During an internship in the print design department at designer Alexander McQueen‘s London showroom, a then-17-year-old aspiring fashion professional Danyul Brown wanted a change in his budding career path.
“I wanted to try something new that excited me. It was then that I began to connect with people in the music industry and it (styling) just happened,” Brown tells Billboard of switching up his career. The Middlesex University alumnus says that after connecting with singer Conor Maynard on a cover shoot a few years ago, the pair eventually “became really good friends” and still work together in 2017.
Now, with celebrity editorials and a promising roster of musicians who count on him for styling jobs–Joe Jonas, DNCE, Bebe Rexha, John Legend, and Tyga–the 24-year-old explains that aspiring stylists can also find success in the industry, which requires more often than not long hours by setting goals. “Whenever I set myself a goal and achieve it, this pushes me to achieve more. You should never become satisfied with your current position and always strive for more because the only limit is yourself,” says Brown. Adding those budding fashionistas should embrace the opportunities that come their way and to “go at it with everything you have, but do it with clever intention and appreciation.”
Get to know Brown who talks dressing musicians, London’s fashion scene, menswear staples and more in this Billboard exclusive interview for our weekly Stylist Spotlight series below.
You and Bebe Rexha first connected a year ago when you began working on her wardrobe for the European leg of her All Your Fault tour. Tell us about how you two like to collaborate together.
Our collaborative process is key to our working relationship. As a stylist, you come with ideas, but you also bounce off the ideas that the artist brings to the table. Creating an outfit is a development process, and that’s what is really great about the connection Bebe, and I have, we work together to meet in the middle.
How would you describe Bebe’s style?
Who are your favorite designers to pull for her?
It all depends on the occasion, but Bebe can look great in anything, whether it be a red carpet gown or day-to-day wear. We are obsessed with Gucci and Versace right now. We love a Stuart Weitzman boot, and Kenzo has always been great supporters too. I’m keen to continue collaborating on looks with brands such as Marc Jacobs, Moschino, Julien MacDonald, and Stella McCartney.
Proudest Bebe style moment so far?
She was recently in the UK to appear as a guest judge on a talent show for a major broadcaster. Together we collaborated on the design of an amazing red gown. It was custom made by Croatian based designer Zigman, and accessorized with Swarovski jewels.
As a British-based stylist who frequently works with an American singer, style-wise, how are you able to blend the different cultures together?
It’s important we create trends as opposed to adhering to them. Of course, it’s important to fit within cultural expectations, but when dressing a musician, it’s important that you somewhat create a culture that represents them as an individual. Setting, creating and building trends are the keys to dressing a musician.
What’s next for you and Bebe?
Lots of great outfits I hope! Bebe has a very bright future ahead of her, and I’m excited to be a part of it. Working with an artist you can connect with is like going to work with your best friend.
Styled by me. IT’S HERE! In one of my best projects to date @kinggoldchains features in the first issue of The Fall magazine. Photographed by the incredible @helenachristensen. Styled by #danyulbrown. Assistant Stylist @janellelyn. Fashion Credits: Top and Trousers by @wooyoungmiofficial. The issue is now available to purchase in store and online. #fashion #celebritystylist #helenachristensen #TheFall #wearethefall #editorial #menswear #danyulbrown #TYGA
You’ve also worked with male talent such as Joe Jonas, Tyga, and John Legend. What are some staple pieces every guy should have in his closet and why?
Plain basics–I swear by black and white plain t-shirts–every guy should have a collection of them. You can wear them with anything and for any occasion–the gym, under a suit jacket, to the grocery store–you name it, a plain t-shirt will work.
A staple piece that I can’t live without is a baseball cap, and that’s because I’m too lazy to do my hair day-to-day, I’d rather the extra hour in bed (laughs).
Which emerging designers do you have your eye on?
The really great thing about London being my base is that a lot of young designers are born and bred here and come from some of the world’s most renowned art schools. Richard Malone and Supriya Lele are the latest to catch my eye, and Wales Bonner remains one my favorites to have made her mark in the industry.
What’s your fashion pet peeve?
I’m so over dirty, worn shoes. I’m sick of seeing sneakers with holes in them–it’s not cool anymore. Wash them or throw them away, they must stink.