“Making it” in fashion doesn’t happen in just one certain way. Take Ty Hunter for example. The celebrity stylist behind some of Beyoncé’s most iconic looks sold artificial heart valves and worked retail just months before he was dressing Destiny’s Child.
“Believe it or not, years ago I worked at an artificial heart valve company. I used to sit at a microscope and work on artificial heart valves in Austin, Texas,” Ty tells Teen Vogue, at a Los Angeles event for the launch of his capsule collection with South Korean brand Greedilous. “I hated it,” he explains. As a result, the stylist tells us, he packed his car and moved to Houston, Texas. “While I was there, I started working at a store called Bui-Yah-Kah, and the store was so cool because they had a waterfall in there and they played reggae music all day.” That’s when everything started to change.
“I worked there when Beyoncé had this song, “No, no, no,” on the radio. They were the neighborhood superstars, but I wasn’t a star-struck person. I met Miss Tina [Knowles] and anybody knows Miss Tina, Beyoncé’s mom, she’s everybody’s mom. She’s the world’s mom. We just immediately clicked.”
“Then one day,” Ty explains, “MTV was filming a day in the life of Destiny’s Child and they came in the building I worked in and Miss Tina saw the interaction I had with each girl and she was like, ‘I’m going to get you out of here one day.’ I didn’t believe her. I called her on a day off maybe three weeks later and I was like, ‘Miss Tina, I’m just calling to see if you need help with anything.’ She was like, ‘Yes, meet me here,’ and I ended up doing the “Survivor” video within a week or two. That’s how my career started. It’s not only just being in the right place at the right time, but also working really hard.”
As the years progressed, Ty was responsible for some of Beyoncé’s most iconic looks, namely her 2015 Met Gala naked dress, many of her videos, and of course, her tour looks. His favorite look though? “With Beyoncé, I would have to say my favorite look is ‘Crazy in Love,’ that tank top, the jeans shorts, and the red heels because we were doing everything so glamorous, glamorous and to strip down and to do something that the kids can emulate and copy.” He adds, “The Blue Ivy [pregnancy] announcement and the orange dress was also a huge moment.”
While the payoff has been incredible in Ty’s career, styling isn’t just the glitz and glam you see in movies; it’s sacrifice. Especially if you want to move into creating clothing and expanding your brand, as Ty has with Greedilous. “Some people don’t understand that you sacrifice so much. You’re missing birthdays, you’re missing important holidays, you’re missing so many things. You’re giving your all to the craft and that’s the thing. People just see the final project and don’t know the sacrifice that comes with it.”
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