STU's visual creative head Bliss Mabini is one of the key ingredients behind the brand's aesthetics
In a time where conformity is the more traversed path, Bliss Mabini is one of the stronger, less insecure voices there are in the creative industry. Starting out in a music career, Bliss transitioned to being a fully-blossomed photographer – a privilege that STU was able to see unfold firsthand.
Today, this lovely lady is one of the key ingredients in the STU team. Long hours of editorial shoots go by easily all thanks to Bliss’ uncanny capability to make everyone on set crack up, as well as to quickly pinpoint and execute how she wants the STU visuals to come together.
Get to know our visual creative Bliss a bit better through this feature.
Simple and minimal is how Bliss likes her accessories
The visual head confesses that she would prioritize camera gear above fashion items
1. What’s your position at Seek the Uniq?
Creative Head? But I think I just visually execute whatever pops in Mikka’s mind. Haha.
2. We know that you’ve been with STU since its infancy. Can you tell us a memorable story from when the brand was starting out?
In our first year, we saw some online brands who started copying the look and feel of Seek The Uniq. Instead of being bummed, our team just laughed it out because of our “mediocre success”. It was a bit flattering to be copied — especially with me since I was just a rookie photographer - because we were practically still nobodies!
Bliss totes function and convenience as priorities on her list
3. When you’re not shooting fashion layouts, what other subjects do you like to take photos of?
Random people, travel, and food!
4. What do you usually do to unwind?
Eat a lot, or drink really good coffee while staring into space or just people watch. I’m not much of a talker. I like observing people to amuse myself.
5. If you could have lunch with any person (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
Probably Annie Leibovitz. She claims that she’s not a technical photographer and shoots mostly in natural light, which I can totally relate to, so I really want to pick her brain on how she took it further. I want to know her process of telling stories through the images she produces.
These Slydes are just about the epitome of Bliss' laid back but fascinating personality
6. Biggest splurge?
Just my gear, I guess? I’m not into brands really, and even the STU team knows that I don’t buy a lot of fashion stuff unless I really can wear them a lot and for a long time.
7. If you could take only three items from the STU site, what would they be and why?
Cruz Wing tote in Sand, Kisumu 4 pocket Jacket, and the Hey Jow Suma Layered necklace. All of these I can easily include in my everyday outfits. They’re all functional yet stylish.
The creative head's go-to for shoots are her denim jeans
8. What are some of your fashion regrets?
Maybe wearing that tribal chaleco over a loud printed top, hoping it would hide my fats. It didn’t. That was in the early 2000s - I was young and a bit experimental. Haha.
9. What are three staple items that you can't live without?
My bible, my phone, and well, my wallet. Haha.
10. If your style had a soundtrack, what would it be?
I would say Alaska by Maggie Rogers. It feels a little old yet a little new at the same time. The vibe is really chill. I just like Maggie Rogers and I love listening to her.
Not quite clunky: layering delicate pieces is a great way to accessorize
11. Tell us something about being a photographer.
I love my job! It's such a blessing to have your world as a playground, creating stories through images, or just snapping away images of clothes, because, well, they’re pretty! It’s also amazing to be in a team that lets you really just play — purposefully. A team who does things creatively, excellently, but sincerely too. Seek The Uniq— Mikka and the team, it’s really not for show, that’s really who they are. Colorful, a bit over-the-top, unique! But also practical and intentional.
12. Any advice to readers who are starting out in fashion photography or photography in general?
It’s okay to try out a lot of stuff, learn from a lot of artists — not just photographers. It could be paintings, movies, stylists, or directors, anything or anyone that will inspire you. Don’t focus on just one artist and copy it. Mix it up and just enjoy the process. Eventually, you’ll find your “voice” as you go along. Just keep on learning.
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