With the coronavirus grounding red carpets and premieres, top stylists to Taylor Swift, Kristen Stewart, Brie Larson, Katy Perry and many more are offering tips and career advice online as part of the Glamhive Virtual Style Summit on May 9.
The all-day, ticketed event will feature 10 panels with 50-plus speakers, including Johnny Wujek (Katy Perry) and Jessica Paster (Emily Blunt) in discussion with designers Cynthia Rowley and Christian Cowan about how to make your styling approach stand out; tips for styling men from Ilaria Urbinati (Donald Glover) and Jeanne Yang (Jason Momoa); a masterclass in set etiquette, how to work with demanding clients, build your portfolio and more from Jen Rade (Angelina Jolie); tips on bridal and special events dressing from Micaela Erlanger (Lupita Nyong’o); how to style masks on the red carpet with Joseph Cassell (Taylor Swift), and more.
Galvan, Messika, Kendra Scott, Sachin & Babi, Jenny Packham, Bibhu Mohapatra and Rebecca Minkoff are among the brands expected to participate.
Designed to be both industry- and consumer-facing, the online summit is being put together by stylist Tara Swennen, who has worked with Stewart, Allison Janney and Matthew McConaughey. “I was watching my stylist friends at a standstill and my showroom friends lose half their business, and I realized we had to come together as a community and pull ourselves up by our boot straps,” said Swennen. “This is a way to get together and be creative…there are stylists and designers scared they will not survive…they want to hear about the trickle-down effects.”
The event is being hosted by Glamhive, an online styling platform launched in 2017 by Stephanie Sprangers to connect women with stylists in real time, to help them create and shop for specific outfits or looks, while stylists get the benefit of an affiliate program.
“Our first event in real life, which we had in L.A., had 250 attendees, so I’m hopeful this will be a success. We have a strong list of stylists and it’s great content,” said Sprangers, who believes there is life for Glamhive after COVID-19. “I have always believed in democratizing personal styling, the same way it’s been done with blowouts and personal training. With online, there’s no reason for a stylist to be confined to their zip code…And if there is a recession, you could argue there is more reason to work with a stylist to make smart choices,” she said, adding that on Instagram, 7 million users identify as stylists, whether they be personal shoppers, wardrobe consultants or celebrity dressing experts.
Tickets to the conference are $99, and less for a single panel; each stylist gets a cut of ticket sales and as a whole, Glamhive will donate 25 percent to hunger relief organization Feeding America.
Like scores of others who rely on Hollywood for their livelihoods, celebrity stylists have been suffering during the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike costume designers, hair stylists and makeup artists, stylists are not organized into a union, but work as independent contractors, which has made it difficult to recoup money owed and advocate during the economic crisis. (COVID-19 has rekindled discussions among stylists about organizing more formally, Swennen said).
Many have turned to the web to continue featuring their work. Elizabeth Stewart, who works with Cate Blanchett and Gal Gadot, created Chic-relief.com, a web site to sell designer clothing and accessories from her stylist closet, including some donated by her famous clients. Proceeds go to the 72-year-old Direct Relief organization that provides protective gear to frontline medical workers. Karla Welch donated $10,000 to the emergency disaster relief fund through fees collected from her online styling platform Wishi. B. Akerlund has been hosting “In The Closet With B. Akerlund,” IG Live discussions (she has one upcoming with designer Iris Van Herpen), and Micaela Erlanger has been promoting her bridal expertise with Zoom gatherings, including one hosted by Carolina Herrera.