MTV’s latest reality series, Styl’d, premiered on Sunday, giving viewers a backstage pass into the fast-paced world of celebrity styling. Earlier this week we were lucky enough to get the inside scoop from three of the cast members, Julie, Janna and Gary. As well as giving us the lowdown on the first episode, they let us in on what we can expect from the rest of the series. Meet Julie Weiss, Janna Brown and Gary Samulian:
Senior stylist, Julie Weiss, recently styled an Eva Longoria Parker film. Her past clients have included Terrance Howard, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears. She has worked with artists Kid Rock, Kanye West, NKOTB, The Pussycat Dolls and The Thrills.
Junior assistant Gary Samulian studied Fashion Design at Parsons. Upon completing an internship at Vogue, he turned down a permanent position at the magazine.
Junior assistant Janna Brown studies at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in LA. Janna is a self-proclaimed “Forever Girl,” as most of her wardrobe comes from Forever21.
Styl’d premiered on Sunday night. What was it like watching yourself on TV?
JULIE: I was with a bunch of close friends, and they were all dying, laughing, and talking, so it kind of took the edge off! Definitely a little weird though, the cameras following me on the jobs took some getting used to also.
GARY: Limp wrists much?
JANNA: I became very self conscious of my body language and I thought my voice sounded weird. It made me wish I would have done things differently, looked differently, said things differently, but then there were moments when I actually forgot I was watching myself, so I guess it wasn’t all bad.
Do you feel like, so far, you’ve been accurately portrayed?
JULIE: For the most part YES, because we are real people and our characters evolve as the show goes on, I mean the cameras are just on all day, and we are on real jobs with real clients, so that’s pretty much my personality when I work.
GARY: In certain ways I do feel I have been portrayed accurately, but I would like to state I would never be that inappropriate with a client (referring to Kim Kardashian). There is a line working with high profile people, I may skip along that line sometimes, but I surely will never cross it.
JANNA: Yes and no. I feel like my personality hasn’t come out yet, but hope that some of my silliness and sense are revealed as well.
As the series progresses, what aspects of your personality do you think the show will focus on?
JULIE: The real me, the way I handle myself in work and real life, because the kids definitely try to involve me in their personal drama (which I don’t appreciate), and constantly mess up, and continuously make me mad.
GARY: You won’t see me starting any drama.
JANNA: A lot of different dirty looks!
In the first episode, Brett is offered a private styling job. Looking back, what is your reaction? Were you surprised he went ahead and took the job?
JULIE: 1st of all Asher had no wardrobe budget for a “real stylist” so he asked him, and 2nd, this is all new to him, so he was probably really excited, and I respect and appreciate that he told/asked me, but the fact that he did the job behind my back is not OK, and the fact that he used my name at ‘Kitson’ is unforgivable, and I have never had anyone go against my back like that! Furious beyond words.
GARY: What the crap was he thinking? The audacity. And no, I can’t believe he name dropped Julie Weiss.
JANNA: I wasn’t surprised that Asher asked Brett to style him for a red carpet event. Brett has amazing style and clearly Asher recognized that. The only decision Brett makes that I was surprised about was using Julie’s name at Kitson.
After watching the preview for the series, it looks like there are some interesting moments ahead! Anything you can let us in on? What are you dreading?
JULIE: Oh, you don’t even know!!! These kids get crazier by the second, blows my mind. They definitely have a lot of personal drama/problems that I don’t appreciate them bringing to the job, on top of the fact that they are really hard to teach, and all have so much to learn, not easy when you are on real jobs in the real world with kids who don’t have any experience.
GARY: I am dreading watching my crazy self on television.
JANNA: I can tell you that I am really clumsy and unfortunately they left in some of my clumsier moments that are really embarrassing, but funny to watch. I guess I’m dreading the 2nd episode where Julie rips me a new one.
What would your dream styling job be?
JULIE: All jobs are different, but all take a lot of hard work, so hard to say. I love all aspects of the industry and am thankful that my experience this far has been really diverse. I like mixing it up. Whether it’s a commercial or a red carpet event all the way to personal shopping or doing a movie!
GARY: A French or Japanese Vogue editorial shoot.
JANNA: I’m doing my dream job. I have always wanted to work in high fashion, doing red carpet events, photo shoots and music videos. I’m trying to learn everything I can from the senior stylists.
Who are your personal style icons and what is it about them that you admire?
JULIE: I absolutely love Coco Chanel! I love classic, feminine and chic.
GARY: My personal style icon would be Iris Apfel, fashionista and Metropolitan museum of modern art special exhibition honoree. She wears what she feels.
JANNA: Lately I’ve really been admiring Leighton Meester – she always looks like she is on the cutting edge of fashion. Love Scarlett Johansson, she is always pulled together in classic styles. I guess my biggest influence would be Madonna, growing up I loved how daring and how she pushed the envelope with her unique style. I was also influenced listening to my parents’ music. I was inspired by classic 80’s alternative rock like Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Oingo Bongo. Most of my style ideas come from listening to music.
QUESTIONS FOR JULIE:
Julie, what is your personal take on each of the junior stylists? Who is the strongest/weakest?
They all bring something different to the table, but Janna is pretty bad, and Tara is a little too dark and not diverse enough, just loves dropping names and getting dressed up, like she’s the focus! Gary has a little problem with ADD, and Brett has a lot of personal drama.
You are only a few years older than some of the competitors. Does that make it harder to be their “boss”?
Definitely not, I take my job very seriously and I expect respect and hard work, and that’s just who I am as person, and always have and will be!
Finally, you interned in Paris with Christian Lacroix. After that, what steps did you take to land your current job?
I started working for department stores PR departments, where they put on fashion shows in store and outside locations. I learned a lot, and then realized that celeb styling was another outlet of fashion coordination, so I bought a hair, makeup, and wardrobe guide by Crystal A Wright, and realized that stylists had agents. So, I made a resume and started calling all the agencies, and finally Smashbox called me back and said one of their stylists needed an assistant right now, 75 cash for 14 hours to help with Macy Grey. And then the stylist, Charlene Roxborough, said “ok so tom we are doing Mya’s tour…” and then it went on and never stopped and here we are today!!!!!!!!
Gary & Janna
QUESTIONS FOR GARY & JANNA:
In the first episode, Jen remarked that she thought Kim Kardashian was “feeling” Gary more than Janna. How did that make each of you feel?
GARY: It was a great compliment.
JANNA: I wasn’t too upset about it, and she did end up picking one of my dresses. It is difficult not having worked with the client before and not knowing their body type.
The contract you are chasing is clearly sought after and the show looks pretty cutthroat. What made each of you want to get into styling in the first place?
GARY: It’s in me, I have no choice, I can’t do anything else.
JANNA: I can only speak for myself…It is something I felt I had to do in my life. Style consumes my thoughts and everywhere I look I find inspiration in colors, textures and trends. At a very young age my friends were asking for my advice about clothes, so it was a natural fit for me.
Can you tell us something about yourself that we won’t learn from the show?
GARY: I run a brothel. My house is always full of my hot girlfriends that I consider sisters from other mothers.
JANNA: I’m really funny, goofy and don’t take myself seriously at all. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if you are going to see that side of me on the show.
MTV’s Styl’d airs on Sundays at 10pm ET/PT.