The Daily Grind Video

Mariel Haenn is one of the few lucky people who knows what it’s like to dress Rihanna, Kerry Washington and even Jennifer Lopez.

Mariel caught our attention when we saw how insanely stunning Kerry Washington looked in her red dress at this year’s Emmy’s.

Remember Kerry’s out-of-this-world look? That was the brainchild of Mariel, who has been seen front row at fashion shows with her roster of celeb clients.

We caught up with Mariel to get the inside scoop on her work and what it took to get where she is today. Check out our exclusive below!

GlobalGrind: How did you become a stylist?

Mariel Haenn: A friend of mine introduced me to a music video producer and had me come to production offices. Once I got there, I was introduced to the stylist for the music video and I actually began working as an assistant/seamstress. Once I assisted on this job, I continued to assist various stylists until I began getting my own work. 

How do you present choices to Kerry Washington and Rihanna? Is it a collaboration or do you suggest designers to your client?

My current clients are Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington and Rachel McAdams, just to name a few.
It’s usually a collaboration with our clients, depending on the job or project. We discuss ideas, colors, vibe, designers, etc. and then we do our best to bring as many options as possible to our fittings and then we decide together, which is best.

How long have you styled Rihanna and Kerry Washington?

Rihanna was from 2005 or 2006-2011, just before the “Umbrella” video which is when I partnered up with Rob Zangardi to become a styling team. Kerry has been about 2-3 years now, I believe.

How did you become Kerry’s and Rihanna’s stylist?

Rihanna was introduced to me via a friend that was an executive at Def Jam and Kerry was introduced by a friend that is her publicist.

Red was the breakout color at the Emmy’s earlier this year. Was the Zuhair Murad dress that Kerry wore the only red option or were there more?

There were several red dresses, actually several of every color! 

What advice would you offer someone who is interested in being a celebrity stylist?

I can say that you have to have thick skin and be able to handle lots of different personalities, be ready to work at all hours of the day or night. Stay professional on every level. Never be satisfied and always push to keep ahead of the curve.

Did you have an alternative career goal? Did you study fashion at University?

I studied Fashion Design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. I’ve known since I was 16 that I wanted to work in fashion. A few days before classes started I changed my major to Computer Animation because a family member convinced me that fashion was very cutthroat and hard to get into. The day before class started I switched it back to Fashion Design and I’m glad I listened to my gut. It seems to be working!