The reason some of our celebs can’t get enough of this African stylist is because of his diversity. Jenke Ahmed Tailly is the stylist to Beyoncé, Kanye West and more recently Kim Kardashian. The name might be strange to you, because he likes working from the background, unlike most stylists who have built a world of their own on social media.
This African stylist and creative director who was born of a Senegalese mother and Ivorian father grew up in Ivory Coast. His African root is one thing which has inspired him throughout his journey. The way African women mix colour and print is one thing he tries to portray to the entire world.
“I’m just fascinated by my culture and I feel so privileged to be able to share it,” he told CNN.
In 2011, Jenke Ahmed was called by French fashion magazine “L’Officiel” to style their 90th-anniversary issue. This was a great homour, but Jenke was accepting the offer on the condition that a woman of colour, be put on the cover. This was going to be the second/third time a woman of colour was appearing on the cover of the magazine, in 90 years of their existence.
“It was in their 90th anniversary,” Tailly told CNN. “In 90 years, there were only two or three black women who have graced their cover.”
However, they were not so sure of the idea of an African Queen on the cover of a Parisian magazine. They wanted someone who could sell advertisements. They adhered to his terms and suggested Halle Berry, but he wanted Beyonce. It was quite unsure if they could get Queen B to feature on the magazine but he insisted they try. So finally, they got her and dreams were made.
This African stylist decided to incorporate African fashion using high-end brands into his shoots. There was also some photos which sparked so much controversy. Beyonce’s face was darkened, and most people interpreted it as “blackface”. Tailly explains it wasn’t blackface. “It was paying homage to African queens.” Overall the cover was a resounding success.
This year, L’Officiel dedicated their September issue (which is the most highly anticipated issue by fashion lovers worldwide) to African fashion. The issue which is dubbed “Gang of Africa” is dedicated to the beauty of an African woman. They decided to use Tailly as their stylist and creative director and featured 8 African women on the cover of the mag. The theme of the mag is ‘black beauty matters’. It features supermodel Iman, singer Ciara, models Ajak Deng, Shala Monroque, Grace Bol, Riley Montana, Adesuwa and Anais Mali.
As a stylist whom A-list celebs can’t get enough of, Tailly started his career as a model (shot by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz) before various stints as a fashion editor and consultant. At this time, there were very few diverse women, and being able to feature African women in his works, has helped him in his journey.EN FR