06 Apr Get to Know the Stylist: Bryon Javar
“Every time I go through something I’m like, ‘let me push through,’ because you never know who you can inspire or how it can help someone else” -Bryon Javar
This time last year Bryon Javar was foreign to media outlets like Vogue.com and Fashion Police. Now, the stylist is responsible for placing his high profile client (Karrueche Tran, you may have heard of her; dated Chris Brown, dumped Chris Brown, launched a lucrative fashion, beauty and acting career, slays the red carpet… Yea, her) on the best dressed lists.
Despite the success, he remains completely humble citing God as the one and only reason for his success. His work load has only gotten heavier since his collaboration with Karrueche. Chances are if you’ve seen the recent work with Letoya Luckett, Olivia Culpo and Vanessa Simmons, you’ve had a small glimpse of Bryon’s work.
This was by far one of the easiest interviews that I’ve ever done. Probably because it felt like two hustlers discussing everything from dreams and aspirations to the depths of the fashion industry. I relate a lot to Bryon because his past struggle reminds me of my current one. The amount of faith that this man has is enough to inspire everyone to keep going. The dedication to his craft is being recognized and rightfully so. If you’re looking for a reason not to give up, need to be bitten by the inspiration bug or you just need an example of what it’s like to wait on God, then sit back, relax and get to know the stylist; Bryon Javar.
Bryon’s passion for fashion started at a young age. He recalls falling in love with fashion the moment he saw Ike and Tina Turner’s wardrobe from the movie What’s Love Got to Do With it. “I remember seeing the scene where Tina had on a black and white polka dot blouse with a big belt and bell bottom pants and I remember Ike looked so fashionable, everyone looked so fashionable but Ike looked so different from everyone else. I remember thinking, ‘why does he dress like that?’ I was so intrigued by their style. From that moment I knew I wanted to be a part of fashion,” he said.
His love for fashion carried him through elementary school, junior high and then high school where he explored the different areas of the fashion world. It wasn’t until the 9th grade where he discovered what he really wanted to do. “I saw Tameka Foster on BET talking about Usher’s Confessions tour. I heard her say she made $1200 a day, I wanted to know what she did. I went home and googled Tameka Foster and what it is to be a stylist. Her (Tameka) and June Ambrose were the first people to make me realize what a stylist was. From the 9th grade on I knew I wanted to be a stylist.”
Although Bryon knew what he wanted to do, he still had to go through the ‘mess’ to make it to where he is now. He has used his Instagram page as a platform to document his success. The transition from being fired from a few retailers to being blessed and booked has been a great one for his followers to read about. Now reaping the benefits of being terminated from his previous employers, Bryon recalls his ‘ah-ha’ moment he realized working for someone else was no longer an option. “I’ve been through so much as far as being fired from the retail jobs that I’ve worked at. In that moment of being fired I went off because I had rent to pay and a car note. In the midst of me going off something came over me and it was God saying ‘You weren’t leaving when I told you to so I had to remove you from the situation because you would not have left by yourself.’ I was so happy. I was so grateful that I was fired because I knew this was the beginning of the rest of my career and the rest of my life. I don’t have to clock in or out and I no longer have to check in with anyone. I’m going to have my own corporation. I’m going to be a mogul. I thank God for being fired. Not everyone is meant to work for themselves but I knew I wasn’t supposed to help someone else’s dreams come true, I knew I had to make my own dreams come true and inspire others and let them know.”
I first learned about Bryon during September 2015 NYFW. I ran into him at an US Weekly party and tapped him on the shoulder. “You’re Karrueche’s stylist aren’t you?” “Yes,” he nodded. “Can I have a picture of you guys?” “Sure!” he said. Karrueche was dressed in a pair of ripped stockings, black shorts and a black crop top. Edgy, chic and different from what you’d usually see her in. She ruffled her newly blonde locks, smized at the camera and owned the spotlight. I motioned for Bryon to get in the photo so I could snap a few shots of them together, stylist and client. Her buzz during fashion week was confirmation that Bryon had stepped into a goldmine.
Their working relationship began in June of 2015 but they’ve been in the same circle since high school. With a vision in mind, Bryon pursued Karrueche about being her stylist. “She’s cute, she’s the girl next door she has this platform and the ability to become this fashion innovator and then one day possibly a fashion icon and I want to be the person behind it. I want to be the Ty Hunter behind it. I want to be the June Ambrose behind Jay Z and Missy Elliott’s most memorable looks. I want to be that person who make people ask, ‘who is she working with now that has helped her and elevated her and found her look?’ So I hit her up and asked her and she said ‘I don’t really work with stylist. We’ll see. Let’s try the BET Awards,’” he said. “She wasn’t really against it but she like ‘let’s just see because I like to dress myself.’”
“I think we had a moment in the Stello suit and Tokyo Stylez did her wig like Storm and she wore the La Perla bra-let. It was one of those moments where she didn’t have say it. It was an understanding that this was the beginning of something great. It was an understanding and a look and a confidence that I didn’t see in her before,” he recalls.
