Meet the visionaries behind some of fashion's most memorable red carpet moments, magazine editorials and runway shows
It's no secret that behind every viral catwalk moment or celebrity red carpet appearance there's an army of makeup artists, nail technicians, facialists, assistants and assorted other entourage making it happen. The most important of these is the stylist: the person responsible for choosing and sourcing looks, deciding on appropriate accessories and making sure that every detail of the clothing in a photoshoot, on a runway or worn on a step-and-repeat provides maximum visual impact.
Strange, then, that for the most part you don't know their names. Every big name designer and A-list celebrity employs their services but, unless you actively seek them out, chances are you could name only a couple of the most famous (or social media savvy) stylists. Allow us to the hard work: here's our guide to the most influential stylists in the modern fashion industry.
Notable clients: Zendaya, Celine Dion, Kerry Washington
Favoured houses: Bulgari, Herve Leger, Valentino, vintage
At the time of writing, Law Roach is no longer a stylist â but that doesn't mean his influence in the fashion industry has been in any way diminished. In fact, the very fact of his resignation may have made him even more so, bringing him to the attention of a greater audience and garnering him tentative praise for calling out the racism, bureaucracy and frustrations he experienced in the industry.
An anomaly both for being black and male in a profession dominated by white women, Roach's career began in 2009 when Kanye West visited his Deliciously Vintage boutique in Chicago, bringing it to the the attention of the press. Since then he has been lauded for his work with clients including Celine Dion, Ariana Grande and, most famously, Zendaya, with the self-proclaimed 'image architect' specialising in not just creating memorable red carpet looks but orchestrating entire style overhauls for his clients.
Aided by judging roles on America's Next Top Model and Legendary, Roach's relationships with these starry clients have also seen him become a celebrity in his own right, boasting 1.3 million Instagram followers at the time of writing and walking in the Hugo Boss AW23 show. In March 2023, he used his social media platforms to announce his retirement, saying, âif this business was just about clothes I would do it for the rest of my life but unfortunately it's not! The politics , the lies and false narratives finally got me! You win â¦ I'm out." [sic] It is unclear what Roach's next move might be but, as the current co-creative director of Zendaya's fashion label Daya by Zendaya, it is not unreasonable to expect his own line may be in the offing.
Notable clients: Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, Eddie Redmayne
Favoured houses: Gucci, JW Anderson, Prada, Harris Reed
It's a long road from dressing mannequins in River Island and local charity shops to becoming the man responsible for Harry Styles' fashion icon status â and Harry Lambert has more than paid his dues. Having started out doing commercial projects for Asos and Topman and interning at British Vogue, he was first connected with Styles in 2014 when he presented the singer with a wardrobe of looks by small, independent designers that riffed on Styles' love for Mick Jagger and inspired by JW Anderson and Gucci.
The pair have been a dream fashion team ever since, with Lambert putting Styles in a dress on the cover of Vogue and a pussy-bow Gucci jumpsuit on the Met gala red carpet. Along the way Lambert also picked up clients including Alexander Skarsgard, Maya Hawke and Barry Keoughan, as well as styling campaigns for British designers S.S. Daley and Harris Reed.
Notable clients: Karlie Kloss, Olivia Wilde, Tracee Ellis Ross
Favoured houses: Saint Laurent, Prada, Louis Vuitton
There's a reason Karla Welch has been nicknamed a 'super-stylist' by both The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times. On Oscars night 2023 alone, Welch dressed 11 clients including Hailey and Justin Beiber, Adwoa Aboah, Amber Heard and Sarah Paulson. To say her list of clients is extensive is something of an understatement.
As if the weren't quite enough to keep her busy, you'll also find Welch sharing her expertise via MasterClass, where she teaches an online personal style and styling course, collaborating on fashion lines with brands such as Levi's and Dockers, helming affordable period underwear brand The Period Company and connecting everyday people with styling experts via her app Wishi. Best known for her minimalist approach and fluency in high-low styling, if you're looking for fashion inspiration that doesn't rely on enormous budgets and stylist tricks, Welch is the woman for you.
