During its first ever Stylist Roundtable, The Hollywood Reporter brought together five visionaries behind some of the industry’s biggest names (and their style) — including Armie Hammer, Mary J. Blige, Ava DuVernay, Allison Janney, Kristen Stewart, Zendaya, and more — for an in-depth discussion about what it takes to really stand out on the red carpet. And believe us, the participants — Jason Bolden, Law Roach, Tara Swennen, Ilaria Urbinati, and Jeanne Yang — didn’t hold back.
Yang (who is responsible for getting Katie Holmes, Brad Pitt, and Christian Bale red carpet-ready) brought up the fact that in the massive world of reality TV, there isn’t an existing stylist competition show “because 90%” of the job is dealing with “external factors,”citing managers, agents, boyfriends, and designers as all reasons why specific look may not work for a client. Makes for good TV, right?
But things got even more interesting than that. On the subject of designers, Bolden and Roach (who dress Yara Shadidi and Zendaya, respectively), each said that if a brand tells them no at the beginning of their relationship with a client, then it’s no forever. “I am notorious for using the exact same email that says, “Unfortunately, we would like to pass,” Bolden explained. “So I go back and write, 'Unfortunately, WE'D like to pass!' Roach agreed, going as far to say that is why Zendaya hasn’t worn certain labels for public appearances.
“I built my career and Zendaya's career on not using any big brands at all,” Roach said during the discussion. “I will tell you why, because in the beginning they wouldn't touch her.” He went on to say: “Zendaya made it to the cover of Vogue, she has never worn Valentino, she has never worn Gucci, she has never worn Chanel. She only wore Dolce when she got a Dolce campaign.”
“I built that girl's career and my career using smaller brands and emerging designers to prove a point,” he says. “We go to Paris, you see the designers, they say, 'I love her, how come I've never dressed her?' I wanted to prove that she doesn't have to be in Valentino to become a fashion girl. So now that everybody wants to dress her, I go back and say 'no thank you.’” Boom.