MEET THE STYLIST: SAMANTHA MCMILLEN
A Conversation with Samantha McMillen: Celebrity & Editorial Fashion Stylist
After a quick stint as an intern at Mirabella magazine, Samantha McMillen began her career in fashion as the public relations director for the fashion designer Richard Tyler, She worked with Tyler in styling such celebrities as Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, and Anjelica Huston. After two years with Tyler, Samantha was hired by Giorgio Armani to work in the Beverly Hills public relations division. Samantha spent her time at Armani working one-on-one with virtually every name in Hollywood, coordinating looks for award shows, film premieres, magazine shoots, film wardrobes, promotional junkets, and everyday living. After eight years, Samantha left her position as Vice President of Celebrity Relations and Special Projects at Giorgio Armani. On January 1, 2001 Samantha started her own company, Butterfly Productions, and began a new career wardrobe styling. Samantha has worked with both young up-and-coming film and television stars as well as established celebrities including Ashley Judd, Johnny Depp, Mark Wahlberg, Natalie Portman, Paul Walker, Diane Lane, Jodie Foster, Eva Mendes, Ben Stilller, and Dennis Quaid. She has worked with such leading fashion photographers as Peter Lindbergh, Norman Jean Roy, and Patrick Demarchelier, for the pages of Vanity Fair and L’Uomo Vogue and the campaigns of Nike, Versace, and Omega.
Tell us the story behind your favorite wardrobe item
Samantha: My tan suede Dior booties. I wear them every day except for when it is raining (obviously…suede…). I have a black Sonia Rykiel dress from seasons ago that is still my go to dress. And my Sundown Saloon vintage T shirt from Filthmart (Los Angeles). It's so soft and perfectly worn in. I love it. None of these items are current season!
What is your favorite era for fashion?
Samantha: I love the 1920s, the 1930s for its decadence & glamour and the 1970's deco revival. I especially love the Studio 54 glam, Halston, Galanos, Valentino, YSL, Chanel, Jean Muir and Jean Louis Scherrer who are all fabulous and from the 70s. It's hard to pick a favorite era as so many of them are special and unique. I am loving the the new look in the 40s inspired by Dior and the 50s and 60s are both so different and unique. I just watched "Breakfast at Tiffany's" again and the Givenchy costumes created for Audrey Hepburn are to die for. A great example of the simple glamour of the 1960s.
Where do you pull inspiration?
Samantha: Everywhere! The street, traveling, movies, old movies, books, paintings, antique malls, vintage clothing stores, rock and roll/music legends…my clients inspire me, too.
What was your big break?
Samantha: In my second year of styling I was doing a cover for AARP magazine (for retired people) with Billy Crystal. It wasn't glamorous...but I was happy for the work. As it turned out at the time, Billy Crystal and Johnny Depp had the same publicist and I guess she liked me, because she hired me a couple of days later to do a simple portrait with Johnny Depp for a Playboy interview. This led to an Esquire cover with Johnny Depp and he's had me on board ever since. So in short..I'm grateful for that AARP job for what it ultimately led to!
Whose closet would you most like to raid?
Samantha: Vanessa Paradis (if only we were the same size…)
Who are your favorite designers?
Who are your clients?