Magpies and Peacocks first chatted with Sam Russell from his home in LA in 2013. We talked at length about the industry and its people, its privileges and the need for change, and realized we had synergy in this common ground! Here we were in Houston busy trying to affect change in the way people disposed of their fashion habit and there he was in LA at the front lines dealing day to day with the styling demands of the Hollywood elite!
Sam Russell had been deeply embedded in the fashion industry as a stylist and red carpet consultant for many years, dressing the rich and famous (and with that, the drama and entitlement that goes with the territory). But in 2011 Sam had a light bulb moment – Why don't we celebrate everyday women as much as we do our Hollywood elite? It was this very question that gave rise to his mission the Giving Closet – he was going to start leveraging his position in the fashion industry to pull together wardrobes as he had always done – but this time do so for deserving women in need.
Magpies & Peacocks have worked with Sam on many of the Giving Closet's surprise give aways, the last of which was filmed live on HLNs Morning Express with Robin Meade. It is a thrill to learn about the woman behind the surprise and the M&Ps team hop straight on designing bags and jewelry to coordinate with the clothes Sam is pulling for her new wardrobe! Here's to many more Sam!
Sam Russell is a celebrity stylist, editorial, TV and red carpet wardrobe consultant. He writes for Fashion Affair, a premier online style magazine with a hardcopy version out of the UK, and has made numerous TV appearances over the years on fashion segments. Inspired by Oprah Winfrey and her Next Chapter announcement, Sam decided in 2011 to start the next phase of his personal journey by bringing a passion project to the foreground: His traveling mission is to surprise deserving women all over the U.S. with $10,000 worth of work and personal attire through his organization, Giving Closet. He has so far conducted 14 wardrobe giveaways. In collaboration with various non-profits and top designers, inspiring women who have beat the odds are surprised with a complete new wardrobe. Whether they are recovering from illness, injury or financial setback, women who are on the way up need to feel like a star in their new life, and Sam and his partners afford them the look. The complete rack of clothes for chosen women include everything from designer dresses, tops, handbags, jewelry, pajamas and more. Each surprise giveaway is unique and specific for the selected woman. Every garment and accessory is carefully selected and personally chosen by Sam. Sam’s talented eye for imaging has been tapped by such recognizable personalities as Stevie Wonder, Jon Hamm, Chuck Lorre, Sophia Bush, Melora Hardin, Jeannie Mai and Donna Mills, as well as various business and social icons. But his greatest joy is in giving back through Giving Closet. Sam is bi-coastal, living in Washington, DC and Los Angeles.