Long time celebrity stylist & celebrity “Pay it Forward”

STORY BY Reyne Hirsch

Published: August 7, 2013

Sam Russell, known as a stylist to the stars has left Los Angeles for more charitable pastures.

His passion?  Helping women get back on their feet, in style.  After helping numerous celebrities’ look great on the red carpet, he decided his rolodex could be used to give back to the community.  He founded The Giving Closet and has been hard at work ever since.

This week, he partnered with non-profit “Suited for Change” to find someone in the DC area that could use his help.

Ivana spent many years hard at work until the economy shifted. Like many, Ivana found herself out of work which would last 3 years.  In 2010, Ivana came to “Suited for Change” in search of clothing for an upcoming interview. Her luck seemed to change and she landed a temporary job with The American Psychological Association and hoped it would eventually become permanent. 

Ivana’s hard work was not overlooked by her supervisors, and she was hired on in a part time capacity.  Recently, she came back to “Suited for Change” again in hopes of adding a few more articles of clothing to her closet.

This time, they had a surprise in store for her. Russell was able to acquire 50 outfits for her that ranged from weekend to week day attire, 11 pairs of shoes, 4 brand new handbags, costume jewelry, designer eyewear and an array of skincare…everything needed to put her mind at ease for quite some time.

When we reached out to Russell to learn more about “The Giving Closet” we learned this was his 7th recipient since the business was launched.  He also told us, “Truth is cool. And I truly believe that if we can "over-gift" our favorite celebrities and rock stars, then why can't we re-route a small portion of those goods to people in need?”

Russell’s client Stevie Wonder also played a small role in helping Ivana. Wonder had Gold & Wood Eyewear make 3 pair of sunglasses; one for him, one for Russell, and one for Ivana!

Sam, thank you for showing others the way!   Also, a big THANK YOU to those designers who donated their products to help make Ivana’s gifted closet so beautiful!

1. Adrianna Papell   adriannapapell.com

2. Single Dress  singledress.com

3. Sienna Rose  siennarose.com

4. Sole Society  solesociety.com

5. New Balance  newbalance.com

6. OWN Products  ownproducts.com

7. BeeCharming Jewelry bcharming.net

8. Vilaiwan Fine Jewelry vilaiwan.com

9. Koret Handbags  koretnewyork.com

10. Meridian Handbags meridian110.com

11. Gold and Wood Eye wear: gold-and-wood.com  


Learn more about Sam Russell and The Giving Closet:  http://wardrobedept.com/

Other Stories by Reyne Hirsch
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