Notable clients: Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jessica Parker, Maggie Gyllenhall
Favoured houses: Vivienne Westwood, Versace, Alaia, Elie Saab
It's no mean feat taking on the actress behind fashion's most famous fictional character, Carrie Bradshaw, and trying to give her a style language that is entirely her own. But, in her work with Sarah Jessica Parker, that is exactly what LA-based stylist Erin Walsh has achieved. It's no wonder she's the first choice for many of Hollywood's biggest stars.
Also responsible for viral moments such as Kerry Washington's pony-print gown at the Django Unchained London premiere and Anne Hathaway's just-for-fun high fashion photoshoot during lockdown, Walsh's success lies in the holy trinity of have a sixth sense for the right look for the right wearer at the right time. Want to avail yourself of her expertise? Walsh can often be found sharing styling advice and fashion tips on Instagram at @erinwalshstyle.
Notable clients: John Boyega, Michael B. Jordan, Taraji P.Henson
Favoured houses: Aliette, Marc Jacobs, Versace, Tony Ward Couture
An American fashion stylist whose credits include American Vogue, GQ UK and The New York Times, Jason Rembert has carved himself a niche as the go-to stylist for LA and New York's African American celebrity contingent. Regularly cited as one of America's most powerful stylists, his style is best described as 'classic with a twist' â think bold block colours and clean silhouettes â all informed by a childhood surrounded by a fashion-obsessed family in Queens.
In addition to his styling work, he also founded women's fashion brand Aliette New York, which appropriately focuses on statement gowns and eveningwear. It has been worn by stars including Quinta Brunson, Ariana DeBose, Lizzo and Queen Latifah.
Notable clients: Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan, Emma Watson
Favoured houses: Aquazzura, Valentino, Versace, Gucci
Ever wondered how Florence Pugh went from rising star to the best (or at least most adventurously) dressed woman on any given red carpet? Rebecca Corbin-Murray. Having cut her teeth at Vogue and alongside stylist Andrea Lieberman and photographer Ellen von Unwerth, Corbin-Murray's portfolio now consists largely of British It girls, for whom she says the most important thing is bringing out their personalities and building their confidence through clothing. Accordingly, her looks are remarkable varied, from avant garde pieces for Florence Pugh to timeless femininity for Lily James.
It helps that the British stylist is seemingly capable of fashion miracles, including securing the most requested Valentino couture gown of 2019 for Gemma Chan to wear at the Oscars. She also ensures nothing is left to chance by walking her clients through everything from the first fitting to hair and makeup and even posing practice. It's not hard to see why, whether an up-and-coming actress or seasoned pro, you'd want her by your side.
Notable clients: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Julianne Moore
Favoured houses: Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Givenchy
As CVs go, a background at Vogue under Anna Wintour and Tonne Goodman and as the Director of Celebrity Relations for Prada is a pretty solid one for a stylist. It is, perhaps, no surprise then that Fremar has become one of the most sought after names in the business, with editorial credits in Vanity Fair, Esquire and Harper's Bazaar and a client list that includes Charlize Theron, Lea Seydoux and Nicola Peltz (yes, she chose the Valentino and Dior looks for that wedding).
Despite describing her own personal style as casual and low maintenance, on the red carpet Fremar produces fashion moments that are anything but. Alongside regularly coaxing the model-esque Jennifer Connelly into Louis Vuitton's more editorial looks, she has also kept things fresh for industry veterans such as Moore and Theron by adapting pieces to suit the roles they are promoting or choosing classic pieces with a contemporary edge.
Notable clients: Ana de Armas, Elle Fanning, Brie Larson
Favoured houses: Rodarte, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent
Having started her career in the PR department at Giorgio Armani, McMillen found her calling as a stylist in 2001 and has since seen her work appear in magazines including Glamour, InStyle, GQ and L'uomo Vogue. Her talent and portfolio are vast. On the red carpet she's the first port of call for ingenues looking to make a splash with bold, youthful looks that are guaranteed to get the noticed. When it comes to commercial work, however, McMillen has found a niche prepping icons including Chris Hemsworth, Eva Longoria and Daniel Craig for campaigns for the likes of Omega, L'Oreal and Hugo Boss. Her secret? Speaking to fashionista.com she explained, "I collaborate rather than bring a bunch of stuff that I think would look good on them."