Gentlemen’s Corner: Nicki Minaj’s Stylist Jerod McClairn Talks Dressing the Barb

Jerod McClairn

VV: Are you big on giving new designers a chance to show their work and have major celebrities wearing it?
JM: It’s important to stay up on the new designers because you always want your client to be cutting edge, trendsetting and ahead of the times. So you have to keep your ears and eyes on the streets.

Outside of Nicki, what do you do?
In addition to styling Nicki, I do a small collection of custom tailored menswear that consist of everything from suits to golf pants and golf shorts. It’s a high-end line of classic menswear with a European sensibility. It’s unique in itself, high quality fabrics, good stitching and attention to detail, but it definitely does have a fashion edge also.

Is that how you want your all clients to look–high-end and classy?
That’s my point of view for my line, but that’s not how I necessarily want every client to look. Being a stylist is about being a visionary. You have to have a vision for each and every client and that vision should be unique and specific to those specific individual. There are a lot of shoppers out there and people fail to realize that fashion is a tool. You have to use it to create something. There are a lot of shoppers and not visionaries out there right now.

What are the key things someone should look for when looking for a stylist?
They should have a website, a portfolio, some tangible source that you can go to and review their body of work. You should be able to see the caliber of the artist from their body of work. Every stylist won’t be a good fit for every client because different clients have different needs and different stylists have different strengths.

You’re familiar with dressing athletes, so which ones are currently nailing their looks?
Kobe Bryant is getting it right. Number one, he’s not trying to hard so it’s coming off more effortlessly, and the execution is on point. Sharp and clean lines, great combination. He’s not following the crowd either. Chris Bosh looks really good too. They would be my two favorites.

You would love to work with them?
I don’t think they really need me but I would love to work with Kobe and Vanessa. There are just different things I see that I would enhance.

What athlete would you want to work to change their look for the better?
Joakim Noah. I would want to cut his hair and put him in something very sleek and slender.

Which celebrity would you want to style next?
Kerry Washington.

Who’s more of a fashionista: Olivia or Kerry?
Olivia Pope. Kerry’s trying to create a separation between her character’s image and her own. She’s a quirky person but there’s a different way of executing it to bring that about.