Now that celebrities have made a return to making appearances, whether that be on the red carpet, awards shows or events we’re getting an exciting glimpse into the future of post-pandemic fashion. From the MTV VMAs and New York Fashion Week to the Met Gala, stars like Doja Cat, Rihanna, Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Nas X are giving us incredible looks that leave everyone wanting more.
Behind these perfectly formulated outfits is a group of stylists that are singlehandedly creating iconic looks that push the boundaries of mainstream fashion.
Stylists not only pull pieces for big events but can help celebrities carve out an identity through fashion. Zendaya’s inimitable style and unbeatable ‘best dressed’ streak are thanks to Law Roach — who’s also behind Celine Dion’s chic fashion revival, Hunter Schafer’s slick futuristic looks and Anya Taylor-Joy’s haute couture.
And Law isn’t the only stylist creating pop culture history. Meet the stylists behind your favourite artist’s outfits and get inspired.
Jahleel Weaver is Rihanna's longtime stylist and is also the deputy creative director of her fashion house, Fenty. Riri's right-hand man got his start by styling Usher and eventually went on to assist Mel Ottenberg — her former stylist — which led to a full-time gig with the Barbados star. So what is it like working for the coolest billionaire on the planet?
“Ri is unlike anyone I’ve ever met and anyone I’ve ever worked with," Weaver told Vogue in 2019. "She has so much to say and so many different vehicles for expression, that the possibilities seem endless. She really pushes me to think beyond what’s directly in front of me.”
It goes without saying that Weaver's vision for Rihanna is impeccable, consistently creating breathtaking moments with fashion.
When it comes to the next guard of fashion pop girls pushing the boundaries, Rina Sawayama immediately comes to mind. Her ability to make archive couture look fresh is thanks to her attitude and unshakeable brand of cool, but helping her out with these choices is Jordan Kelsey. Kelsey is a fashion stylist and creative director based in London. And yes, she was behind that gorgeous lavender tulle look from the Brit Awards where Sawayama dazzled in archive Balmain couture.
It seems as though Kelsey is just getting warmed up, with the stylist promising that "this is just the start," she wrote on Instagram. "[I] cannot wait to show you all what we have in store."
On Twitter, Bryon Javar describes himself as the "love child of Kris Jenner and Bob Marley," which makes sense when you see the roster of celebrity clients he's accumulated. From Saweetie and City Girls to Amanda Searles, Javar is creating sleek and sexy looks with a focus on Black-owned designers.
He told ESSENCE last year that he makes a concerted effort to support Black designers “because everybody doesn’t have the same visibility. These brands don’t all have PR companies. A lot of them are fully in-house. They’re mom-and-pop style.”
Cardi B's stylist, Kollin Carter comes from the school of Law Roach — and if you've seen any of his looks, you might have even guessed it. Carter got his start assisting Roach for over two years, which meant even early on he worked with Ariana Grande, Zendaya and Céline Dion. These experiences primed him for his own reign as a styling assassin, creating avant garde and cutting edge looks not just for Cardi B but also for Normani, Naomi Campbell, Sophia Richie and Kelly Rowland.
What makes Carter so unique is his ability to create headline-creating looks, whether that's his work on the Wild Side music video, the looks from the Rumors music video with Lizzo or anything that he puts Cardi B in.
Dua Lipa always looks immaculate thanks to stylist, Lorenzo Posocco. Since working with Lipa, Posocco has helped the pop star be more playful, from her nods to the Y2K era and her sleek and sexy designer dresses. These hyper-feminine looks are anything but saccharine, with Lipa being dressed in the coolest up and coming labels, from Marine Serre and Charlotte Knowles to Heaven by Marc Jacobs as well as pieces from Mugler, Versace and Alaïa that'd make any fashion fan swoon.
There's no doubt that fashion courses through Prosocco's veins, with the stylist telling Paper Magazine earlier this year that he "can't quite recall a time where fashion wasn't an integral part of my life. Fashion was a form of escapism and self-expression which really helped and ultimately shaped me."
Hodo Musa started working with Lil Nas X back when Old Town Road began to make waves and has stuck with the pop star ever since. The 36-year-old stylist told i-D about meeting Lil Nas X for the first time, admitting “it was love at first sight.”
Hodo has been working with him since his second-ever performance and have gone on to create some history-making looks, from his pink Versace suit at the Grammys and his custom Freak City LA glitter graffiti leather ensemble.
Lil Nas X is Hodo’s biggest client to date, and she considers working with him to be her destiny. "It might sound silly or crazy, but I instantly knew our collaboration was going to be fruitful and long. He gives you the freedom that's needed in order to do your job well, cause he has faith in the people around him. And he doesn't have an ego. His ego is dead, just like mine."
Brett Alan Nelson
It’s undeniable that Doja Cat has her own inimitable style, but since working with LA-based stylist Brett Alan Nelson her looks have gone from cute to breaking the internet. Before teaming up with Doja in 2019, Nelson had dressed Lizzo, Nicki Minaj, Snoh Aalegra, Charli XCX and Kylie Jenner. The symbiotic relationship between Doja and Nelson means they get to play with colours, textures but most of all create costumes that no one else is brave enough to do.
In an interview with Billboard, Nelson credited Dave LaChapelle and Lil Kim as his inspirations for how he puts looks together for Doja. “[I] worked with him for several years. Him and Lil' Kim created that [avant-garde female rapper] style together.
In the fashion world, Zerina Akers is about as well-known as her A-list clientele, which includes Megan Thee Stallion, Chloe x Halle and Beyoncé. She’s an Emmy Award winner, the founder of Black Owned Everything and heads the Akers & Akers Foundation, which empowers African American entrepreneurs to "grow and run sustainable and reputable businesses.”
Her vast portfolio is difficult to summarise, but most recently she pulled together a custom Coperni look for Megan Thee Stallion, dressed Michaela Coel in Christopher John Rogers for the Emmys and curated Beyoncé’s stunning Black Is King anniversary with a Balmain jumpsuit. It goes without saying she’s one of the hardest working stylists in the biz.
Chloe and Chenelle Delgadillo
Chloe and Chenelle Delgadillo are the sister stylist duo who call themselves "wardrobe scientists." And with a client list that includes Paris Hilton, Kali Uchis, and most recently Olivia Rodrigo, we say that they can call themselves whatever they want, while we'll just call them extremely talented.
Not only did they put Rodrigo in that stunning 1995 archive Chanel suit when she visited the White House this year, but they also have recently styled Willow Smith, Shawn Mendes and YG.
There’s no one quite like Rico Nasty, which means she needs a stylist that’s willing to colour outside the lines with her. Meet Haylee Ahumada, the LA stylist that’s worked with Pusha-T, Pink Sweat$, Ty Dolla $ign, Jordyn Woods, Sabrina Claudio and Joey Badass to create eclectic looks that are worthy of gasps and applause.
Styling Rico Nasty has been really pivotal for Ahumada who was first able to pull designer pieces when working on a shoot with Rico for Ssense. “Now it's not a problem for us,” she told Every Stylish Girl last year. “Like I can pull from anywhere and people throw things at me for her.”
But for Rico, it's all about personal style. "My advice for other aspiring rappers and artists is [to] never be too big to do what I'm doing right now," she explains while rifling through a thrift store for Cool Accidents. "Find what you like, that's how you're gonna build your own swag." And that's great advice for anyone trying to figure out their own personal style.