Pret-a-Reporter

Marie Claire Announces Image Maker Awards, Locks in Presenters Jennifer Aniston, Margot Robbie and Jessica Alba (Exclusive)

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The Jan. 10 event in Los Angeles honors creative talents in the beauty and fashion biz. Bonus: Rachel and Phoebe will both be there.

It's the thick of awards season in Hollywood, and Marie Claire is getting in on the action.

The magazine has selected its roster of honorees for the second annual Image Maker Awards, an event that puts the spotlight on the creative artists who work behind the scenes in crafting beauty and fashion looks for some of the town's biggest names. The invite-only affair is scheduled for Jan. 10 in Los Angeles and is presented by L’Oreal Paris in partnership with AG Jeans. 

In total, eight awards will be handed out that night. The Image Maker honorees include Icon Award winner Chris McMillan (hairstylist), presented by longtime client and close friend Jennifer Aniston; Icon Award winner Pati Dubroff (makeup artist), presented by client Margot Robbie; Icon Award winner Olivier Rousteing (fashion designer) of Balmain, presented by Cindy Crawford; Choice Stylist winner Cristina Ehrlich (fashion stylist); New Guard winner Daniel Martin (makeup artist), presented by client Jessica Alba; Detail Maker winner Kari Hill (hair colorist), presented by client Lisa Kudrow; Dream Team winners Mark Townsend and Kate Lee (hair and makeup artists), presented by client Elizabeth Olsen; and New Guard Stylist winner Maeve Reilly (fashion stylist), presented by client Janelle Monae.

In addition to the upcoming event, the Image Maker honorees are being featured in Marie Claire’s February 2017 issue, which conveniently hits newsstands that day. Pret-a-Reporter caught up with editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider to find out what lessons she learned from the inaugural event, the biggest trend in the image business and, of course, her take on the Marie Claire exclusive about the controversy surrounding the Donald Trump inauguration performance by the famed Rockettes.

Last year when I caught up with you, Marie Claire was announcing the inaugural Image Maker Awards event. What did you learn from the first go-round that you applied to this second installment?

My biggest takeaway was how emotionally attached the stars are to their Image Makers. All of the speeches last year were so heartfelt and enthusiastic. For a "celebrity" Hollywood event, it felt incredibly intimate. It left me feeling really eager to re-create that intimacy, and to once again celebrate these people who really, really deserve it.

During that chat last year, you mentioned that this event, which is a service to your readers, shines a spotlight on the often unsung heroes of the image-making process. “There is magic happening,” you said. What can you say about the magic made by this year’s crop of honorees, among them Chris McMillan, Pati Dubroff, Olivier Rousteing and Cristina Ehrlich?

You know, much has been said about the magic Chris McMillan has been made, and rightfully so. He's a great friend of the magazine and has done countless covers for us. His energy alone is worth awarding. I can't thank him enough. Pati Dubroff, you know, I'm looking at our Dakota Johnson cover from last March, and the work Pati creates is amazing. Dakota's eyelashes on that cover — each chunky lash is a miracle in its own right. Olivier Rousteing is a supernova on the fashion scene. Cristina Ehrlich is another friend of the magazine. I've gone to fashion shows with her this past fashion week in New York. She's so well respected. She really defines the styles of the women she works with in a way that remains true to who they are, but you're still able to see Cristina's handiwork. The Dream Duo of Mark Townsend and Kate Lee — we are thrilled they could come together for this, our first Dream Duo award.

What are the biggest challenges in selecting the honorees?

The biggest challenge is the wealth of incredibly talented people to choose from. There are so many greats. We just look forward to doing this again next year. We could give it to, like, 50 people this year.

How closely do you pay attention to similar events honoring stylists and beauty experts happening in Los Angeles? And what do you make of the competition?

I certainly have seen the "behind-the-scenes glam squads" become less and less behind-the-scenes. As far as other events, I'm aware because we don't want to copy or repeat anything. I do have to say — and I do mean this — we've always put our own stamp on whatever we're covering and doing, especially our beauty covers. There's always something truly personal and unique that stays true to Marie Claire spirit. Our beauty/health director Erin Flaherty has a creative and smart way of approaching our beauty coverage. Some people think it's hard to cover beauty and she keeps it interesting and innovative. 

Crafting and creating image in Hollywood is nothing new — from crafting a personal brand to the making of a beautiful red-carpet look. What has surprised you the most about image makers over the past 12 months since you started doing this event? Is there a trend, individual or a secret that really stands out?

In terms of trends, I do think that there is a trend toward the no-makeup/made-up look, and it's interesting how much work actually goes into creating these very natural, fresh-faced millennial-type looks.

You were in L.A. recently for the Marie Claire Young Women Honors, near the close of a year that many agree was not a particularly great one for women. As we move into 2017, what can you say about women and the challenges they may face in 2017 under a Donald Trump presidency?

We had a feature in our January issue — "100 Badass Moments from Women in 2016." We've gotten a lot of feedback about that story; people really took it to heart. It was a year of great accomplishments for women, and I'm really proud that we've been a champion of women's rights since our inception. Whenever a movement faces opposition, that's when people really focus and devote themselves more fully to it and fight harder, and you're going to continue seeing that this year.

Marie Claire is in the news this week. What is your response to the story and Madison Square Garden's statement?

I'm really proud of our digital team and the work that they do. They continue to be the excellent journalists that they are. It's an important story to get out there. Whenever women are facing any kind of challenge — personally or professionally — Marie Claire is always behind them.

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