This week brings yet another Breaking into Fashion interview! If you’ve ever ogled with delight at DJ Khaled and Asahd Khaled’s custom ensembles, look no further than their stylist Terrell Jones.
Jones and DJ Khaled have been working together for almost 14 years, and actually met through one of Jones’s other clients, Fat Joe. He explains, “Joe introduced me to Khaled about 14 years ago when [Khaled] was a club DJ. Khaled promised me [that we would work together one day]. He said, ‘I love what you do for Joe, I love what you do for Puff, and [when I get a record deal], I want to work with you. Lo and behold, when he got a record deal, he really called. And we’ve been together ever since. It’s been our 10th studio album together and we’re coming close to our 14th year together.”
Before he and Khaled started working together, he said, “I was VP of marketing for Iceberg. I broke into fashion not knowing I would [one day be a stylist]. I had a best friend who was best friends with Mary J Blige. She introduced me to Mary. Mary was like, ‘I love your style,’ so I went on to assist her, then went on to actually style Mary for a few years, sorta kinda figuring it all out, not even knowing it was an actual career. I thought it was just something I enjoyed doing. Fast forward about 16, 17 years later, here I am now, just designing, evolving, and creating my own lane.”
He says, ” I love doing fashion for big and tall men; I have a special soft spot for them. I worked at Vibe Magazine doing tons of their covers. I worked with Bevy Smith who introduced me to Emil Wilbekin. Emil took me under his wing and showed me how to fly. I’ve been very blessed and fortunate to have great people in my corner to constantly uplift me and encourage me to do more. “
Khaled and Fat Joe always look great! What’s the secret to looking swaggy if you’re big and tall? Jones says, “It starts from within. It starts with the level of confidence. You have to embrace your body and embrace and love who you are. Don’t separate yourself. Don’t look at yourself as different from a regular sized guy . Have the same confidence.”
He adds, ” I also think it’s important to get stuff that is measured to your body. You can buy something from the big and tall shop, but the finishing touch has to be alterations. Tailoring is everything, Especially when you are a certain size.” Also, know where to shop. He listed Polo, Lacoste, and Sean John as great brands for guys with more girth.
For those who want to break into fashion, Jones offers, “Study. Do your homework. Know the history. And try your best to link with someone who can allow you to shadow them and teach you the ropes. The game has changed a lot, but the root is still the same. It’s that grind, staying in the know, and being aware. Be open to all areas. Don’t see fashion through just one lens. Look at costuming, look at vintage, and all different types of designers.”
He continues, “Be organic and genuine. And be yourself. Anyone who has come to me, I never went out to seek those people. I hadn’t known Bevy. I was born and raised in Harlem, but Bevy and I met in Las Vegas. And we met [because of a] photo that she wanted to use of me in Vibe Magazine. We bumped into each other in New York and she remembered me from Las Vegas. Before you know it, she became my mentor and one of my dearest and closet friends.”
He adds, ” I think it’s about being genuine and true to who you are. And if you are that, people should be able to see that. The right people will see that and adapt to that.”
In addition to Fat Joe and DJ Khaled, Jones has worked with Tracee Ellis Ross, Puff Daddy, Timbaland, Zoe Saldana, and more during the course of his career. His tips for working with celebs: “I treat them like they’re normal people. They’re just normal people with a lot more exposure. I think it’s how you conduct yourself. When you’re around them and when you aren’t around them. You have to look at yourself as an extension of their brand and act accordingly.”
Alright! Be sure to follow Terrell’s stylist steps on Instagram @Terrellish.
Keep an eye out for his brand Sanctuary 78, and for a potential Asahd Tucker inspired kid’s clothing line in the near future. So cute!
What do you think?