Getting To Know Beyonce’s Stylist Ty Hunter
Woolworths Sandton City in Johannesburg played host to world-renowned beauty and fashion duo Sir John and Ty Hunter.Between them, these style superstars have glammed up Queen Bey (Beyoncé) and helped the likes of Solange Knowles, Viola Davis, Kim Kardashian West, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland, Serena Williams, Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss achieve incredible looks at the largest events and most prestigious red carpets in the world. This creative collaboration with Woolworths was the first for the pair post the already iconic Beychella — Beyoncé’s Coachella performance that blew up every social media platform earlier this year with its 80’s inspired aesthetic in April.
Our very own fashion editor Suzy Mukendi sat down with Ty Hunter to get to know a bit more about his background and how he got to style Queen B and other well known celebrities.Ty Hunter, thank you so much for taking your time out of all your commitments to sit with us and so that we can chat and get to know you a bit better. We are huge fans of you and your work and feel you serve as a great role model for many that want to enter the fashion industry as well as do what makes them happy. Tell us what was your first job?
A-The way everything happened is so funny, my first job was at a grocery store called Tom Thumb and l use to pack groceries and I was very good at it, haha. Then l went on to be a cashier. From the grocery store, l ended working at mall, at a store called Mary Go Round. It was a clothing store for teens and l never made money cause all of my paycheck went to shopping at the store. l was buying everything and couldn’t resist. Thereafter l worked in the medical field until l found out that my friend had a heart problem. That just completely broke me, l was depressed and a different person. This was so close to me to hear because it was something l was working on and my best friend had it. I then just packed my car and moved to Houston, Texas, where l was was doing window dressing and displays and met Miss Tina. She saw something in me that I hadn’t even fully tapped into yet and that’s how I got to styling Destiny’s Child and Beyonce.
Now a lot of our readers and many can relate to this next question. You moved to Houston and wanted to pursue fashion. How did you mom take this?
My mom was like: “Don’t you leave that job, that job is good money”. And l told my mom, l know she sacrificed a lot for me and my brother and she worked at her job for 43 years and was a single parent. l want to go out and step out and take a chance. Now she always says l am glad you didn’t listen to me and that’s my whole key to things, you have to move silently because people will steal you from your dreams.
That’s very true, not everyone is happy for you and wants to see you win. Well said Ty. Let’s talk styling wise now, tell us your styling process for any celebrity you work with.
You have to find out what the event is, what the carpet looks like and the scenery. You have to do your research. And also you find out what your client’s insecurities are and try get them out of there. The key is learning your client. You make them feel good internally that they get to a place where they are comfortable enough to wear anything.
So Ty, you being a stylist and fashion designer, we are sure you have worked with challenging or difficult celebrities. What would be your tip be on being prepared for a challenging celeb at a photo shoot?
l would get in touch with the client to make sure that we are on the same page and make them feel like they’re part of the whole process. l will do research and have a board on all their outfits and find outfits or brands l feel goes with the celeb’s style.
Ty, besides fashion, what else inspires you?
I love working for charities. Back home what i do is, l try get books for kids at school and do fundraisers to get toys for kids for Christmas. Even though l did the fundraiser, l still felt like it wasn’t enough so l ended up doing an event where you could bring books or money. I’m also with a great charity called “Glam For Good” where l helped girls get dresses for prom. Myself and Sir John even paid for some girls to go to prom that weren’t able to go. Those are the type of things that make me feel good.
On that note Ty, thank you so much for sitting down with us and letting us get to know a bit about you and your background. We look forward to seeing more of you in South Africa!
For more on what Sir John and Ty Hunter are currently working on, have a look at this video on our youtube channel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ddm58yu-RI&t=57s