I’m on a mission to dress Caitlyn Jenner and I’m not going to stop until I reach my goal. I had the pleasure of dressing Cait when she was Bruce for one of the Kardashians’ annual Christmas cards — the one David LaChapelle shot. There was a bit of scandal behind that shoot because it was going to be just the women in the family. I only worked with her in that capacity, but Caitlyn’s story and transformation has completely captivated me.
To us, the transformation seemed like it happened overnight. She did the Diane Sawyer interview and then kind of disappeared for a second and came out on the cover of Vanity Fair, then all of a sudden she got boobs, a body and her hair was on point. She seemed more put together and that carries on in her personal style now. It was so fun to watch her debut. When I first saw the cover, I was like, “Who’s she?!” Everyone said, “Is that Jessica Lange, who is that?” Then all of a sudden, “OMG, that’s Caitlyn Jenner. She’s out!”
Caitlyn is setting the pace and opening fashion up to a whole different world. I don’t necessarily think she’s changing fashion, but I think she’s changing how we see gender in this country. Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy would use transgender models back in the day, but that is high fashion. Caitlyn’s presence is a much more elevated version of that. Because we know who Bruce was and who Caitlyn is now and she is helping make transgender men and women more accepted and helping women like her be confident enough to be who they are and embrace fashion. There is so much great fashion out there — why can’t a woman like Caitlyn wear it and look smashing?
I loved the Vanity Fair shoot. I thought Jessica Diehl did an amazing job dressing Caitlyn and she looks so glamorous, beautiful and happy. Plus, with her height, she just gives that old supermodel kind of vibe. Though I am totally obsessed with basically everything Caitlyn has publicly worn, there are a few things I’d love to see her wear. For Caitlyn, it’s about hyping everything up. Finding the right colors, taking what she’s working with now and amplifying it. I would love to see her in some cool, young designers along with more classic choices. But for her, I think mixing it up will help turn her more into a fashion icon.
One thing in particular that I love about Caitlyn’s style so far is how classic it is. Transgender issues are something new for a lot of people in the country and the fact that she draws on classic silhouettes — like her beloved wrap dresses — really highlights her elegance and makes her more relatable. There are older celebrities who get criticized for not dressing their age, but Caitlyn isn’t one of them. She can go to lunch with the ladies, go to a gala in a gown or be in her jeans and little flats and a T-shirt and look so cute and chic. She’s not giving me Desperate Housewives vibes, she’s giving me elegance and a certain kind of refined American style that I love.