As anyone who watches Keeping Up With the Kardashians can attest, Kanye West has had a definite impact on Kim Kardashian’s style. From her weepy closet makeover when they first started dating to her current high-fashion friendship with Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy and Andre Leon Talley, formerly of Vogue to her current almost-all-neutrals color palette, West’s influence can be seen on his wife’s attire. But it turns out, many of the couple’s looks can be attributed to an equally fashion-forward — but much more under-the-radar — man: Jenke Ahmed Tailly.
Tailly spoke to Elle.com about dressing fashion’s power couple — particularly his influence on Kardashian.
“I started working with her after I met her and realized she is such a lovely person,” Tailly said. “Being African, I particularly find her body proportions so beautiful. But also, like Beyoncé [another client], Kim is a perfect example of a person who is so internally beautiful, with such great values and work ethic.”
He was responsible for her CFDA look, above, from Proenza Schouler (a designer she hadn’t worn much in the past) and he chose it because he’s constantly thinking about how to present his client at any given moment. “With Kim, every time we work together we discuss, we meet,” he tells Elle. “It’s really important to me to really understand the subject I’m working for. I need to understand who you are, what you like, what kind of a woman you want to be, and with Kim, it’s: how do you move the woman power narrative forward? I’ll also ask: what’s your favorite movie? What books do you read?”
And as for the question we all wonder — just how much West steers her style — Tailly says it’s less than you’d think. “People think he dictates what she wears, but that’s not the case,” he says. “I think the person she loves to please first is her husband. So his opinion does matter — he might suggest something or give us an opinion about something we’re not sure about — but she knows what she likes.”
Are you surprised she has a stylist? Which recent look is your fave?
— Alex Apatoff
RELATED VIDEO: What’s Kanye West’s favorite look on Kim Kardashian?