Welcome back, Style Kat!
Cardi B is back! The Bronx bred rapper and Houston hottie, Megan Thee Stallion teamed up and released their highly anticipated single, “WAP”. This collaboration marks Cardi’s first release since her platinum-certified single “Press”, in 2019. Not only did Bardi Gang and Hotties get spoiled with new music, but the song was accompanied by a music video which has racked up tens of millions of views since its debut and you already know that bars and looks were served to us on a silver platter.
Cardi’s key stylist, Kollin Carter and Megan’s stylist, EJ King, joined forces to create the bold and sexy looks you saw in the music video. However, behind every key stylist is a team of hard workers, who contribute to creating these stunning moments that we see. I had the honor of chatting with one of the key-players on Cardi’s glam team who described her role as a fashion assistant and her part in making sure the looks for “WAP” made it just in the knick of time for filming. I also had a chat with LA-based celebrity spray tan artist, Isabel Alysa who shared the details behind Cardi B’s glowing complexion.
If you know Kollin, then you know that one of his right-hand stylist assistants, is Jennifer Udechukwu. The 29-year-old Nigerian-American stylist and budding designer, has been by Kollin’s side, assisting him with pulling off Cardi’s biggest fashion moments.
The following is an interview between Jennifer and I, highlighting her work as a stylist assistant and the labor of love that went into making “WAP” come to life.
Kathryn: When did you realize that styling was a career that you wanted to pursue?
Jennifer: “I’ve always loved fashion since a young age. I was also designing clothes and styling my Barbies differently from what they originally came in the box. I actually wanted to be a designer (and still do). I got introduced to styling when I moved to LA after getting an internship. I met a stylist who asked me to intern for them. Then I ended up interning with a few different stylists and started getting paid gigs.”
As a fashion assistant, can you describe some of the responsibilities that you have?
“As a fashion assistant, some things I do is market which is looking up designers for specific projects that fit our creative and reaching out to them to see if they can lend and do custom work. Shopping for clients, dressing clients for day-to-day looks and things like music video, magazine etc. alongside Kollin.”
It’s a lot of hard work besides all the glamour! But for sure is worth it when you’re doing what you love.– Jennifer Udechukwu
I remember a long time ago when Kollin posted on Instagram that he was looking for an assistant. Sometime later, you became one of his right hands. How did you get the opportunity to work with Kollin and how did you react when he asked you to be a part of his team?
“I met Kollin through a friend! I remember that post—he was looking for a personal assistant. I was actually already with him at the time. But yeah, I met him through a mutual friend who told him I was a stylist. We exchanged info. and I started helping doing small things here and there here in LA before he moved here from NY. After assisting him for the “Taki Taki” music video he asked me to be his second assistant. I was super excited, my journey in LA was not easy. It felt like it all paid off. And we’ve been working together ever since. I’m now his first assistant.”
I’ve been following your journey as an assistant stylist to Kollin and I must say, I admire your grit and results-oriented approach to ensuring every look SLAPS! I was a fashion director at my alma mater, FAMU’s magazine Journey. So, I can relate to the hustle and bustle.
WAP by Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion has so many amazing fashion moments. What was it like to help plan each precise look per scene?
“Thank you! It was really fun! Kollin always has so many amazing ideas. He will ask my opinion after he has an idea and we go back and forth on it to decide the best actions to take. I make sure everything gets executed properly and on time. But it was also super stressful. Meeting deadlines, dress rehearsals, making sure things got done and got to us in time made us break a sweat.”
May fans, including myself, picked up on some of the old school references through the hair and wardrobe that was chosen for Megan and Cardi. What are your favorite outfits from the music video and why?
“Ahh! My favorite look, I would say hands down, was the leopard look by Mugler! She [Cardi] had been wanting to do that type of design for awhile now and it came out amazing!”
With COVID-19 presenting many challenges for individuals in almost every industry, it’s inspiring to see how grand the music video was executed. Can you share some of the hurdles you had to overcome prior to the filming stages of the music video?
“Yes, unfortunately it has. We took very strict precautions when filming. Every two days, every crew member had to take a COVID test. Also, everyone had to wear a mask on set. Washing and hand sanitizer stations were located everywhere to make sure we all stayed safe. One of the biggest hurdles we had, was getting things from designers overseas to get here on time. Everything was shot in LA. For one designer, it was faster to ship everything to NY and have someone to fly with it from NY to make sure it got here on time. Because if we shipped it to LA, it would not have made it.”
…be consistent, be the one who never complains and is always available. It will pay off for sure!Jennifer Udechukwu
What are your thoughts about the future of fashion after we get through this pandemic?
“Fashion is something that is forever. The human race will always need clothes. Though the fashion industry is taking a huge hit right now, I think it will bounce back stronger than ever. A lot of designers are still pushing through; doing virtual shows and using virtual avatars! It’s really cool and really shows how creative the industry can really be.”
All around the world, there are people who see the work that you put in and are inspired by where you are in your journey. What advice would you give someone who may want to become a stylist one day?
“Work hard! It is not easy at all, lol. There’s a lot of glamor you see but a lot of hard work, and super long days behind it. I would say look for an internship! Stylists are always looking for interns! And stick with them, be consistent, be the one who never complains and is always available. It will pay off for sure! Thank you for having me! Xoxo.”
Be sure to tune in for more exclusive interviews and content and as always:
Keep on Stylin’!