Dressing Up With Kesha's Stylist: Shelby Scudder

Shelby Scudder,

a stylist for Kesha and other A-list celebs, has launched Shelby Hearts, an online hub for her fashion musings. As she prepared the finishing touches on the site, we got all the deets on fashion's new must-haves, and the key to Kesha's hot, new look.

There are lots of stylists in New York, but not everyone can nab a celeb client, like Kesha. How'd you do it?
So much of it is about being in the right place at the right time, but then it becomes what you do with the opportunity. I worked with costume designer Zaldy in NYC for four years before moving to LA. Within months of my moving, Zaldy was hired design looks for Kesha's album packaging and music video. Since she was based in LA, I worked as his assistant, and handled all the styling components of the job- jewelry, shoes, undergarments, etc. After a few weeks of working with her, I got an email from her manager requesting that I come to her place to help her pick out an outfit for an important party. As soon as I got that email, I knew everything would change- I worked my butt off to make sure it did!

I imagine you're super close to your clients, and you're super protective of them. Any shady lines you've heard from people who just want to get close to them?
Definitely protective of them! I can't think of a time when someone tried to play me to get to a client, but I have definitely seen it happen in general. It's crazy what people will do to be associated with a celebrity, and it can be a harsh reality to see it through the eyes of a celeb. 

How would you describe Kesha's style/look in 3 words?
Rock & Roll; Evolving; Sexy. 

What's the one item every celeb stylist is trying to get their hands on for their client(s) this season?
Anything from Saint Laurent.  

HBD @badgalriri Hatara-KU ☝🏽☝🏽☝🏽☝🏽☝🏽☝🏽☝🏽☝🏽☝🏽☝🏽☝🏽❗️❗️❗️😘

Any other stylists you j'adore?
I am totally biased as he is a friend, but I would have to say Mel Ottenberg. He completely transformed Rihanna's style (don't make me remind you of the Doc Marten boots + tutu look with red hair at the VMAs...), and took her to an entirely new level of incredible, setting the bar imposibly high for everyone else. She can be chic as hell and pull off haute couture, and then make a crazy bold statement in the opposite direction just as gracefully. He is so talented, and the perfect example of how important a stylist can truly be. 

Why move to blogging, you're so busy with styling!

So many reasons!


As a stylist, there is always an ebb and flow of work and I needed a creative outlet during the slower times. 
2. Since I spend the vast majority of my time on Ke$ha, my work tends to be quite specific- a loud, fun, wild, fierce female. But I wanted a way to showcase my own aesthetic, so potential clients and employers could get a feel for my taste and not see me as one dimensional.    
3. I wanted to create a blog that was honest and real, and fits in the price range of actual people I know. Like, who is buying Valentino?? I wanted to say hey here's me in forever 21 and I am making it WERK, babygirl. You can too.
4. I am all aboard the feminist train, and I want to share the stories of inspiring females who are creative entrepreneurs. I have just done interviews and photoshoots with some really bad ass bitches and I cannot wait to share them!!

Kesha on Rising Star 2014 

You're creating these funky collages on the blog, can you make us 3 looks that'll take us from day to night?
FUNZIES. Yes I would love to! Ok so I am absolutely obsessed with leather shorts right now. I mean what can't they do?? Its like the chicest, coolest sweatpant you can wear and I am all about investing in classic leather pieces you will wear for years (and, obviously, things that feel like sweatpants). Let me take this hunny through her summer Saturday for you. 


156 10th Ave, New York, NY 
Cookshop Breakfast Bowl $16

509 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Lobster, Shrimp and Grits $27

BRUNCH (or "breakfast" if you live in LA. Ugh, I miss New York.): Throw on your leather shorts with a print tee and simple sneaks. This is basically my comfort uniform. Can't really F it up. A cute, colorful bag makes your hangover face appear more friendly, and your outfit more chipper. I totally hate changing purses, so this baby will be the bag all day! 


Jimmy at the JamesHotel

15 Thompson St New York, NY 

ROOF TOP (or beach, BBQ, backyard.... any afternoon, sun-soaked food and booze):  Toss on leather shorts with your cutest bikini top, and your naked-ish look is instantly chilled out and more modest. It's the edgy but cleaned up, sophisticated but more rad version of jean shorts. Some fun sandals and bright sunnies complete this ultimate summer look.


Extra Fancy
302 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 
Come Sail Away $12

DRANKS (universal): To dress up your shorts for evening, keep the look black and white, with the flirty pop of your bright bag. Add a heel, and pair with a crisp button down for a super simple, sexy-tomboy look. After a day of shvitzing, your mane is prob gonna need a little help, so a scarf or bandana knotted on top of your hair will be a much needed accessory, and also add some girly playfulness to the pared-down look. Like I said, what CAN'T they do?!?! All hail leather shorts. 

Are there common misconceptions about what it takes to be a celeb stylist?
I think the styling world, like many other creative fields, is often glamorized, and most definitely simplified. The best part about styling is coming up with looks, putting an outfit together for a client or a shoot. What people often fail to realize is that this makes up less than 10% of your time as a stylist. So much of it is leg work- research, correspondence with brands, showrooms pulls, taking and keeping inventory of every item pulled, tailoring, accounting... not to mention carrying, lifting, packing, cleaning, unpacking, repacking, more carrying, carrying, carrying!

Very real. How'd you break in?
INTERN. If you're in school, intern in the summers, and part time during the year if you can. Study stylists, learn their names, then reach out! It is very hard to find good help and I always love when people contact me that are hungry and eager to work and learn. And then, check your expectations. You will not be picking out which shoes T. Swift is wearing with which dress any time soon. If you're lucky you'll take the tags off of robe she wears between takes, or maybe even steam her dress.  

How does it even work? Your clients say "I'm looking to be chic" and you find them items that look chic? Take me through the process.
It depends on the client and the job, but the short answer is yes. If it's for a red carpet or an appearance, maybe they will tell you "I love this color; I'm so over such and such trend; I don't want to show this or that body part; I wanna look X,Y, or Z." Then you work within their bounds to find something you believe is a good choice for them. If it is for a Music Video, or directional photo shoot, you will be given a treatment- basically a giant mood board slash story board. From there, you put together your concepts to align with the wishes of the record label/ management/ director/ publication etc. Ultimately, though, it is the client who will have the final say in what they will or won't wear. 


Aug 24, 2015


Swagger NYC