Bumble And Bumble's Stylish Illustrator Talks Art, Hair, And Why She Worships Isabel Marant

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lauren-tamaki As if we needed another reason to love Bumble and bumble— besides their adeptness at crafting super-cool 'dos, their simultaneously hip and cozy salons, and our undying devotion to Surf Spray, that is — now there's this: They have their own in-house illustrator and she's both amazingly talented, absolutely gorgeous, and insanely likeable. Some people have all the luck...

Lauren Tamaki, who has been with the brand since 2011, is the mastermind behind the wallpaper at the uptown salon, the brand's holiday cards, the design work on a few upcoming launches, and most recently, the brand's first-ever app. Just launched this week, Bumble and shuffle is a gaming app that allows users to trade in their game points for real-life shopping rewards on the brand's website. Tamaki designed the illustrations on the game's tiles, drawing inspiration from the hairstyles created at NYFW by Bumble stylists Jimmy Paul and Laurent Philippon.

We got the chance to sit down with this charming lady to find out what makes her tick, the best hair tricks she's copped from her co-workers, and how she creates those breathtaking, oh-so-Bumble illustrations.

Photo: Courtesy of Bumble and bumble
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How did you get started with Bumble and bumble?
"I have two degrees: one in fashion design and one in illustration and graphic design. I graudated in 2011 and my sister lives in NYC, so I came to visit her and was showing my book around. I heard that Bumble needed a designer, and I was like, 'I'll just throw my name in there.' It was a really happy happenstance."

What do you love most about working at Bumble?
"The beautiful thing about Bumble as a brand is that they are all about this warmth, humor, and irreverence. They let me draw so much, which is great because nothing makes me happier then messing around with ink and pencil. There's an opportunity to do things that I've never done before, like getting to go backstage and take pictures of the stylists at work. Watching the Bumble stylists work — they are so elevated. That was an unexpected perk of this job. I've also been working on a campaign for a specific product that is coming out later this year. It's my baby — from concept to packaging to the photo shoot. I've never gotten to work on the whole vision of a project, so to see that come together and realize that vision after months and months of work — it's beautiful." [Ed note: We tried to get her to spill more deets, but girlfriend kept that product info on lockdown.]

What influences your work?
"Even when I'm not working on something for fashion or beauty, I go to fashion. I have been obsessed with Alexander McQueen since before I can remember. I also love Japanese designers, like Comme Des Garçons — its sort of weird, adrongynous strangeness has always fascinated me, or McQueen with that macabre edge to it. A big influence was Punch, an old mag in the '60s that used a variety of illustrators. Cartoonists like Quentin Blake, Saul Steinberg, and Ronald Searle — something about the spontaneity of the line quality and the freshness and it still looks good 40 years later. For a photographer, always and forever Tim Walker. Also, '50s jazz covers, old textbooks, and maps of all kinds are constant inspirations. All of these things totally informed my style and the designs I make."

How would you describe your style?
"My dream closet is stocked with Zero Maria Cornejo, Philip Lim, and Thakoon. The great thing about living in NYC is I can prowl the sample sales and sometimes make my dreams a reality. I'm currently rotating Joe Fresh silk blouses (in a million colors), Rag & Bone jeans, Vince sweaters, and J.Crew pencil skirts. I like to mix in vintage in the form of jewelry (mostly 'borrowed' from my mom). I always find gems at Bird, Spiritual America, and Tabula Rasa in Toronto. If I can afford some sort of 80% discount on Isabel Marant, I will jump on it because something about her stuff is so cool and effortless. The way a French girl just throws on something and it doesn't look contrived — eventually I would like to get to that point.  

"To sum it up: I love a girl/boy tension and am channeling a '90s vibe these days. I wear a ton of color (which is no surprise after looking at my work) because it's instant happiness! I tend to become obsessed with one kind of accessory and wear it to death — right now I'm piling on necklaces over my button-ups."

Have you picked up any hair tricks from the Bumble team?
I've always had that whole 'why not, let's try it' attitude with my hair. I even had a super-close crop at one point. It all started when I saw Angelina Jolie in Hackers and became even shorter in my mid -20s after watching the beautiful Jean Seberg prance around Paris in Breathless. My hair is currently growing out, but I'm getting itchy to chop it off again — short hair is my comfort zone and makes me feel twenty times cooler than I actually am. The awesome stylists — I see Tiffani and Denise — have helped me get closer to my shaggy Freja/Blondie dream hair (I'm still a few inches away).

"What I never realized before I worked at Bumble is that in order to get your hair to do what you want it to do, you have to put effort into it. The education I've gotten here through videos and the stylists has been so helpful. When you are first hired, you get an education on the products and how to use them and combine them. I also sort of absorb more info through osmosis — when I'm getting my hair cut, I like attack the stylists with questions. My product cocktail right now is Hairdresser's Invisible Oil and Sumo Wax. I also love the Thickening Full Form Mousse and Brilliantine Cream. Another part of my education was that [in order to get that shaggy look I like] you have to get a diffuser." 

Photo: Courtesy of Bumble and bumble