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Inside Big Sean’s Stylist Ade Samuel’s Closet

The stylist and designer on cultural appropriation, the lack of female designers, and her insane Gucci collection.

It’s hardly a secret that job titles ain’t what they used to be. As in, you’ll rarely find a creative working who limits themselves to just one. And why should they? With infinite opportunities to master multiple crafts just a few taps or clicks away, if there’s something you want to go after, you don’t exactly have many excuses *not* to pursue it—which brings us to Ade Samuel.

If you’re familiar with Samuel’s name-slash-visual signatures, it’s equally likely that the awareness comes as much via her work as a celebrity stylist as it does her namesake shoe line. Of course, it makes sense that Samuels career trajectory mirrors that of her clients—her current roster includes bright young things like Yara Shahidi, Big Sean, and Jhene Aiko—mostly, we mean. That said, there is, of course, the exception of, uh, Beyoncé (Samuel got her start with stylist and Cov-alum Shiona Turini at Teen Vogue and worked on the Formation video alongside her).

As for Samuel’s burgeoning career as a designer? It came from precisely the kind of why not me? moment we alluded to earlier. As she explained to us, “I’m always that person that likes a challenge, so I [figured I] might as well start it now, before I’m 30. Get through all the hiccups and the highs and lows. I’m a single woman, and I’m here. I’m able to do these things, so why not? Her time as an editor also shapes how she views her latest endeavor through a feminist lens: “All the shoe designers that we all love and bow down to are [made by] men! Men that don’t wear the shoes. They’ve just seen a vision and they create it for women, and it’s not the most comfortable at times. Where are the women making women’s shoes that they can actually wear and walk in?” Amen to that, Ade.

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