I can’t be the only one who still gets chills thinking about Demi Lovato’s emotional return to the Grammy’s earlier this year — or, for that matter, the ethereal Christian Siriano white gown she wore. The stylist behind Lovato’s white long-sleeved gown with structured shoulders and a studded bodice was Law Roach, a self-proclaimed “Image Architect” and judge on HBO Max’s Legendary. This wasn't his only memorable look this year: Roach was also behind Kerry Washington’s plaid Khaite dress for the Television Academy’s 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Zendaya’s hot pink Tom Ford breast-plate at the Critics Choice Awards.
Fellow stylist Jason Bolden, the co-founder of JSN Studio, dresses the likes of Alicia Keys, Gabrielle Union, Yara Shahidi, and Cynthia Erivo — the latter of whom he outfitted all throughout award season in stunning looks from Thom Browne, Fendi, Versace, and Schiaparelli. And you can thank Zerina Akers, stylist and owner of Black Owned Everything, for every Chloe x Halle and Beyoncé look you’ve ever bookmarked.
Then there’s June Ambrose who styles Jay Z, Jason Rembert who dresses Issa Rae, and Kollin Carter who’s behind Cardi B’s best looks. In other words, all the celebrities that make the best dressed-list cut get their looks from Black stylists. And yet, many stylists still have trouble pulling samples for their Black clients or for Black-focused publications. “I would do a shoot for the same talent in the same week for a black magazine as I did for a magazine that is not a black magazine and I would get totally different brands,” Rembert told The Wall Street Journal earlier this year.
Now more than ever, it’s important to change that narrative, and, in doing so, recognise, consult, and hire the Black stylists responsible for some of Hollywood’s most revered red carpet looks. Ahead, find a list of Black stylists to follow.