Lara Backmender is a stylist, mother and longtime friend of 6397. Here she’s wearing her picks from our Spring 18 collection. We hung out recently with Lara and her son Levi at her home in Brooklyn that she shares with her husband who is a photographer.

Lara is from a small town in Connecticut and moved to NYC in the late 90’s to study fashion design. She fell in love with New York’s underground skate, music and fashion scenes. Her early ambition to become a designer manifested into styling. She assisted and worked with some of the most influential stylists in fashion such as Arianne Phillips and Marie-Amelie Sauve. Now, Lara works independently with the most progressive magazines, photographers, designers and celebrities. She travels the world for inspiration and inspires people she comes into contact with.

What are some of your earliest fashion memories, and what made you want to pursue styling in particular?

In elementary school I would write fashion articles for the school paper, and would spend hours the night before creating my outfit for the next morning. In my mind I fell into styling, but if I really take a step back, it was a journey that lead me to styling. I studied design at Parsons School of Design, but was assisting stylists all along and found that to be my niche.

Describe your personal style:

My style changes depending on my mood and the season, but generally it’s: masculine meets feminine, something always subtlety different, and maybe bit of vintage thrown in.

Who/what inspires you and why?

I think fashion, art and design is very much innate for me, though I draw inspiration from many things - walking down the streets of NYC, an art exhibit, a concert, hanging with friends, traveling overseas, a film I have seen… it all gets tucked away and I draw from that depending on what I am working on and who I am working with. I am a very visual person, and it is the language I am most comfortable with.

What is your favorite thing about motherhood?

I have two things: the unconditional love you feel and have for your child, and how the whole process of creating them and their developmental feats are so magical and perfect…and that all of it is not in your control.

How do you balance work and family?

I am learning still how to balance it all, and it is extremely difficult as a freelancer, but I have a great partner to help me with that.

How does living in New York City inspire you in work and in life?

This city is such a hub for of all kinds of cultures, and there’s so much creativity. Combined with the fast pace of the city, it really ignites visual ideas. Just walking down the street I get sparks of ideas. After 23 years of living here, I do feel it is important to step outside of this concrete jungle and travel, or go to the countryside to balance that frenzy that I feed off of.