Does It Really Cost $25K to Style Beyoncé?

Yahoo! Music
Stop The Presses! (NEW)

by Leslie Gornstein

Burning Question: Is Beyoncé really giving away a spot on her style team? What kind of job would I get if I won? — Say Whut

Not so fast. This is Beyoncé; ergo, she is reportedly auctioning a spot on her style team, with the proceeds benefiting charity.

That said, yep, the prize really does appear to be a slot on Bey's style team. Sort of. The winner will get to hang out with Beyoncé's mom, designer Tina, in wardrobe, as well as make unspecified input into the singer's look, for an unspecified July 1 event tagged to the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. (The prize package also comes with VIP tickets to a show.)

Whatever the charity auction winner gets to do, though, it probably won't even come close to the rigors of a real style team. Because if you knew what a real style team did on a tour like Beyoncé's, you wouldn't pay the estimated $25,000 value to do it.

In fact, if you were any good, you would charge. Maybe 10 times that.

"I would say somewhere in the six digits," says stylist Darius Baptist, who works with singer Jason DeRulo and has dressed him on tour. "For someone on the level of Beyoncé, being on her style team for a tour means that she would buy you out for the whole tour. You'd work only with her," and an experienced stylist's fee would reflect that.

We're talking not only constant fittings and cleaning of costumes, but also maintaining and labeling the dozens of outfits worn by dancers or live musicians.

"Oh my God, for a Mrs. Carter-type tour, I wouldn't be surprised if there were 40 to 50 trunks of clothes," Baptist posits.

And there's more! How about pulling a steady stream of clothes for radio station visits and meet-and-greets; navigating the inevitable politics that come with working on a 10-to-20-person team; accommodating last-minute creative whims; and taking copious mental notes on how the talent moves in sound checks and rehearsals?

"You must be familiar with the star's body frame," says stylist Chan Gaines, who works with Cee Lo Green and has dressed Prince for tour performances. "For instance, maybe you're doing a fitting for Beyoncé, and Roberto Cavalli has made a gown that's going to be worn for the last number of her show, and you notice that she's begun to bend in a certain direction at a certain point.

"Then you may want to add some snaps or an invisible zipper to make sure that the dress won't pop."

And through it all, we're talking being on call essentially 24 hours a day, for as many days as Beyoncé is on tour.

"In the day to day, you always need a stocked kit," Gaines explains, "threads, glues, pins, needles, everything that you would need in case something were to happen. And make sure you always have options with wardrobe in case something suddenly doesn't work."

If such breakneck work seems a bit much for a contest winner, you're probably right. Beyoncé's publicist didn't return a request for comment, but Gaines and Baptist say they wouldn't be surprised if the auction winner is treated more like an observer.

"I am thinking," Baptist supposes, "a contest winner would sit on the meetings, go through wardrobe — almost like an assistant, and then get asked a few questions to may you feel like you're a part of it all. More of an experience than a job."

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