aussies in new york week: stylist marcus hay

I'm always fascinated by the life journey people take and how it shapes their personalities and professions. Marcus Hay grew up in a creative environment. His mother, Janet Hay, was an interior decorator in Melbourne, and from an early age Marcus accompanied her on many assignments, leading to his love for interiors. As a teenager he worked with his uncle John Hay on shoots for Vogue Australia.

After studying Fine Arts and Fashion and Textile Design at Sydney's UTS, Marcus worked with the renowned architectural firm Burley Katon Halliday. Soon after he was styling for Vogue Australia and Elle Australia/USA. Since then Marcus has worked for advertising clients including Country Road, David Jones and Witchery. Editorial work has included Real Simple, Oprah Magazine, Wallpaper*, Madison Magazine, Inside Out, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire and Vogue Australia. Marcus has also worked on many of Bill Granger's cookbooks.

Marcus made New York his base after being offered the position of style director for Real Simple magazine. After working there for two and a half years, he now freelances across a range of US and Australian magazines.

Which five words best describe you? Reflective, creative, loyal, open and quirky.
What path have you taken to arrive in New York? It was a long path of discovery and the need to live life experienced in another country. I first visited New York 10 years ago and fell in love with its pace, its museums, Central Park and of course its crazy overwhelming vibe. I knew after my first few days here that one day I would be back to live. I freelanced as a stylist on various US publications over the years making return trips to NYC and then on one of the trips I was offered a job at Real Simple magazine as the style director, and this is when I seriously took the plunge.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Probably having the opportunity to work with some amazing well known authors/chefs and be a part of their book projects. Many of whom have inspired me in many ways even outside the kitchen on many levels. Also, I had my own exhibition a few years back, something I had always wanted to do.
What’s been your best decision? To take risks and not let other people sway my decisions
Who inspires you? Alexander Girard, Louise Bourgeois, Rei Kawakubo, Ray and Charles Eames, Grace Coddington, Grace Jones and Herge.
What are you passionate about? Personal style, reading, drawing, antiques, collectables, cooking, colour, nature, architecture and music.
What do you love about New York? It's a place that forces you to face yourself, grow up, learn to play; it toughens the heart, it tests you. Most of all I love the resources, the inspiration that is all around, the element of surprise. I have always loved its contrasts, for example, the buzz of the city versus the calmness of Central Park. Oh and I love the food, architecture and of course the shops!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? To always stick to my guns and follow my heart.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I am a sucker for old Hollywood movie stars: Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn or Marliyn Monroe. It's a tough choice!
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To author my own decorating/lifestyle books.
What are you reading? I am always reading three books at once: it's like switching TV stations for me! When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris, The Henson Case by David Marr and Official Book Club Selection: A memoir according to Kathy Griffin. Oh and always magazines, Elle Decoration, Italian Elle Decor, Case Da Abitare and Inside Out.

images marcus hay