Image Source: Getty / Cindy Ord
Whether it’s dressing Jodie Turner-Smith in custom Gucci for the Met Gala, getting Tessa Thompson to wear architectural biker shorts at the Vanity Fair Oscars party, or working with Tracee Ellis Ross and Marsai Martin on their Ebony cover, stylists Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald craft fashion moments that shift the narrative.
Professionally known as Wayman + Micah, the Los Angeles-based duo’s client list reads like a who’s who of Hollywood: Regina King, Tiffany Haddish, and the aforementioned stars Turner-Smith and Thompson, to name a few. They’ve established a reputation for allowing their clients’ personalities to shine, while still taking a sartorial risk every now and then.
What’s more, their diverse clientele is reflective of their desire to broaden the definition of what — and who — constitutes “best dressed.” “We [work with] women from different backgrounds, different cultures [to] show the world how they can be represented and how they too can feel beautiful, have opulence, have drama, have an elegance,” Bannerman says.
For McDonald, this latest round of red carpets, like the 2022 Met Gala, has “felt like such a revival” with the shift back to in-person events after they went virtual due to the pandemic. “[There’s] really just a level of gratitude that we have to be able to do our jobs and bring such joy into the lives of our clients and others,” he says.
“We work with women from different backgrounds, different cultures to show the world how they can be represented and how they too can feel beautiful, have opulence, have drama, have an elegance.”
Having been on the scene for nearly a decade, they’ve witnessed fashion triumphs and trials alike. The best way to be confident on the red carpet, they reveal, is to have the fit of your ensemble tailored to perfection. “Good tailoring takes a good outfit and makes it great,” McDonald says. “We’re very specific on how things fit, on how they move.”
They also pay special attention to fit when it comes to sunglasses. While the accessory may seem like it falls in the one-size-fits-all category, there’s actually more nuance to choosing the right pair, McDonald explains. “We dress a lot of women of many different ethnicities, and we know that sometimes the nose bridge is wider for some than it is for others. And where things sit on the cheek depends on people’s background, nationality, and ethnicity.”
Image Source: Getty / Amy Sussman
That process inspired their recent collaboration with Foster Grant, an eyewear brand that designs glasses for people with different face shapes. They’ve identified styles like the Dubai and the San Jose as options they would choose for their clients. “It’s just really cool that they have focused on fit as much as [we] do,” McDonald says, acknowledging that the brand is one of the few that caters to an inclusive range of face shapes.
Bannerman hopes to see more inclusive representation on the red carpet as well. “Red carpet looks aren’t just ‘it should look a certain way’ anymore,” he says. “Now, there’s an array of things you can do and things that are accepted because we are now learning to respect and accept everyone’s individuality, as well as respecting each other’s cultures and backgrounds. It’s a beautiful place to keep moving in with intention.”