Celebrity stylist Shun Melson, much like her star client of 10 years Gucci Mane, has a business acumen as strong and distinct as her art. After a series of mishaps in shoe retail, the Atlanta native found her love of style when she met her first client in the early 2000s, R&B singer Monica.
Melson went on to dress the likes of Ludacris and Fantasia and discovered a unique entrepreneurial niche in 2014 while working with gospel singer Tasha Cobbs. Cobbs, who wears a size 16, had trouble finding stylish looks.
“It was the most difficult shopping experience I ever had — there wasn’t anything cute in stores for her size,” Melson explained to Billboard in an exclusive interview. She proceeded to research clothing for full-figured women, found wholesalers in L.A., and created an online boutique for plus-size women craving fashionable pieces. With her thriving retail business and portfolio styling the legendary Guwop, Melson is killing it.
Read Billboard’s Stylist Spotlight below for more about Melson, Gucci Mane’s favorite brands and what’s in store for 2017.
What has it been like to work for Gucci Mane for 10 years of his career?
It’s been amazing. Of course, the majority of the time I styled him he was a size 2X shirt and size 40 pants, but he still loved fashion.
If I wanted him to have a designer belt, I would buy two belts and have a tailor stitch them together. If he wanted to wear a designer button-down shirt we would have to wear it open. We always bought the latest and greatest frames and shoes.
What’s your favorite thing about working as Gucci Mane’s stylist?
He is so unpredictable. He loves trying new things.
Describe his style in three words.
Over-the-top, flamboyant, scene-stealer.
What was your proudest Gucci style moment of 2016?
When Vogue did a style article on him. Also, when he was on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jimmy said he’d never had a guest out-dress the host.
What are you most excited about for Gucci’s stay in 2017?
I’m excited about transforming Gucci into a more boss look, more suits. And we get to do Fashion Week!
Favorite brands to pull for Gucci?
McQueen, Anna Karin Karl, Frame, Moschino and Dsquared.
What’s your guilty pleasure, style-wise?
Most overrated print?
Most underrated print?
What’s one thing you wish all men knew about personal style?
It starts with the basics. Build a solid foundation of basics and you cant go wrong — basic V-neck tee, distressed jeans, a nice leather jacket, a nice blazer, aviator frames.