Stylist Calyann Barnett’s bold looks can be seen everywhere from the red carpet to a post-game interview at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“Men’s fashion got very peacock-y—I’m pulling back from that,” says stylist Calyann Barnett, who works with some of the biggest names in professional basketball, including Dwyane Wade, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chandler Parsons, and Rajon Rondo. “I’m letting the younger guys showboat and make statements. My goal is to make statements with my clients on quieter looks. We’re getting away from all the patterns and the prints.”
Raised in South Florida, Barnett earned her undergraduate degree in business administration from Florida International University, but she was lured to New York City’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology following graduation. “That’s when I found styling,” she says of her first foray into Manhattan.
A friendship with the musician Shaggy helped lead to an internship with a group of stylists, then, quickly, her own clients. In late 2006, she began working with Wade, and, arguably, began reinventing the way basketball fans expected their favorite players to dress off the court. That plaid-suit, bow-tie, black-rimmed-glasses look? All Barnett. And over the years, her working relationship with Wade has become more collaborative. “When we first started, he just knew he wanted to dress well,” she says of Wade. “Now he wants to be involved in his overall look. There’s more of a friendship there, too.”
Today, Wade gravitates toward designer lines like Dsquared and Dolce & Gabbana; for Aldridge, it’s anything red, particularly Giuseppe Zanotti shoes—size 17. “It doesn’t matter the brand, or how much you pay for it, as long as it fits well. A great tailor is key,” insists Barnett, who relies on Olga Meverden in Miami and Beckenstein Bespoke in New York City to fit her clients’ outsize dimensions.
A full-time Miamian since 2012, Barnett is currently planning to open a boutique in Buena Vista that she describes as a “costume concierge,” offering everything from Miami Vice–era Versace to Victorian dresses for rental. “It’s about regular, everyday people who want to attend a costume party and don’t want to go to Party City for their costumes,” she says.
That party vibe, however, couldn’t be further from how the stylist to the stars spends her off-the-clock hours. Instead, she’s more likely to be found enjoying dinner with her husband, firefighter Sky Watson, whom she married in June, and their toddler son, Prince Alexander, at their home in Cutler Bay. “ It’s a place w here you can detach from everything,” she explains. “I’m not one of those scene-y people.”
By Rachel Felder For Ocean Drive