Doja Cat has firmly established herself as a glam girl, but not in the traditional sense. She’s carved out a space for herself with innovative and edgy looks by collaborating with Ernesto Casillas, her makeup artist, and JStayReady, her hairstylist. They both started working with Doja by happenstance. A makeup artist was really busy so referred Casillas to take on Doja, and a hairstylist couldn’t do the “Say So” video so JStayReady stepped in. They collaborate with Doja’s stylist, Brett Alan Nelson, to help turn Doja’s vision into a reality.
“We have this group chat called “pretty kitty committee” and Brett, her stylist, will send ideas, sketches, outfits, and then J will start throwing around his ideas,” says Casillas. “But a lot of times it’s a matter showing up to set, coming with ideas and then seeing what Doja herself is feeling like. Is she feeling sexy? Is she feeling creative? And so I’ll just bite off of what J and Brett are doing and what Doja is feeling.”
They work together seamlessly and each bring their gifts to the table, but Doja pushes them to step outside of the box.
“She told me early on, you can’t be iconic doing what everyone else does,” says JStayReady. “She’s taught me to look at beauty in a non-traditional way.”
Here we speak to Casillas and JStayReady on what it’s like working with Doja, their research process, and the stories behind some of her most memorable looks.