Maeve Reilly Is Street Style’s Secret Weapon


Maeve Reilly is grateful. The celebrity stylist tells me as much over the phone no less than three times, and regularly intersperses her Instagram Stories with posts about light and love and gratitude to her 760,000 followers. It’s clear her thankfulness comes from a genuine, innermost place but also, she received so many bouquets for her birthday this month from friends, colleagues, and designers that she had to make a gentle joke on Instagram along the lines of okay, stop sending flowers now!

From an onlooker flicking through Instagram Stories, the dozens of gifts and arrangements seemed thoughtful, of course, but possibly exemplified how grateful other people are to her. Despite working in the business for over a decade and snagging the tenth spot on the Hollywood Reporter‘s 25 Most Influential Stylists on Hollywood list in 2017, Reilly’s work has taken on a culture-shifting feel recently thanks to a professional partnership with Hailey Bieber, a celebrity whose style is now so pervasive and imitated that, if they gave out Oscars for aesthetic relevancy, she’d be thanking the academy. As such, designers want to be included in her work and Reilly has a knack for spreading the love among established brands like Bottega Veneta, Acne Studios, Mugler, and Jacquemus and up-and-comers like Italian label The Attico, Polish designer Magda Butrym, and New York’s LaQuan Smith 

No matter if she’s dressing Bieber, Ciara, La La Anthony, or newer clients like Megan Fox and influencers Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, the finished product almost always has some degree of skin—exposed abs, daring cutouts, a wow-that’s-short skirt—but the consistent hat trick is almost always how the overt sexiness is offset by pieces that exude effortlessness and a hint of modesty—a giant blazer, a pair of rare Be True to Your School Nike Dunks, baggy cargo pants, an affordable baseball cap. The looks are covetable and modern, but they’re designed for life—date nights, coffee runs, drinks with the girls. They’re also replicable, which is a powerful and rare concept for a stylist to lean into. The idea of “getting the look” used to be scoffed at by fashion insiders but for someone like Reilly, it’s all part of the process. 

Historically, the job of a successful celebrity stylist has been to dress movie stars in clothing that feels purposely unattainable—red carpet gowns by top-tier fashion houses, dozens of perfect outfits for every stop along international press junkets—so the idea that a famous person would pay someone to dress them in clothes they actually live their real lives in is surprisingly novel. “The actress thing is amazing and it’s fantasy, but it can’t be replicated,” says Reilly, who tells me it makes her happy when women recreate looks they see her clients wearing on their own budgets. 

But what really sets Reilly, 34, apart from others in her field is the willingness to remake a celebrity persona in her own image. Reilly herself dresses the way she styles her clients, so the influence starts at the root. For better or worse, it’s hard not to compare Reilly’s effect to that of Rachel Zoe in the early 2000s. Both are emblematic of celebrity street style during a particular snapshot of time. 


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