Hot Picks is a column in which fashion insiders reveal their latest obsessions–sharing their recent purchases and must-have pieces.
Celebrity stylist Todd White is the brains behind the glamorous and campy looks that female artists like Latto, Baby Tate, and Coi Leray are often seen wearing in music videos and magazine shoots. His aesthetic pulls from his fixation on the stylish late ‘90s and early aughts–White’s wardrobe is made up of sporty pieces from fashion brands like Marc Jacobs, Acne Studios, and Martine Rose. Over a Zoom call from his home in Los Angeles, he reveals his dedication to past fashion, driven by the belief that trends from previous eras cyclically resurface in modern-day styles. As for his personal style, Todd is always serving a laid-back look that always includes a touch of vintage fashion.
His style influences trace back to growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio during the 2000s, surrounded by images of Lil Wayne, Bow Wow, and Pharrell. “In Ohio, obviously anywhere has them, but I used to love going to the flea markets for airbrushed shirts,” he tells ESSENCE.com. “Again, during that time [the] early 2000s, I feel like the big white T-shirts and baggy shorts [was in].”
Before the 2000s era was dominated by brands like BAPE and Phat Farm, White found inspiration in Dennis Rodman’s personal style. Rodman’s androgynous looks during the 1990s serve as a reference point. “It was a little bit of street, and there was a level of androgyny there,” White notes. He goes on to express that he likes to mix vintage pieces into his wardrobe too. He feels that this is the key part of his personal style that he tries to bring into his projects with his clients.
Beyond stylish figures, White, a cinephile, draws inspiration from a wide range of films, including cult classics like “Clueless,” “Jawbreakers,” “Casino” and even “Playa’s Club.” These poignant movies serve as a constant mental reference for his shoots.
A turning point in his life occurred when he sent a direct message to Megan Thee Stallion on Instagram in 2018, while still based in Ohio. This exchange marked a pivotal moment, leading him to become one of her primary stylists. He juggled this gig while still enrolled as a student at Kent State University. During Megan’s rise, White was constantly pushing her to experiment with her style for early magazine shoots and performances.
His grit paid off, and now he frequently works with artists boasting substantial social media followings, including Saucy Santana and Coi Leray. For example, he is responsible for Latto wearing a breathtaking ACT N°1 gown for a Billboard feature. He’s also styled Leray in Vivienne Westwood and Mugler for her Uproxx cover, which debuted last June. His knowledge of high-end brands and his ability to make pieces attainable for women in rap is admirable, and it’s also what distinguishes him as a distinct stylist and costume designer.
“I’ve seen them on a few different people, and I actually bought them for a client, so that’s great. I can say they weren’t for me, but I just know that they’re like that one boot where you could have on the most basic thing, you could have a T-shirt on, and those boots are going to take your look to the next level.”Available at Marc Jacobs
“Obviously, they’re a knockoff of the Attico [cargo] pants, but everyone doesn’t have the budget for that $800-$1000 pair of pants. What I love about the Zara pair is that Zara offers eight, or 10 different washes of that cargo pants, and I’ve bought two of them, but they’re really uniform.”Available at Zara
Header Image Credit: @flynnstone