Stylists play a pivotal role in the fashion industry, serving as the creative forces behind the looks that grace magazine covers, red carpets, and runways. They are the masterminds who carefully curate ensembles, accessorize outfits, and transform fashion concepts into a tangible and impactful visual language that transcends generations. The unique perspectives of Black stylists particularly bring a distinct flair to the industry, pushing boundaries and shaping cultural trends. Among the many influential stylists, Black stylists hold a special place in the fashion world, and ESSENCE recognizes their invaluable contributions.
Black stylists have a profound impact on the fashion landscape, often challenging traditional norms and redefining beauty standards. They infuse their cultural experiences, heritage, and aesthetics into their work, bringing diversity and inclusivity to the forefront. Their ability to blend high fashion with their cultural influences like hip-hop, streetwear, etc., creates a powerful platform and a space for representation, and we all know that representation matters.
We all remember Law Roach’s recent retirement and what that means for future red carpets. Imagine the fashion world with no Black people to turn to and find influence from. Iconic stylists like Roach, and Patti Wilson, among emerging talent, are what the industry is all about, telling a visual story. We wouldn’t have the immense and beautiful storytelling in fashion with individuals like them.
Look through the Rolodex of a few of our favorite stylists below.
Celebrity stylist Ade Samuel has worked with singer Khalid and actress Letitia Wright and has her own footwear brand called Ade Samuel Shoes.
Shiona Turini is the stylist that brought us the looks in Insecure and Queen & Slim. She’s styled pretty much everything from red carpets to the big screen and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. She’s also currently working on the wardrobe team for Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour.
Solange Franklin Reed
Stylist, editor, and consultant Solange Franklin Reed has worked on countless editorials for us, W Magazine, Allure, Teen Vogue, and Vogue. She’s styled celebrities like actress Zazie Beats, Solange Knowles, and Serena Williams.
Beloved stylist and designer June Ambrose has created a name for herself by starting from the bottom and working her way up. She’s been Diddy’s long-time stylist and recently dressed him for the Met Gala.
Celebrity and fashion stylist Mecca James-Williams gave us the looks in Solange’s music video for “Almeda.” She was already on the map by then, but it showed her work ethic and eye was on point.
Oré Zaccheus is a New York-based fashion stylist. She’s styled celebrities like Keke Palmer and Tama Gucci for shows and music videos. Her work spans from editorial to production, and her visual storytelling has a strong voice.
Sharifa is a stylist and writer work published in Wonderland Magazine, Office Magazine, and more. She’s styled celebrities like singer Orion Sun and has worked with brands like Nike.
The British stylist, who works both in red carpet styling as well as editorial, currently has two of the most stylish clients under her belt — Michaela Coel and Golda Rosheuvel. Not only does she herself have impeccable style, but her eye for dramatic flare, which comes from her extensive background in editorial (right now serving as a contributing editor at Elle UK), lands her clients on the best-dressed list every time.