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A Stylist’s Secret Weapon

For Marti Arcucci, an outfit isn't complete without a pair of socks, tights, or both.

A Stylist’s Secret Weapon
Martina Keenan
Marti Arcucci

Stylist Marti Arcucci hoards boxes of hosiery in her Soho office. Opaque stockings, tube socks, sheer knee-highs, fishnets—her sartorial soldiers are present and ready for action at a moment’s notice. And work, they do; hosiery is a staple in any Marti Arcucci shoot. Reflecting over a recent photograph featuring knee-high socks and shorts, she muses, “That look wouldn't be the same if it was just a [bare] leg. It had to have that balance.”

What some may consider a minor detail, Arcucci lovingly labors over. In both her own ensembles and those she creates in her work, there’s always a jacket under a coat over a button-down and a T-shirt. “I’ve always loved layering, and I always loved anything worn-in,” the Argentinian stylist says. She buys her Nike Cortez sneakers used via eBay. Sprinkle in a little masculine tailoring, some quirky proportions, and an unexpected flash of skin or sex appeal, and you’ve cracked her secret formula. Ahead, she shares her approach to one element in particular: hosiery. “It's just a little detail that will elevate something so much.”

All-White Monochrome

“This was for an Argentinian brand that does the most beautiful leather called La Rando. The tights add a little layer of fun, something interesting to a look that, if not, would be super simple.”

Knee-Highs with Tailoring

“You know when you go to CVS or Duane Reade, and in the back, they have underwear and socks? Those socks with the elastic at the knee, I have boxes of them. I love it with a men's shoe or a men's sock; I got married at City Hall in something similar. It's dorky, but it's cool. That look with the tie and the shorts wouldn't be the same if it was just, like, a leg. It had to have that balance. And again, the shoes were four sizes too big for her, but it works.”

Fishnets and Ankle Socks

“I love the combinations of different tones, even if it's the same shade. We had those little shorts, and then I had bought those fishnets for the Amir Taghi lookbook shoot. I had those gigantic Louis Vuitton shoes from something else. I started thinking the vibe would be brown, but I'm going to cut it with this old Margiela sweater with holes in it. I kept it because I think it's such a perfect shade of gray—little things like that make me really, really happy.

If it was just a fishnet, it wouldn't be the same. But adding the men's socks, it's a little something extra. I think I should discuss it in therapy but I love female models in men's shoes that are gigantic on them. I do that a lot. Give me the size 14. It doesn't matter. I love it.”

Ankle Socks and Sneakers

“That was one of the coldest winter days. I had that Balenciaga gigantic coat left over from a shoot. And I was like, ‘We need her in a bikini. We need her in a bikini.’ We went around the corner from my office in Soho and were waiting for her with blankets. It was just tube socks with a Nike Cortez. It was random.”

Sporty Knee-Highs

“If I have to describe my style, this is probably the most [emblematic]. For some reason, she's in underwear with tailoring, a little touch of randomness, and then something sporty. I need that. I've been obsessed with Sambas since before they became trendy. They remind me a little bit of the soccer shoe (my dad was a sports journalist). It represents what I like to do in styling. A little masculine tailoring, a little sporty, [and the] proportions are weird. She's a sports journalist, but from the waist down, she's the player. That was the quirkiness I was going for.”

Colorful Monochrome

“I had that little dress from my collection. It's Prada; I love that shape. I actually got married in a very similar dress, but white. I got those shoes for the shoot. I was like, ‘This needs to be crazy and all orange, so I went monochrome.’”

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