Bryon’s relationship with Karrueche is a special one. He refers to her as his ‘muse.’ He saw something great in her and she allowed him execute all of his ideas on her. He was intrigued by Karrueche’s raw, natural beauty. As he reminisces he said, “One thing I saw about Karrueche was that she reminded me of the 90’s when it was all about natural beauty. There were no enhancements.” He refers to the era of Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long and Aaliyah where the women were naturally beautiful and didn’t rely on lip and ass injections. “People were able to just take you as you are. Short, slim, thick, round; you rocked what God gave you. Those times have changed,” he continued. Bryon wants women to accept themselves as they are and that was something he saw in Karrueche. “You can be this slim little a 5’1 girl and still ‘hand bitches they issue.’ You can be natural and still be gorgeous. You can enhance but you don’t have to. Love yourself,” he exclaimed.
What are your top 5 looks you’ve dressed Karrueche in?
“The black Youself Aljasmi dress she wore to the AMA’s. No one else on the red carpet was in that designer besides Gwen Steffani and that’s huge. She wanted to wear a grey dress that was very simple and safe. I had to beg her to wear the dress. I knew I was getting on her nerves! Three days straight I was sending her long paragraph texts like we were dating and she just broke up with me or something. I was trying to explain to her why she should wear it and finally she agreed to the dress. I told her she would end up on fashion police. Everyone loved it. 24 hours later she was discussed on Fashion Police. They compared her to Gigi (Hadid) and Kylie (Jenner) and that was a moment for me.”
“My Second favorite is the Stello suit for the BET Awards with the La Perla bra. It was one of our first times working together. That was the first time people saw her in a different light. They were like, ‘Wait- she’s not just this pretty little girl.’ She’s actually giving fashion right now and she’s not nominated for an award, she’s not presenting. She shut that fucking carpet down, I love when my clients feel great when they try something new.”
“My third favorite was from September’s (2015) fashion week. The white Thomas Wylde fur vest with the white pants and the Wutang clutch. My inspiration was 90’s fashion mixed with New York. It was effortless, so simple and so last minute.”
“From the last fashion week- the blue fur and the sweat harem pants with the beanie and the Manolos. It was so Jenny from the block. It was inspired by her. Definitely inspired by the 90’s.”
Also from the last fashion week I had to convince her to wear it (the House of CB ‘Moren’ coat and the Francesco Scognamiglic jumpsuit). She thought it would be too much and said it’s too cold. I had to convince her. Once we got off the elevator I could tell she thought, ‘okay, I’m glad I wore this.’”
“What advice would you give to the aspiring fashion stylist out there that get discouraged and want to throw in the towel?”
“Don’t,” he says, “You can’t because if that’s the case, then why even think about it or dream about it? Of course there are those times where you’re not booking jobs. There are times I couldn’t pay somebody to hire me. I couldn’t even get work for free but because I knew I had a talent and a vision, that’s all that it took. My first internship was with Laurie Philips and it was with the Black Eyes Peas. I was this 19 year old boy from Compton but there was something she saw in me. I worked with her for over a year and it was very hands on. For my second day of the internship I was on set of the Boom Boom Boom video steaming Will I Am’s pants and lacing his shoes and lint rolling his jacket with the rest of the group. There are those days I have to think, ‘remember when you were that 19 year old boy? Remember when someone saw something in you?’ It’s still there. Don’t think because you’re not booking this and that it’s over. It’s not over, God’s got you. You have to think about those times when it was great. He is preparing you for something great. There were times I didn’t get jobs. It wasn’t because of my talent; it was because of the lack of knowledge. I didn’t know how to manage budgets. I didn’t know what showrooms to go to. I didn’t know how studio service worked at Macy’s or Nordstrom’s or Saks. Sometimes it’s not the talent; it’s the knowledge you need to have. At 19 or 20 I could’ve styled this person and that person but I wouldn’t have had the 6/7 years I took to gain the knowledge. I had to learn the industry; I had to learn my worth. It’s knowing God’s timing. Wardrobe styling is a new thing where everyone is a stylist. No, it doesn’t work that way. So many people want to jump into it and not work under someone else. There’s no way I’d be where I am right now if I didn’t work under Laurie Phillips and Rebecca Gross, Lance gross’s wife. I was her assistant for 3 years.”
He continues to say, “There were times where I was like ‘Oh my God, why didn’t I get this job? Why did he get that job’ It’s Gods timing, I’m favored but this is not my season. So I have to do more than just wait for my season I have to grind in between my seasons. So if I’m between jobs and I’m not getting paid let me work a budget out or let me pull some clothes out of my friend’s closet and do a photo shoot so I can build my portfolio. I never stopped. I never gave myself a pity party. I’d be upset about something and then I’d be like this isn’t working so how the fuck can I get up and change it? I make sure that I remember those days and I remember those times that my bank account was negative and I needed gas to get home and I only had $9. I think about those times and I say what can I do so that I never have to go to that place and that’s nothing but praying and grinding my ass off.”
Well if that didn’t inspire you and completely take you to church then I don’t know what will! Thank you Bryon for carving out the time to speak with MarshBar’s Closet.
Check out a gallery of Bryon’s work!