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The Oakland Post

How Stylists Are Defining a New Shift in the Fashion Industry

Katarina Kovac, Staff Intern

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While most of us are familiar with top models and actors such as Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper and Natalie Portman, not many are aware of the masterminds behind these celebrities’ effortless style.

Celebrity stylists have quickly become household names and are changing the nature of the fashion industry in the process. From the vintage tees, fur coats and denim sets that are not only seen on the runway, but on the streets of New York, celebrity stylists are defining fashion trends quicker than any magazine ever could.

Many fashion enthusiasts have admired one of Karlie Kloss’s pantsuits, drooled over Lorde’s beautiful MTV Video Music Awards show gowns and fantasized about a dress that Ruth Negga or Sarah Paulson wore on an Oscar’s red carpet. This is all the work of stylist Karla Welch.

Welch has a range of clients that include model Karlie Kloss, actresses Ruth Negga, Sarah Paulson, Michelle Monaghan, Demi Moore, Tracee Ellis Ross and more. Welch has solidified her status as a top A-list celebrity stylist with the ability to create timeless looks and the connections to do so.

She recently started a clothing line called xKarla in collaboration with Hanes and Justin Bieber. While working with Bieber in the past, he always requested t-shirts that were extra long. To Karla’s understanding, those did not exist in the marketplace, so she had to take matters into her own hands. She went to her local Kmart, stocked up on extra large Hanes tees, took then home and remade them by using a pattern she created. The results ended up being what Bieber wore on his Purpose Tour and it further ignited the xKarla collection.

Petra Flannery has also become a household name due to her extensive work with Emma Stone, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon, Andrew Garfield, Zoe Saldana and more.

Flannery was able to popularize the silk bomber jacket while bringing back vintage sunglasses by styling her clients in such ways. She styled Emma Stone in a custom Givenchy dress at the Oscars when she won Best Actress, and Emma was the first Oscar winner to wear Givenchy since Audrey Hepburn.

Flannery’s extensive connections to designers allows her clients to wear such exclusive pieces that leave America in awe whenever worn on the city streets or on the red carpet.

Monica Rose styles the entire Kardashian clan, as well as Gigi Hadid and Chrissy Teigen.  She was able to convince the general public that lace up leggings and plastic boots were a necessity; something most department stores are not able to achieve.

Rose has an eye for detail and is probably the reason why people spend too much money on chokers at Forever21 and boyfriend jeans at Levi’s.

Fashion stylists and the celebrities they dress have become more important determiners of fashion trends and style today than actual designers at fashion houses. As shocking as this is, the rise of social media has contributed to this. For example, any outfit Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid post on their Instagram is likely to sell out within minutes since together they boast 120 million followers.

Celebrity stylists like Welch, Flannery and Rose are creating a new path that does not quite focus on the appreciation of the design process that was previously put in place by fashion houses, but is effective and is changing the game in the fashion industry nonetheless.

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Oakland University's independent student newspaper.