Hannah Brown is on a roll. On the heels of her Dancing with the Stars win and her tenure as the Bachelorette on ABC’s hit reality competition, the 25-year-old is enjoying a well-deserved moment in the spotlight. But while Brown may be the current darling of the small screen, her onscreen drama isn’t what has people talking. While promoting both series, Brown has displayed a keen interest in fashion fresh off the runway; whether it was a silver Isabel Marant jumpsuit worn during a visit to RuPaul’s talk show, or a flowery wrap dress from The Kooples on Extra, Brown has kept things interesting as she’s made the rounds at events and appearances. Now, it has some wondering if she could become reality television’s next fashion crossover.
While the Kardashian clan’s impact on the fashion industry his hard to deny at this point—and, of course, Love and Hip-Hop gave the world Cardi B—reality TV has a spotty track record when it comes to creating fashion stars. Sure, second-generation models like the Hadid sisters may have been given a boost by the presence of their mother on Bravo’s ubiquitous The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, while Lauren Conrad successfully turned her stint on The Hills into a full-fledged lifestyle brand. All the same, many of the genre’s biggest franchises have yet to yield a legitimate style star: Viewers may be hooked on Love Island, 90 Day Fiancé, and Big Brother, but they aren’t necessarily looking to dress like their cast members.
All of which makes Brown’s enviable wardrobe far more interesting. The Bachelor and its spinoffs have become infamous for the uniformity among contestants—the fact audiences can barely tell Lauren J. from Lauren S. has resulted in countless memes—and many get lost in the shuffle. Every show has a distinct aesthetic, and if Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s represents the unattainable pleasures of label-loving full glam, The Bachelor champions girl-next-door accessibility. Even in its most dramatic fashion moments—Heather and Lauren wearing the exact same dress, gasp—the contestants tend to have a prom-meets-pageant sartorial sensibility. But while the former beauty queen Brown pulls that look off with ease, she’s shown a willingness to move beyond it. Whatever your feelings on “Hannah from Alabama,” she didn’t blend into the crowd while pursuing Colton Underwood, the virginal former football player who served as season 23’s leading man. When she graced the screen in a pink chiffon Rachel Zoe maxidress during the seventh episode, the look began trending on Twitter; likewise, a vampy Alexandre Vauthier number worn during the “Women Tell All” wrap up became the subject of online chatter and frenzied Google searches.
On The Bachelorette, Brown continued the pattern, working pieces from Ulla Johnson and Dolce & Gabbana into her repertoire with help from the show’s chief stylist, Cary Fetman, who elevated the wardrobes of previous contestants like Rachel Lindsey and Becca Kufrin. Post-show, Brown pushed even further into fashion insider territory with the help of Sonia Young, stylist to Hollywood starlets like Katie Stevens and Chloe Bennet. With unexpected choices, including the cult Georgian label Akà Profiàshvilli at the Entertainment Weekly pre-Emmys party, and a fringed Magda Butrym number for a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live, the pair have worked together to up Brown’s style ante. Their red carpet choices may be filled with buzzy labels, but for Young, it all comes down to what works during fittings. “We have tried to define where we want to go in the fashion world by really focusing on great silhouettes and an amazing fit,” she says. “When collaborating with Hannah, we tend to go for sleek and sexy. Hannah embodies these characteristics very well.”
Sexy and sleek aren’t the first words that spring to mind when thinking of the traditional Bachelorette contestant, but they’re the hallmarks of Brown’s current look. How she will continue to experiment and evolve remains to be seen, but to call her a future style star isn’t far-fetched. Lest we forget: It only took seven years for Kim Kardashian to move from Dancing with the Stars alum to Vogue cover star.
Originally Appeared on Vogue