Stylist 'flos' into celebrity fashion world


Aug. 13, 2012
Nolan Wells, 20, of Springfield, continues to grow his brand and reputation as a celebrity stylist by picking up such clients as Flo Rida and Stayc.
Reminder Publications submitted photo
By Katelyn Gendron

katelyn@thereminder.com

SPRINGFIELD — All it took was one serendipitous moment, a little industry savvy and celebrity stylist Nolan Wells, 20, of Springfield had a good feeling he'd score a new client.

Wells was sitting next to chart topper Flo Rida waiting to dress another client, Karmin, as part of the Six Flags New England Summer Kick-off Concert on June 3. However, Karmin was unable to make the show due to a flight delay prompting the two-year stylist to make some moves of his own. Having proved himself to Flo Rida, Wells has since dressed the rapper and his protégé, Stayc, for various high-profile events throughout July.

"When you work with hip-hop guys you have to build a trust and have to prove that you're loyal to him and not that you want to dress him in order to meet his connections [in the industry]," he told Reminder Publications.

Wells has been on the grind trying to make a name for himself in celebrity fashion since 2010, after graduating from Sabis International Charter School. His efforts have paid off as his list of clients continues to grow — Karina Smirnoff of "Dancing with the Stars," Melissa Gorga of "Housewives of New Jersey" and Chris Webby — and his presence at New York Fashion Week gets him closer to the runway.

"I always hope to get closer to the front row," he said of next month's Fashion Week. "My first Fashion Week in 2010, I was standing in the back and last year I was in the third row. The thing about Fashion Week is that you need to be able to network, not act like a fan but a professional. No one is going to hustle for you like you hustle for yourself."

Wells will have a busy couple of months dressing clients for the VH1 Awards and MTV's Video Music Awards. "I have to be busy 24-7," he said, noting that he's also working on proposals for potential clients such as singer Kelly Clarkson.

"Music artists are usually more difficult. I get a schedule for their award shows and I need six to 10 looks per award show that aren't going to repeat. Flo is like a beast and I need to call Diesel [a clothing company] and have them cut the sleeves off shirts and cut them into vests. He is huge and his sizes are extraordinary. It's really about sizing," Wells explained, noting that other celebrities such as Smirnoff and Stayc are "easier to dress because they're sample sizes."

Wells said today's fashion is "less about who you're wearing and more about your look," noting that he dressed Stayc in "$60 pumps recently," in addition to some creations of his own.

"I'm learning how to sew and stud and I'm sketching now. It's becoming more of a job and less than a hobby. It's a real company now," he said. "A lot of stylists are original designers. It's cool to be able to design and style."

Wells maintained that the growing success of his brand makes him even more conscious of keeping himself grounded in Springfield.

"People are taking me way more seriously at 20 than I ever thought possible," he said. "I try to stay humble and do normal things because I need a break. I love doing stupid stuff, hanging out with friends and going to the Holyoke Mall."

Another priority for Wells is to serve as a mentor for other future stylists through the various internships he offers. He encouraged those in the area to contact him directly at thenolanwells@gmail.com to learn more about such opportunities.


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