When it comes to the industry, fashion is one of those things that can either make you shine or place you in a shadow. Now of course we would love our stars for their talent but when you add fashion into the mix, they automatically become a conversation piece. Their style catches eyeballs whether it’s off the court, on stage, or walking amongst the streets of Soho.
As soon as Lil Kim made her debut in the music scene in the 90s, we liked her but its her iconic style and the confidence it brought out, everyone fell in love and wanted to be her. Thanks to stylists, we have not only seen the vision of our favorite artists and entertainers come to life, but we have the opportunity to watch stylists blossom into their own brand and secure their own bag (no pun intended).
We’re giving you the run down of our top most influential stylists that have graced the game:Let’s start with one of the GOATS shall we?
Back in the 90s male groups were rocking the expected such as the oxfords and the long two-piece suits but that all would change thanks to the touch of Misa Hylton Brim. To help support her boyfriend (Sean Combs) at the time as an A&R, she created the image of his first artist , the iconic R&B group Jodeci which soon also led to the styling of THE Mary J. Blige (specifically the “Not Gon Cry” look) in following. From there Hylton would develop Lil Kim‘s “Crush On You” video and the iconic purple costume with the pastie for the VMA’s as well as influence the looks of Missy Elliot, Aaliyah, and a long list of musical and pop-culture influencers. With dressing up the core of 90’s hip-hop and R&B industry, extended other attractions and opportunities such as creating her own online boutique Madison Star Couture, creating the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy, becoming a fashion technology consultant for Microsoft, and has even become a life coach. Her unique eye provided a lane of opportunity not only for herself but ultimately brought music and fashion together as one.
Next up, we have no one other than the well-respected June Ambrose. June initially was working in investment banking but shortly realized that it wasn’t where she wanted to be. Soon she took a marketing internship with Uptown Records and confidently took on a styling opportunity (which was not apart of her position) to style Diddy and Mase for “Mo’ Money , Mo Problems'”, her life would take on a different purpose. Soon after persuading Puff to put on the shiny get-up, she would also be responsible for Missy Elliot’s finger wave and garbage bag fit for “Supa Dupa Fly”, Busta Rhymes‘ “What’s it Gonna Be” video look, and Jay-Z ‘s introductory to Armani suits to fit his boss persona in “Excuse Me Miss” and in real life (as well as the looks of Nas, R.Kelly, and so many more). These days you can find June running her own clothing line, costume designing, creative directing (as well as on your tv screens ), and promoting her book entitled “Effortless Style”.
Since June was responsible for the transformation of Jay-Z’s style, it’s only appropriate to bring light to the stylist behind Beyonce whom goes by the name of Todd “Ty” Hunter. In the beginning Ty was working as a window dresser in Houston , Texas. His visions would soon expand however once coming into contact with Beyonce’s mother and the designer behind Destiny’s Child at a meeting, Ms.Tina Knowles. From there would change the narrative of his own life. For almost two decades, Ty has been responsible for the ensembles of Beyonce from the photo shoots to the stage performances to the Met Gala’s. As Ty continues to style and fashion direct, he is also exploring his own lane his new active-wear collection in collaboration with SIX:02 called “Ty Hunter by Reflex” that includes a 23-piece active-wear collection of dresses, crop tops, leggings, and also has a line “With A Passion”. As his eye continues to evolve, we are sure his narrative will do the same.
When you mix the likes of Beyonce and Jay-Z, you end up in a world of Kanye West. When you think of Kanye West, you HAVE to know Virgil Abloh. Abloh was Chicago raised, received his undergrad in Civil Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. and after running into Kanye a couple times within the city, Abloh took a meeting with Kanye’s manager (before College Dropout had even came out) and was placed on a payroll to design his merchandise. The relationship that they would sustain would be responsible for placing him in his destined position(s). Virgil was not only the style advisor for Mr.West, but his taste and vision would shortly evolve him into THE designer, THE art director , a DJ, and the ultimate street-wear inspiration to the current generation.
In 2009, Abloh and the legend Don Cannon (Don C) opened up the high-in street-wear boutique in Chicago called RSVP [which he calls a “selfish boutique” because they only put out what they like ]is responsible for shifting fashion culture . The shop exposed the eyes of many to names and respected brands such as the art of Jeff Koons, Undercover by Jun Takahashi, the figurative characters of Kaws, the designs of Raf Simons , Alexander Wang, Jordan , Public School, and Acne Studios just to name a few. The gallery has won the collaborations and support from the family of G.O.O.D Music to the heavily influential collective of A$AP (A$AP Mob and beyond) who’s always making moves in one way or another. In 2012, his package design for Ye and Jay-Z’s album Watch the Throne was nominated for a Grammy. Two years later, Abloh launched his Milan-based fashion line Off-White and let’s just say if you walk into street-wear boutique and there’s no Off White, it’s not a real boutique of the culture. In 2015, Off-White was the only American ﬁnalist for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. These days he continues to perfect the designs of his line, somehow finds the time to DJ, vision direct with Ye, and is simply evolving the threads on the metro to the offices of corporate.
Just like Abloh is Ye’s right hand man is the same way Monica Rose are the Kardashian’s right-hand woman when it comes to styling. The LA-based stylist worked a ranged of retail for many years which soon turned into a passion and a career of one-one clientele. After working on a variety of editorial shoots, she landed a position styling at Complex in 2007 where she would meet Kim Kardashian and soon be the genius behind her highly admired style. From working with Kim to the Kardashian family to the likes of Gigi Hadid, Chrissy Tiegen, and many more, Rose made it her duty to evolve the style of the faces the most influential people and families of pop-culture. Her love for styling soon turned into a pure passion for fashion when she launched her self-titled fashion line. Thanks to Monica Rose, it is inspiring over a millions to approach their minimal style with edge and most importantly, confidence.
Thanks to the OG’s and their hard work, there’s been many doors knocked down and many opportunities unleashed. Although these are stylists who are running all things fashion, there are many others who are also up and at it branding themselves . These individuals include (but not limited to of course) include Patricia Field [from stylist to fashion visionary/designer and Emmy winner], “Luxury Law” Roach[from image architect to Co-creator of Daya by Zendaya and host on America’s Next Top Model ], Marcus Paul [from being the stylist behind King Pusha and King James to creative collaborator and designer], Olori Swank [who has styled many including Keke Palmer and Childish Gambino to boutique owner and author of a boss chick themed coloring book for adults], and Ugo Mozie [who’s gone from styling Chris Brown and Travis Scott to designing his own line and being a creative director]. Currently we are very excited of what’s to come from the construction of newcomer Karlie Floss who is responsible for Rihanna’s infamous Paper Magazine takeover and Kehlani’s recent murder scene (because a “slay” would be an understatement). Let”s face it, stylists in this industry are no longer just people who make you look great. Stylists are THE people of the industry who reinvent, inspire, navigators of aesthetic and fashion, and are the all-around entrepreneur. Cheers to the hustlers that make it look easy.