Inside the bleak world of celebrity stylists – how red carpet looks lead to debt

Being a celebrity stylist sounds like one of the most glamorous things you can do without actually being famous yourself – what’s not to love about hanging out with A-listers, building your Instagram following and draping yourself in designer togs every single day?

But the cold reality is that being a stylist to the stars can be harsh and soul-destroying, with very little thanks for the long hours and countless demands you deal with 24/7.

As with most industries, stylists are expected to start out at the very bottom and work their way up, taking on internship after internship to try and build their reputation.


But being at the bottom of the pile means being disrespected, having your ideas dismissed – and even being banned from uttering your name within a celebrity’s presence.

"When working under a not-so-popular stylist, I was banned from using my name and was known only as The Assistant," one stylist told heat magazine.

There’s also the danger that you’re only as good as your last look – so celebs who get slated for their outfit choice on the red carpet will immediately feed back to the stylist who put it together, which can be disastrous for their reputation.

Marni Senofonte, who styles Beyonce (including THAT flower-strewn pregnancy announcement ) and Kendall Jenner, told the magazine that the pace of her work is "relentless", with fans clamouring to see more of the stars they love through social media.


"If I style a great outfit for a client these days, we don’t save it for a big event," she admitted.

"We put it on Instagram right away and then I go figure out another one."

One of the biggest problems of a celebrity stylist comes when the lines between professionalism and friendship get blurred – as was the case with Monica Rose, who fell out with the Kardashians after a decade of working with them and building their multi-million follower Instagram profiles.

Their split became a story of its own, especially when Kim Kardashian took the beef public by pointedly telling one interviewer who asked about it: "You’d have to ask Khloe."

Monica was hit by claims of alleged stealing and of clothes that were bought on the famous sisters’ credit cards but never appeared in their wardrobes.


She hired a lawyer to deal with the worst of the criticism but only ever spoke kindly of the Kardashian/Jenner sisters in interviews after the fall-out.

The Kardashian klan also parted ways with their long-term hair stylist Joyce Bonelli in June 2018 amid reports of a feud, with claims that the family no longer spoke to you.

And Joyce, whose distinctive white-blonde hair was a semi-permanent presence on the sisters’ Instagram Stories, was forced to deny she’d been fired, saying it was a "personal thing".

"I don’t think it’s anyone’s business. But people should know, too, that I wasn’t fired and I love all of them and I’m proud of them, too," she said at the time.

"Who hasn’t gotten in a fight with their girlfriends?"

Going from part of a multimillion-dollar entourage to being unfollowed on Instagram by some of showbiz’s biggest names can be catastrophic for any big-name stylist – but it can be just as crushing to be the name on the lips of every A-lister come awards season.

Some stylists can get into huge amounts of debt because of their success, because the finances of dressing a Hollywood super-star don’t add up.

"When we do the awards shows, we typically get paid about $1,000 a look," menswear stylist Jeanne Yang, who has dressed Jake Gyllenhaal, George Clooney and Jamie Dornan in the past, told heat.

"Then we deduct our expenses: shipping costs, paying assistants and tailoring, and it costs up to $2,000 per look. I remember talking to a huge stylist who said: ‘I am in a hole – $25,000 from the last three months.’ You lose money during awards season."


And that’s not all – stylists might be able to turn a grumpy, hangry actor into a glam, sparkling goddess on the red carpet, but they should never forget their place.

Kendall Jenner came under fire in May this year for shoving an assistant out of her way at the Met Gala in New York, sparking Twitter fury as people came to the man’s defence.

She was blasted for her "rudeness" in wanting to get the perfect photo, regardless of anyone else standing nearby.

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