept it moving. It's no different than if they weren't pregnant.
What attracts you to your clients?
You can tell the difference between people who wear clothing and people who let the clothes wear them. I don't have any of [the latter]. What's fun is that everyone I work with is so open-minded. Maybe they wouldn't necessarily think to do something I suggest on their own, but then they're like, "OK, let me try it." Sometimes you have to twist their arm, but they'll try it.
Do you have an example of that?
She wasn't afraid to try this at all, but one instance was with Kendall Jenner. When we did Cannes this year, there was this look — she had this insane dress on, it was Giambattista Valli. With the wind and everything, it was just beautiful. But when I was looking at the dress, I was like, "This would look so cute with little stockings." I just grabbed a pair of little stocking anklets and I put them on. It was so simple and so minor, just one little thing, but it totally paid off.
Is there a message you're ever trying to send with your styling or even your own clothes?
We are canvases of our times. The trendy things to wear, even the Dior "We should all be feminists" shirt, is a reflection of what's going on right now. I got a shirt that says "Immigrant" on it. It's by one of the designers that I used for the Formation World Tour. I will say that when I walk through the streets wearing that shirt so many people react. I was at Barney's once, and a cleaning lady came up to me, and she was so happy that I had it on! I was like, I am an immigrant — we're all immigrants here.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
This story first appeared on ELLE.com.