Ty Hunter: fashion guru pens autobiography

  • by Cornelius Washington
  • Tuesday December 20, 2022
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Ty Hunter
Ty Hunter

The fashion and lifestyle book of the season has emerged. Mr. Ty Hunter has decided to grace the planet with "The Makeover From Within: Lessons in Hardship, Acceptance, and Self-Discovery," an autobiography that is the must-have for anyone who is striving to create a life and career, based on passion, rigor and aesthetics.

Hunter's book chronicles the life of a humble, young southern gentleman whose authenticity and talent, has put him into a world of unparalleled influence and success, styling some of the world's most stratospheric stars in arts and entertainment (Naomi Campbell, Beyoncé, Billy Porter)

Millions of people all over the world —and in several industries— inspect every button, bowl, and bias cut he puts together. He also reveals his humanity in a direct, clean-cut manner, and is as sharp as an Yves Saint Laurent day-suit. Mr. Hunter's glam is reality, with a tie twist.

Ty Hunter  

Cornelius Washington: The book is amazing; very thorough, very moving and truly inspirational. What inspired you to write it?
Ty Hunter: I always wanted to write a book. Everyone wanted me to do a fashion book but I felt telling the story of how I got to where I am would be much more inspirational than giving people fashion advice.

Have you had a catharsis since writing the book, i.e., has the book changed how you see yourself, how others see you, how you see others and how you execute your work?
Yes, because I never had therapy sessions in my life. Writing this book has opened my eyes and let me see things for what they are. It helped me learn more about myself and made me realize I'm on the right track to who I want to be.

What is not in your book that you'd like my readers to know?
Well, I changed a lot of the names. Maybe I'll save those gems for another time.

In my research, I've heard you say that menswear bores you. Why?
Since styling Billy Porter, I've noticed a shift in men's fashion and it's becoming more exciting.

What should have been in the book, but didn't make the cut?
Nothing. I bared my heart and soul in writing this.

Explain how you approach styling for color versus black and white photography?
Usually, I let the photographer do their thing. I meet the photographer and they usually have an inspiration and I try to follow it with a Ty twist.

What accessory have you used in your work that no photographer ever gets right?
I've worked with so many talented and inspirational photographers that I've very rarely picked over flaws in the work.

What is the most complex look you've ever created?
I've never really rated the complexity of a look. However, I have been blessed to work with a lot of iconic designers, and I've loved them all. Although I have a lot of favorites, it's hard to pinpoint one.

What were the top three achievements in your career, and how did that impact your development?
Beyoncé's appearance at the inauguration of President Obama, the Survivor video, and all Met Galas that Beyoncé and I did together. It forced me to continually try to outdo myself. I don't compare myself to others but I do try to keep moving up and bettering my craft.

Do you, Beyoncé and Tina Knowles create looks together?
Yes, we have.

What designer always seems to get it right with your work?
Because of my relationship with so many designers, there's no need to pinpoint one. I have been blessed to have a beautiful working relationship with so many, it's not possible to just say one. So many designers have turned out so many beautiful looks.

How does a look usually begin? Is it an event, song, collection, book, film, work of art, music video?
There are different processes for different things. It depends on the event and timing, and mostly how the client feels.

What is the most surreal moment that you've had as a stylist?
Visiting the White House several times during President Obama's administration.

Who would you like to dress, male or female, that you haven't yet, and why?
It's not about celebrity with me. It's just about bringing joy to the everyday woman. That's what makes me happy.

What, for you, is the best aspect of styling? Is it the fittings, research, reactions, etc.?
It brings me joy. bringing joy to my client. It makes me happy when they feel beautiful and confident.

Have you had any fashion mishaps that have become miracles?
There is always lost luggage, wrong sizes, and ripped clothes showing up, or not showing up! I believe everything happens for a reason but thank God it's always been in my favor! I've never held on to one particular event because I believe things happen for a reason, so whatever took place was always meant to be.

Is there a phrase that you use to describe a superior look?
"Yes, Bitch."

Billy Porter has said that you turned him out! When you first met, what made you think that you could?
Just to be able to work with someone who's open to the options that are not traditional. Billy is able to wear male or female fashion so that gives you so many places you can go with it.

Ty Hunter's 'The Makeover From Within: Lessons in Hardship, Acceptance, and Self-Discovery' Chronicle Books $24.99.

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