Stylist and Jewellery-maker Carl Abad Has Always Gone Over the Top

His style — streetwear meets accessory-forward glam — reflects his personal and professional history.

Jacket is Calvin Klein; T-shirt by KaaDiki; brooch by Carl Abad; jeans are Levi’s (patches were sewn on by Abad’s mother); belt vintage Dolce & Gabbana; shoes are Adidas; socks by Richer Poorer; bag (under jacket) by 5 Left; necklace is vintage “junk;” bracelets (in all images) by Tiffany & Co., Good Art Hlywd and Links of London; skull ring (in all images) by The Great Frog (London, UK); other rings are vintage finds. Photograph by Colin Way; Self-styled by honourees with consultation by Kim Flanagan; Makeup by Joanne Black; Hair by Sue Thompson.

Carl Abad’s style is rooted in his childhood. Growing up, his mom made his clothes, adjusting patterns meant for adults to fit him. “I looked like this little kid going to the ’70s disco,” he says.

After graduating from Father Lacombe High School in Calgary, Abad attended Alberta College of Art (now AUArts) for a while, before moving to the UK where he cold-called agencies in London until a stylist took him under his wing. Today, Abad counts 22 years of experience as a commercial, editorial and personal stylist, with clients ranging from local upstart brands to household names.

His style — streetwear meets accessory-forward glam — reflects his personal and professional history. He’s often seen in one of his many pairs of sneakers (his “guilty pleasure”) and a mixture of jewellery that he has designed himself or been given by friends and family over the years. “Even if I’m just getting groceries, if what I wear puts a smile on some lady’s face who’s pushing around two screaming kids, why not do it?”

Yellow shirt by Vince; black sweatshirt-tee from Topman; shorts by Massimo Dutti (Italy); necklace is vintage Navajo; shoes are Nike; wallet chain by Good Art Hlywd; bag by Fiveleft; eyewear by Fat Frames. Photograph by Colin Way; Self-styled by honourees with consultation by Kim Flanagan; Makeup by Joanne Black; Hair by Sue Thompson.
Necklace by Carl Abad; jacket by Undercover; sweatshirt by Originial Use; shirt from Topman; shorts by KaaDiki; clutch by Fiveleft; tassel (on clutch) by Carl Abad. Photograph by Colin Way; Self-styled by honourees with consultation by Kim Flanagan; Makeup by Joanne Black; Hair by Sue Thompson.
Sneakers are Adidas. Photograph by Colin Way; Self-styled by honourees with consultation by Kim Flanagan; Makeup by Joanne Black; Hair by Sue Thompson.

This article appears in the April 2020 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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