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In the decade since The Hollywood Reporter first shined a spotlight on the formerly behind-the-scenes role of a stylist, they have moved to the forefront of fashion and Hollywood. "With social media, more people are paying attention to the red carpet than ever before. You see the pre-carpet prep and red carpet looks on the celebrities’ Instagrams, the stylists’ accounts and also on the live streams,” says designer Michael Kors, adding that the fashion process itself has altered over the years: "There is more partnership between the designer and the stylist than there used to be. Celebrities today know what works for them, so for the big red carpets, we’re all in constant communication on everything from the color of a dress to the accessories and the jewelry that will best complement the look."
What’s also changed, for better or worse, is how stylists drive revenue, for themselves and, consequently, for brands. "Fashion collaborations, Instagram sponsorships, brand relationships are incredibly important in order to earn a living. Studios now pay break-even rates [that just cover costs], so the way we earn has shifted," says Elizabeth Stewart, who was one of six pros to appear in a Walmart Super Bowl ad in 2019, a moment that capped the ascent in visibility this past decade — beginning with O.G. stylist-as-brand Rachel Zoe — as they became celebrities in their own right, fronting fashion lines, partnering with designers on collections, styling major campaigns, etc. (Perhaps the most notable of all after Zoe is Kate Young, who topped THR’s Most Powerful Stylists list in 2012, 2016 and 2018 and went on to design a Kate Young for Target collection and her own line of sunglasses for Tura.) Gone are the days of Zoe’s rumored $10,000-a-day fee (some stylists might make that much for a press tour) — the average fee per red carpet look is $1,000, which hasn’t changed in 10 years. "It’s tough out there," says one top agent. Netflix is reportedly the most reluctant to pay styling fees (there’s some negotiation if you’re attached to an A-list client), but on the upside the streamer is also responsible for a magnitude of opportunities, thanks to the amount of content and the frequency of film stars crossing over to do television. “The number of looks has almost tripled from what it used to be,” says Mariel Haenn, of styling duo Rob + Mariel, the masters behind Jennifer Lopez’s looks. Adds Brooke Wall, CEO of Wall Group, one of Hollywood’s top styling agencies: "Over the course of the last 10 years our business has grown exponentially, as well as the celebrity fashion craze."
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