Styling Brad Pitt for the cover of USA WEEKEND magazine – by Leila Baboi

About a month ago, I got the call of a lifetime. All-star photographer and friend Kwaku Alston was on hold to shoot Brad Pitt for the cover of USA WEEKEND magazine and he wanted me on it. With a last minute confirmation I had less than 12 hours to pull clothes. The guidelines from Senior Photo Editor at USA Weekend Magazine, David Baratz, was clear “.. tops should be bright, colorful, casual.  No busy patterns, dark colors or shirts with messages/slogans/graphics.” Done and done.

Fast forward 12 hours.  Brad arrives to set, we meet, have brief conversation about the wardrobe and his direction is clear: “I’m going through my Johnny Cash phase. I’m liking black.”

This is a perpetual conundrum in my industry, pleasing both client and subject while keeping integrity in tact. In my humble opinion, the real self of a subject should never be compromised by a publicist, a manager, a photo editor, etc.. Of course, I aim to elevate, collaborate, and enhance the brilliance of the subject; however, I’d never attempt to make them into someone whom they are not unless that was part of the “story”. Could that be the secret to celebrity styling? Maintaining truth while championing for the best take? Perhaps.  Personally,  I’m just an artist who loves what she does, feels blessed for every job, every experience, and every challenge.

So here is to you Mr. Pitt, for making me believe that dreams do come true.



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