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Daily Nation : February 16th 2014
style O olOdero om yle O olOdero om k- k- yop se nue it he ylyle O olOdero om k- y- op se n- ue it he yl- n-n-- yoghurt dessert COOKERY A delicious mango and PAGE 8 Rise of stylists: The unsung heroes in fashion industry ecause they work behind ins behind beautiful re the real trendsetters official stylist to the 1980s as more KYM (kazi ya mkono), less glamour. Last year, The Hollywood Reporter released its list of “25 Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood”. Top of that list was Leslie Fremar styling Julianne Moore, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Connelly. It said “After stints at Vogue (first as Anna Wintour’s assistant) and Prada, Fremar comes at the styling game from a fashion insider’s background rather than a Hollywood background. Her attitude Her low-key attitude has won her a loyal cadre of A-list designers as well as long-term working relationships with sought-after designers.” Second was Petra Flannery for Zoe Saldana, Claire Danes, Emma Stone, Mila Kunis and Megan Fox. Her power, says fashionista.com lies in mastery of “the fresh, young, hip look that the cool girls of Hollywood can’t get enough of.” Third, Rachel Zoe for Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Garner, Kate Hudson and Eva Mendes described thus: “Zoe is arguably the first Hollywood stylist to really wield power in the public’s eye.” She dressed two Oscar winners, Hathaway and Lawrence. These stylists are signed on with talent management agencies. Their careers are handled as if they, themselves, are A-list celebrities. The next list should be coming up in about a month’s time. Why should you care? Well, Micaela Erlanger might just be on it. Who, I hear you ask? She dresses Lupita Nyong’o. Micaela’s rise, just like Lupita’s, has been just as stratospheric. The rise of stylists is a first world phenomenon. But, while their input is invisible, the results are so overt they shifted from underground hustlers into stars in their own right. Considering that the first Kenyan stylist is not even a decade old in the business, we have outdone ourselves as a fashion industry. The missing link is a vibrant celebrity industry. Celebrities are the flowers and stylists the bees that distribute the pollen. Or is it vice versa? Local stars Locally there is Connie Aluoch, Anto Neosoul presents Teen Republik on NTV. His stylist is John Kaveke (top). PHOTOS | CHARLES KAMAU trained fashion designer who started out as a stylist with True Love magazine along with fellow pioneer Carol Wahome, fashion designer and cofounder of Moo Cow; Annabel On- IT IS A FICKLE BUSINESS WHEN NO ONE IS TIED TO YOU FINANCIALLY BUT IF YOU GET A CONTRACT, YOU’RE SORTED” yango, winner Stylist of 2013, fashion blogger (dressupnation), part-time stylist with DRUM and guest judge on Africa’s Next Top Model; Olive Gachara, editor cum publisher Couture Africa – she runs an image consultancy business and a modelling agency; Lydia Omolo, stylist with Saturday Magazine who owns and runs her own design house akellomolo and works with underprivileged women for her jewellery line. For men there is John Kaveke, highly acclaimed fashion designer cum stylist for Changes on MNet, Dan Kimiti, fashion model turned stylist for TV series Kona and Eddie Kirindo, freelance stylist who also runs a restaurant. Stylists all over negotiate individu- ally in a loosely structured business set up. In the US it’s so cutthroat, they offer to work for free and in exchange reveal in interviews who their clients are. It can be a fickle business when no one is tied to you financially but if you get a contract with a studio, fashion houses or celebrities, you’re sorted. As freelancers, stylists do the grunt work of fashion. And when you have stuff amount- ing to hundreds of thousands of shillings, you need solid relationships to bank on. In this age, stylists are power brokers or middle-men caught between the visual world of fashion and the powerful net worth of individuals and fashion institutions. It can be said that the backroom of high glamour has a tentative, young, vulnerable power.
February 15th 2014
February 17th 2014