If we could choose the most perfect, be-all and end-all dream job, we’d have to go with beingBeyoncé(yes, we’re considering that a full-time job). From her flawless beauty looks (which you can copyhere!) to her record-breaking albums (some of which areliteral overnight surprisesbecause why not), the fashion icon is considered a Queen for a reason. But seeing as it is highly unlikely that we will be able to morph into her, we’ll happily take the next best thing: being Beyoncé’s stylist. The only problem withthatis she already has one, and he’s pretty darn good, too. Introducing Ty Hunter, the man behind every epic Beyoncé gown you’ve ever drooled over and every skin-tight bodysuit you’ve ever pinned to your “THINGS I NEED”Pinterestboard.
If you own a mug that says “You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé,” you probably appreciate her seemingly boundless energy and do-it-all persona. But have you ever wondered how her team, who’s responsible for keepingBeyoncégoing, does it all?Teen Vogue‘s beauty and health director, Elaine Welteroth, had the chance to sit down with Ty and get the inside scoop on working behind the scenes with Bey. While it’s just as hectic and crazy as you might imagine, it’s also an invaluable education of sorts. Here are the four things Ty has learned from being the right-hand man to one of the most influential women in the world (take notes!):
1. Invest in true friendship and it will go alongway. “A lot of artists switch people out like this,” Ty says with a quick snap of his fingers. But he’s been with Beyoncé from the beginning. “When I started working for her, they were all so young—Solange was a little kid! Beyoncé was 16, so to see her go from a girl to becoming a mother was insane. It was just this incredible transformation. I saw her turn into a woman on the set of ‘Crazy in Love’ and I cried. I went off to the side and cried.”
2. Always speak your mind (for better or for worse!). It’s all about being true to yourself and to others: “Beyoncé has taught me to be honest. If she asks for your opinion, you have to tell her the truth, and we do. If something doesn’t look right, we’re like, ‘Girl, you gotta change that.’ That’s how she’s gone as far as she has, because she doesn’t have ‘yes’ people. And because she’s at the top and because she’s Beyoncé, people put that diva stamp on her. But she’s just a humble Southern girl. She’s silly and we have fun, but people don’t get to see that side of her. You hear about the dramatic stories people make up, but she’s very cool and down to earth—the whole team is, actually. When people meet us they kind of trip out because they expect us to come in and be divas and we’re so not like that.”
“Beyoncé is in full control of her whole process—she’s not the type of artist who you can tell what to wear.She’sin charge of her. From the sound to the lights to the clothes to the stage, she is a part of every single thing. I think that’s why she is where she is; she’s not going to do anything she doesn’t want to do, she’s not a puppet. Beyoncé has also taught me to be true to myself. If I believe in something, I have to push for it. If I’m tired, I can’t complain because when I look at her she’s always going 100% more than me. Even when she’s sick or has lost her voice or has the flu, she’s up there pushing it. It’s about reallylivingand finding motivation to do the things you want to do.”
3. Prepare yourself foranythingand, if possible, stay away from zippers.
When you’re working for a woman who is always on the move, you have to be ready for absolutelyanything—including a last-minute trip tothe Met Gala. “With Beyoncé, you just don’t know. There is just so much happening. During tours zippers pop and we safety pin them up, but the show must go on! I hate zippers. Sometimes the zipper of a boot won’t go up and you have to switch the shoes out really quickly. I’ve even had to run on stage a few of times because her zippers will just slide down. If you’re ever watching a YouTube video and you see me on stage, it’s because a zipper just decided it wanted to come down. She’ll continue performing and I’m backstage dying. Sometimes I even come up with a dance move to get on stage. But that’s just the wear and tear of clothes. Zippers are just evil sometimes.”
“My favorite dress of hers was the Givenchy gown with the purple feathers at the bottom that she wore to the Met Gala in 2012. Mostly because people hadn’t seen her in a while since she had just had the baby. Givenchy actually made that gown for herbeforeshe was pregnant and they called me and asked, “Is she going? We brought the dress just in case,” and I was like, “No, we’re working on the tour, she doesn’t have time to go.” Then I get to rehearsal that day and she says, “I think I want to go to the Met.” She decidedthatday that wanted to go to the ball! So I contacted Givenchy and said, “You have to get the dress to the rehearsal space. We have two hours.” So they came, did a few alterations, and it fit! And so we ended up going.”
4. Flawlessness requires some serious teamwork.
“If whoever is doing her hair feels like the dress is too much or vice versa,Sir Johnand I will speak up and say it. And then it’s either, ‘Okay, I’m going to go find another dress,’ or ‘I’m going to go change the makeup.’ We work together—there’s no tug of war. A lot of people don’t get what teamwork really is. You can make her hair look beautiful, but if she puts on a bad dress or her make-up is wrong, they’re not going to talk about how amazing her hair was. At the end of the day, we just want her to be happy.”