Marcellas Reynolds: Celebrity Stylist, TV Host, Innovative Artist
Tell us a little about yourself, what age did you start to fall in love with fashion?
I am wardrobe stylist and TV presenter Marcellas Reynolds. I live in LA, but travel to New York & Chicago constantly. I was born & raised in Chicago. Fashion was always a part of my life. My mother was an extremely creative & very well dressed woman. My grandmother, the doyenne of our family, believed everyone should be properly dressed at all times. She wore hats, gloves & fur, and shopped at the best stores.
How did you get your start as a stylist?
My career as a stylist really began when I started in retail at 15. I was the only male salesperson in a high-end women’s boutique. I had an impressive clientele and really worked with my customers to create their dream wardrobes. I worked in retail for years & loved it. Every part of it. Sales, merchandising, display. All of it.
What steps did you take?
In 1995 while working at a restaurant in Chicago I was discovered by a very prominent model agent. She started the careers of Cindy Crawford, Shakara Ledard, the Riker Brothers & Colin Egglesfield. I wasn’t the tallest or hottest guy but I had a look & a great personality. I worked well for years & was known for my personal style. It was just a natural progression that I’d begin fashion styling. My 1st gig was for British Vogue. A pal who was an editor didn’t have a stylist (she thought she could do it herself) and asked me. I said yes & so it began. It was a cover try and 6 pages inside. As I was still modeling and in order to really learn the technical side of styling, I assisted a very prominent stylist. That’s how I learned to steam, pin, tuck, sew! The real brass tacks of styling. I learned the good and bad tricks of being a stylist. The lessons were invaluable.
How do you keep up with trends?
I am a voracious reader of magazines. Italian Vogue, Vogue, W, POP, Bazaar, Elle, Surface, Wallpaper, i-D. Everything. I also watch movies from every decade & genre. I spend hours at art museums. I don’t believe in trends necessarily. I believe in beauty. Function. Style. Class. Sophistication. Those things supersede trends. They create them.
Do you attend fashion weeks?
I used to walk in shows as a model. Some of my favorite moments happened backstage at the shows. I opened Ralph, closed Tommy & Nautica. Those moments were brilliant. I’ve attended shows but now with my work as a TV host I’m usually working and can’t attend. Honestly the spectacle of who is attending & who gets front row bores me. It should be about the clothes and the models.
Can you tell us what it is like on set working with photographers? Is there a lot of communication involved during the shoot? How do you prep?
The relationship between stylist and photographer is sacrosanct. When you have a great team that vibes well there is nothing better. It sets the tone for excellence. When the photographer & stylist are in accord it makes it easy for the model to do her job in comfort and feeling supported. It’s the key to great photos. The best photographers use the stylist as another set of eyes. Sometimes we (stylist) see things that the photographer misses.
What is your dream job?
I have my dream job. A few years ago I had to decide what would make me happy. I was constantly chasing a TV career which left my stylist career suffering. I finally decided to go back to what I love. Fashion. Being on sets. Working with models. But I hated styling editorial. There is A LOT of prep work & begging that goes into that. I also hated styling celebrities. I’m bored with the culture of celebrity. I had bad experiences working with celebrities. It’s very competitive. Fashion houses only want to deal with A List stars. Most annoying, celebrities don’t want to pay the stylist or for anything. It’s not worth it. Where is the glamor? I’m now a catalog fashion stylist. I’m signed by Ford Artists. I work with companies like Macy’s, Target, Kohl’s, Bonton, and Meijer. I do the occasional celebrity styling gig. Shoot the occasional editorial for magazines like LadyGUNN, Angeleno & Reflex Homme, and style ad campaigns for stores like Garmany. I’m also brand spokesman for Joyus.com & Midnight Velvet. I work constantly, and for clients I respect, only with companies that give back to the community, and only with people who are respectful of my talent and time.
What does the future hold for you? What’s next?
What’s next for me? More TV. I recently worked for E! again & loved it. I’m pitching my own crime show & a few fashion shows. I have a major book coming. I’m working on a project with publisher Sterling Lord Literistic that is really taking shape. I’m thinking about designing a fashion line. But first look for me collaborating with several brands as a way to get my feet wet as a designer!