Molly Hawkins on building musical worlds

Creative director to one of the world’s biggest pop stars, Harry Styles, Molly Hawkins’ career has been forged out of building human connections, taking risks, and a commitment to the creative process

The evolution of Harry Styles is fascinating, even by global megastar standards. From the outset, he has undergone a series of chameleon-like transformations – from being a contestant on the X Factor during the show’s heyday, to helping One Direction become the biggest boyband on the planet. Nowadays, he is better known for his stellar solo career (his latest release, Harry’s House, has recently been nominated for a Mercury Prize); his gender fluid fashion sense; and even his acting skills, as he stars in Olivia Wilde’s hotly discussed thriller, Don’t Worry Darling.

Styles’ seemingly unstoppable rise can be put down to his distinct creative vision as much as his musical talent. As his creative director, Molly Hawkins plays a vital role in allowing him to be the architect of this vision, having worked alongside the singer and the rest of his tight-knit team on all three of his solo albums to date.

So how do you end up becoming creative director to one of the world’s biggest pop stars? In Hawkins’ case, the seeds were planted back in the early 2000s, when she decided to drop out of her history degree and move to New York. “When I got to New York I realised I didn’t know what the fuck I wanted from my life. I’d always imagined myself in politics, but at that point in America you couldn’t be an open drug-using bisexual DJ and get elected, so I considered that path closed,” she says.

Black and white photograph of Molly Hawkins, creative director to Harry Styles
Top: Cover of Harry Styles’ self-titled debut album; Above: Portrait of Molly Hawkins by Maria José Govea