Acclaimed Los Angeles-based designer/stylist Jennifer Austin has been making Angela Bassett look ethereal and regal for years. Austin keeps a low profile but is always in the background, making moves for her longtime client and actress extraordinaire. Bassett has had a very successful red carpet run this year from her Black Panther performance, and it’s now been revealed that Austin has been behind those looks and, because of that, has been named by The Hollywood Reporter one of the 25 Most Powerful Stylists. Rounding out the list were some of our favs like Jason Bolden, Wayman & Micah (who also fronted one of 4 covers), Kollin Carter, Georgia Medley, and Law Roach. She stars on the cover (lensed by Obidi Nzeribe) alongside muse/friend Bassett. What a stylist does is a lot like what an actor does — shaping the perception of someone. There are eyes on Bassett almost 24/7, whether on or off the screen; she’s never looked less than amazing. That’s because her stylist Austin is working tirelessly behind the scenes.
Austin is also a creative director and has been featured in Allure, Teen Vogue, Vogue Italia, and more. The stylist also has had a few other big-name clients, such as Jill Scott, Mel B, and Method Man. Austin once shared that she got her start as a stylist after an epiphany from a near-fatal car accident. Once she healed, she volunteered at Los Angeles Fashion Week, and fortunately, she never looked back. Now, she’s Angela Bassett’s one and only stylist since 2013.
Bassett’s statement on their relationship was touching. She told THR, “Our relationship is based on trust, which is very important to me. The time, attention, and care that Jennifer has dedicated to creating my looks and overall image for the world to see has been unmatched.” Austin’s goal is only to change perceptions, “I want to change the perception of what women of a particular age should look like and to create a new narrative in fashion, especially on the carpet. I dress the spirit and energy of Angela, not her age,” she shares with THR.
There are so many iconic looks stylists have curated through history that become memorable in pop culture. Austin is one of the most influential stylists of our time and now has rightfully received her flowers — and we are happy to see it.