Ty Hunter has been styling Beyoncé for events, videos, and performances for 17 years. He met the star’s mother, Tina Knowles, at the Houston boutique where he worked at the time, and he began styling Destiny’s Child shortly thereafter. I ran into him this week at the New School’s Parsons Fashion Benefit honoring LVMH and Marc Jacobs, and I asked him about dressing Queen Bey.
What did you think of the “Feeling Myself” video? “The video is really, really great. Marni [Senofonte] styled it. But in general, everything Beyoncé does on tour, I’m the man behind the scenes.”
And how is she at quick changes, like the ones she and Nicki Minaj did in the video? “We know each other; we kind of have a system now. We start from the bottom and work up, pray that a zipper or a button doesn’t pop. We get together with the designers and make sure that everything is easier to get in and out of. Quick-change wardrobe is totally different. You need a heavy-duty zipper on the back. Something may look hot on the runway for the model, but it has to be totally different for her when she is performing on stage.”
And were Beyoncé and Jay Z among the last to arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala because that wasn’t such a quick change? Do you spend a lot of time collaborating on a major dress like that? “Everything actually went really well that night. For the Met, we met with Riccardo [Tisci]. He sent sketches; she picked out her favorite sketch. He then has to bring it to life—that’s kind of how the Met works. And it didn’t really take a long time to get in or out of that dress.
Beyoncé has been incredibly loyal to you. “We’ve been together for 17 years. We’ve been loyal to each other. We’re like brother and sister. I have nothing to prove; we’re family. And at the end of the day, I just want her to be happy. We work with other stylists—I worked with B. Akerlund, Marni, Lysa Cooper. It’s about energy, and we see what they bring to the table. Marni is good, and she’s like family, too. We work with her on a lot of different events, on different videos.”
Do you work with other clients? “Some socialites. But when you have Beyoncé, she’s the busiest woman in show business, so you don’t have a lot of extra time. I’m there on tour, everything. When I’m able to go to [fashion] shows, I do, but thank God for vogue.com and style.com and having relationships with the designers, who work with me if I’m not able to make shows. It’s a lot easier to get to the fashion now than when I first started. I didn’t have Google or dot-com anything. It was me walking around with a phone book and a concierge.”
And now the fashion houses have you on speed dial? “Yeah. And they have her measurements. But normally for the tour, we do about three fittings per designer. And there were eight designers we used on the last tour.”
For more about Beyoncé, check out:
• Celebs Reveal the Trickiest Part of Their Met Gala Getups
• How Did Beyoncé Keep Her Met Gala Ponytail Flawless for a Full 24 Hours?
• Red-Carpet Beauty Teams: Beyoncé