Celebrity Stylist Johnny Wujek Fulfills Dream of Dressing Vanna White
Plus, a lesson in recovering after your sister calls Vanna White "dumpy."
As a stylist, Johnny Wujek is repeatedly asked a single question: "If you could dress anybody, who would it be?"
For the Michigan native, there was always one special lady that came to mind. No, it wasn't a pop star or a Grace Kelly-type, but a different brand of American icon: Wheel of Fortune's professional letter pusher, Vanna White.
So when the opportunity arose for Wujek — who now dresses A-listers like Katy Perry and Kate Mara — to pick White's gowns for a week, he jumped.
"I remember growing up as a kid and seeing her and thinking that she was just so glamorous, wearing those gowns, pushing those letters," he tells Pret-a-Reporter. "When I first got into fashion as a young kid, I thought it would be so rad to do something with her because she’s so iconic — she's Vanna White."
WHEEL OF WOW: "That was probably the most outrageous one," said Wujek. "It reminded me of kind of, like, Old Hollywood, and she just loved it; it fit her like a glove, we didn’t have to alter any of it." (Photo: Sony Pictures Television)
While he was restricted to certain conservative parameters (Wheel is a family show, after all), Wujek's intention was definitely to push the envelope with a few couture pieces and a more high-fashion, editorial vibe. Think Perry at the Grammys rather than "California Gurls" Perry. But according to Wujek, White was all for the out-there picks.
"Even at the fitting it was just, like, really giddy and exciting. All of the producers and the publicists — everyone was in the room. It was really fun, we were just playing dress-up," he said of the experience.
When it came time to film the episodes, Wujek brought the Wheel of Fortune experience full circle by flying his mother in from Michigan, as well as his brother and sister. All was well at the studio — until it wasn't. The stylist recalls that his "outgoing" and "talkative" sister made things more than a little awkward when they met White backstage.
"My sister was like a nut," Wujek said of their interaction. He went on to describe his sister's mini "interview" with White, which included a not-so-subtle zinger. "The one thing I don’t like about this show is you have to dress to your demo," said the stylist's sister to White. "Like, sometimes I feel like you look really dumpy." The "whole room froze," Wujek recalls, but luckily, White took it in stride and brushed it off.
So how does one recover when your sister calls Vanna White — the Vanna White — dumpy? "I pulled my sister aside and was, like, ‘You idiot!!' [Laughs] "Family, am I right?
VA-VA VOOM: Vanna White styled by Johnny Wujek. (Photos: Sony Pictures Television)
Catch Vanna White styled by Johnny Wujek this week on Wheel of Fortune.