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100 Creatives: Photographer Stefanie del Papa Styles Miami for the Screen

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In honor of our "People" issue, which hit newsstands today and is live on our website, New Times proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes. Have suggestions for future profiles? Let us know in the comments.

#86: Stefanie del Papa

If there's anything that moves Stefanie del Papa, it's nostalgia. A stylist and classic-film aficionado, she has always been inspired by the past – the setting, the people, and the garments that adorned them.

That wistfulness for a bygone era has led del Papa to work on a diverse roster of creative projects. As a stylist and founder of the Miami Classic Movie Club and Slightly Erotic Magazine, del Papa is moved by context. Charged by the reality of situation, she finds inspiration in candid images, well-crafted story lines, and the reclaiming of a person's essence through fashion.

Her career as one of the most in-demand stylists in Miami began when an old boyfriend remarked that she had way too many clothes to fit in his apartment. For years, del Papa had unearthed vintage finds from her favorite local thrift stores. Though she hardly wore any of it, she couldn't resist the urge to collect it because she imagined the characters who might wear the garments. At his suggestion, del Papa reached out to a stylist friend and began accompanying her on shoots. Before long, del Papa was landing work in indie style mags such as Material Girl and Cake while joining costume design teams on the sets of shows like Burn Notice and Graceland. These days, del Papa is working on location in the Keys, assisting the wardrobe department on the popular Netflix drama Bloodline.

Aside from costume design and styling, del Papa runs the Miami Classic Movie Club, an Instagram account she launched to let people know which classic films were playing where and when. This year, she plans to take Miami Classic Movie Club out of the digital sphere and into film houses around Miami. She also recently launched Slightly Erotic Magazine, a zine filled with candid images of her scantily clad friends. Most of the photographs are taken by del Papa, who counts photography as one of her passions, but any one can submit their photographs to Slightly Erotic.

A Miami native, del Papa knows she might be better off leaving town if she wants to continue styling film and TV shoots. But with so many pending creative projects, it'll take more than opportunity to drag her away.

List five things that inspire you.
I'm inspired by real people and the reality of their situation: fallen women and how society looks down on these women who dared to be something different; the '70s – the clothes and the era and how natural it all was, snapshots, and candids; old magazines, books, and found photos. I just love anything that's just a few decades back because it's not completely foreign.

What was your last big project?
I'm working in the costume design department for Bloodline, which is being shot in the Florida Keys. It's such a great show.

What's your next big project?
Hopefully getting some Miami Classic Move Club screenings next year. My friend Liz Ferrer has a very specific idea of Miami, and she's really influenced by Miami itself and the underside of the city, so we hope to get something together. I always think of doing something like Island of Lost Souls.

What do you want Miami to know about you? What don't you want Miami to know about you?
I can't stand the beach, and I never go. A lot of people know that about me. As far as what I don't want people to know about me, I think that's impossible in Miami. One thing I like about the city is that it's so open. There's really nothing I would — or could — hide.

What's one thing you want people to know about Miami?
That I love Miami and how fucked up it is, but then that I also can't stand it because it's so fucked up. There's this undercurrent of the South Beach nightlife, but then that's what's so inspiring as well. I like how crazy it can be.

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