Over the past few years, the phenomenon has exploded. Ten-fold. Stylists today, or ‘image architects’ as Law Roach – one of the most famous of them all calls himself – are becoming icons in their own right. The ones shaping the most talked about cultural moments. The ones setting huge trends each season. The ones bringing fresh talent into the spotlight. The ones pulling iconic looks from the archives and creating era-defining moments (case in point: Kim Kardashian in that Marilyn Monroe dress thanks, in part, to her stylist Dani Levi).
So, what exactly is an ‘image architect’? It’s about building a visual persona. Tapping into someone’s personality and creating an aesthetic that feeds into every corner of their lives. It’s more than a singular red-carpet look: it’s how someone shows up on social media, on the juice run, snapped outside the gym. ‘Celebrities at gas stations’ became an internet phenomenon of its own, showing that each and every moment is a chance to communicate who they are and – sometimes - who they want to be.
From the horse’s mouth, it’s: “Surveying, building a blueprint, sourcing materials, all that. But I’m doing it with clothes, jewellery, hair and makeup,” Roach explained to The Guardian in 2018. While stylist Karla Welch told Elle magazine earlier this year: “It can’t just be about clothes; it’s got to be about who they are.”