Hanging with celebs, good salaries and a shedload of fun. Meet the women with the glam jobs that will make you green with envy
The A-List stylist
Katie Greengrass, 31, is a celebrity stylist. She’s single and lives in East Dulwich, south London.
She says: “I’ve come a long way from waitressing in a burger restaurant to pay the bills while I worked at building up my styling portfolio on the side.
These days you’re more likely to find me hanging out backstage at Britain’s Got Talent with my client Alesha Dixon, or partying at Ibiza Rocks with Plan B, who I also work for.
Sometimes my job is so much fun I have to remind myself I’m actually getting paid for it! However, it’s a long and hard journey to become a stylist, working for nothing, sitting in windowless fashion cupboards sorting out clothes and running errands. But if you persevere it’s so worth it.
At Leeds University, where I studied English and Italian, I spent more time working on the student newspaper, heading up its style section, than I did in the library.
I’ve always loved fashion. I remember when I was six coveting a pair of Clarks Magic Steps shoes, and later filling my diaries with dress designs.
So perhaps it was inevitable I’d end up in a job where I’m surrounded by clothes all day. After graduating I did lots of unpaid work experience and internships on the fashion desks of national newspapers and magazines, working part-time to get by.
When I was 25 I felt I had enough experience and contacts to launch myself as a stylist, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve travelled the world with my job. One of my favourite assignments was to South Africa last year with Alesha, where she was doing a photo shoot for Avon. When we weren’t working, we sipped cocktails by the pool at our hotel in Cape Town and gossiped. What other job lets you do that?
Alesha and I met in 2010 when she was promoting her last album The Entertainer and I was booked to style her. We hit it off and now she’s one of my main clients as well as a very good friend. We talk on the phone regularly and go clubbing together.
I was so excited for her when she landed a role on the BGT judging panel and worked really hard to create a new look for her which was totally different to her Strictly wardrobe – more edgy and modern. When I see her being papped and appearing in the fashion pages of magazines, in clothes I’ve chosen for her, I feel really proud.
A stylist is at the heart of a celebrity’s core team, and they need to completely trust you to make the right decisions for them. But no one gets it right 100 per cent of the time and of course there have been times when clients have been slated for an outfit I’ve put them in.
Alesha’s launch show outfit for BGT this year was a “Marmite” look. It was a blue cloud-print dress with big shoulders – some people loved it, while others hated it. But sometimes you have to take risks, and Alesha took the criticism with a pinch of salt.
I also love working with Plan B. I styled his last tour, and helped create the look for his amazing 2011 Brits performance, where he won Best British Male.
However, styling isn’t always glamorous. There’s a lot of pounding the pavements loaded down with heavy bags, plus endless meetings.
Also the erratic nature of the job means my life has to come second to my work. I regularly have to cancel plans with friends, and have missed countless birthday parties and nights out when I’ve had to drop everything to style a client, but they understand.”
Luckily I love unpredictability, but it’s not for everyone!”
The movie make-up artist
Sophie Slotover, 31, is a film make-up artist. She’s single and lives in Camden, north London. Sophie says: “Standing in line to shake US Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s hand at the Met Gala Ball in New York last year, I had to pinch myself.
In front of me stood Kirsten Dunst, and behind me J.Lo with then-husband Marc Anthony. Everywhere I looked there were A-list stars in couture gowns, and paparazzi. Not for the first time, I thought what a very lucky girl I am.
I’m a make-up artist, working mainly on film sets. I’ve travelled the world and have worked with some of the biggest actors, including Gemma Arterton, Daniel Radcliffe and Jake Gyllenhaal.
One of my good friends is Slumdog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto. We met on the set of Woody Allen’s film You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger in 2009.
I now work as her personal make-up artist, and last year flew first class with her to Paris for a Chanel show. We spent an amazing few days at The Ritz and I attended the Met Ball as her plus one.
How did I land this job? Hard work and a bit of luck. After graduating with a degree in History of Art & Sociology from Leeds University in 2003, I did a course in film make-up at Shepperton Studios in 2004. My first job, in 2005, was on The Bank Job.
I’ve since worked on many hit films, including the final Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Mamma Mia and Snow White And The Huntsman (no, I didn’t meet Kristen Stewart!).
It’s not all glamour though. I often work 18-hour days and during Snow White I had to do night shoots in a field in the freezing rain.
Of course, being away so much with work plays havoc with my life. Relationships have broken down because of being away so much, and I’ve had to cancel dates at the last minute because of a job. For the moment it’s easier being single! Seeing my work on the big screen makes it all worth it, though.”
The record label insider
Linda Maitland, 29, is an artist relations manager at Warner Music. She’s single and lives in Shepherd’s Bush, west London. She says: “Occasionally I wonder what it would be like to have a ‘normal’ job like the ones my friends hold down.
They don’t get calls in the middle of the night from a famous singer because the street light outside their hotel room is too bright, or have to get Bruno Mars and his entourage from the Brit Awards to a party by boat.
But I wouldn’t want a regular job – I love mine far too much. As an artist relations manager, I’m the point of contact between the artists I look after – including Jay-Z, Sean Paul and Estelle – and the record label.
Despite the fact they’re massive stars, they’re all really fun and down to earth, particularly Jay-Z who’s one of my favourites. He’s so polite to everyone, from the senior executives at the record label right down to the waiter in a restaurant, and he’s never late – I wish I could say that about all my artists!
It’s a part-management, part-nanny role, and I am the first person who’ll be called to resolve any query or problem that arises, so my phone is never off.
Growing up in Greenford, west London, music was a massive part of my life. A lot of my friends were MCs and singers, I was always going to gigs and music was my passion. I didn’t have any musical talent myself, so resolved to find a career backstage.
In 2003, while I was studying media at the University of East London, I did work experience at Atlantic Records, then once I graduated I was offered an internship at Warner Music. I got a taste for the company and the industry, and seven years later, here I am!
It can be really stressful juggling the needs of several artists. At the Radio 1 Hackney Weekend this summer, I was looking after Flo Rida and Sean Paul, as well as several other artists, and was run ragged meeting them at the airport, checking them into their hotels, making sure they were happy, and getting them to the stage on time. By the end of the weekend I was exhausted but satisfied knowing they’d had a good trip and the fans were happy.
I also thrive on that pressure, and the perks of the job are amazing. I’ve hung out backstage at the European Music Awards (EMAs) with Estelle and Kanye West, watched Gorillaz perform from the side of the stage at Glastonbury, and partied with Jason Derulo at the MOBOs.
But my career highlight is being one of the first people in the world to hear Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3 album in 2009. I had arranged for some journalists and radio DJs to have a meet and greet, and hear the album. It was such a privilege.
The next year I met Jay-Z again at another event and he introduced me to Beyoncé, which was amazing.
In the future I’d like to manage an artist, helping them build their career from the beginning – and who knows, maybe I’ll discover the next Jay-Z!”
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