James Worthington DeMolet spends his days pulling clothes for shoots, casting hot models, and hanging with magazine editors. As a rising stylist, he’s made his name at GQ, Interview, Soma, and most frequently Teen Vogue, where he was on staff just a couple of years ago. Did we mention he helped with the costumes for Madonna’s recent show? The southern charmer opens up on his favorite designers, his major crush, and what he wore his first day of school.
What did you used to do at Teen Vogue?
I handled the closet, and it’s a large market from Prada to Quicksilver. I think what I’m best at is to keep everyone calm. Things are going to be lost; it’s not going to be perfect.
Along with editorials, you also do some celebrity styling, right?
I’ve been working with a lot of musical clients. The first and most noteworthy is Madonna. I was the assistant costume designer for Madonna’s latest promotional tour at Roseland Ballroom. It was nuts. Nineteen-hour days.
What outfits did you come up with?
The thing with her is that with each album the look is predetermined already. This time it was all about a high lace-up boot. With magazines, you don’t always get the samples you want. But with her, Dolce & Gabbana sent almost an entire line of shoes for her to choose from. This shade of fuchsia, that shade of fuchsia…
What celebrities do you think have great style?
I’m always drawn to Selma Blair. She’s sort of daring. I wish her career would go in that direction with her. And I’m fine being cliché, but Mary-Kate and Ashley. They are more visionary than any stylist working in Hollywood.
Where did you grow up shopping?
Target. And my grandmother, this crazy character, worked the Bargain Box. My sister firmly believes I wore velvet bell-bottoms to my first day of first grade. And where could you possibly get bell-bottoms to fit a first-grader? Bargain Box.
What’s your favorite shoot so far?
The i-D one was sort of my dream scenario. I had found the designer Rad Hourani online, and then I e-mailed agencies about what kind of model casting I could get. Cole [Mohr] I’ve been obsessed with for years — which is sort of embarrassing because I don’t know if he knows that. The shoot was very streamlined with interesting details in the clothes.
Describe your personal style.
Recently, gothic schoolboy. I’ve been wearing a lot of black polos. It’s almost a uniform.
What designers do you love?
Alex Wang. He’s innovative and knows his customer. Girls know they can wear an Alex Wang dress and it’s a whole look. I love Chris Benz. He has a great understanding of color.
Where do you shop?
Number (N)ine. And I buy a lot of Dior Homme on eBay. I think Hedi Slimane is incredible, and it fits me really well.
What’s one thing you can’t live without?
A silver Miu Miu belt. It’s one of the only belts I own, but I wear it almost every day.
What trends do you love for fall?
I’m living for gothic. Rodarte is incredible. The shoes are amazing. I’ve never gone towards cross-dressing, but if they made them in my size … And I love fur. I was going to one of the shows with an editor, wearing this large fur Marc Jacobs hat. And she said, “I think this is a little early in your career to be looking like a crazy person.” And I was like, “I think this is the only time that I can do this!”
What are you lusting after right now?
I just moved to Brooklyn, and the apartment has a back deck. So I really want to have decking put down.
What should every woman have in her closet?
Alexander Wang. And black tights. —Kendall Herbst