After Styling DJ Khaled for 16 Years, See What Keeps Terrell Jones Inspired

By Gabrielle Pharms | November 12, 2021

After 16 years of styling DJ Khaled, you can say that stylist to the stars Terrell Jones is an expert on what the hip-hop icon dons on all occasions. Even outside of curating Khaled’s fashionable looks, Jones has styled for acclaimed rap legend Fat Joe, the multi-talented gem Tracee Ellis Ross, Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige, and others.

While some celebrity stylists will say “beauty is pain,” - Jones believes on the contrary when he styles his clients. “I try not to over-style them, and comfort is one thing I like to keep it into account because if they're not comfortable, then they're not going to really be able to exude the style or the image that I actually want them,” Jones says. “So, I always try to keep comfort as one of my main things, then personal individuality. I never want that to get lost in the midst of styling. I always want the true them to show up in the midst of styling.”

This plush-meets-comfort mindset of Jones isn’t mere happenstance. Both comfort and luxury will come into play with the release of his men’s luxury sportswear collection slated to debut next year. “Prior to COVID, I was going in a totally different direction; it was just luxe, luxe, luxe, luxe. So, in COVID, I realized people were really leaning towards comfort, and the combination of comfort and style really actually mattered,” Jones mentions.

Times have changed. Even just ten years ago, sweatpants and hoodies were de rigueur of slumming it. Jones adds, “But obviously, with COVID happening, I think people – to lift their own spirits – actually went to getting dressed up, but women weren't wearing heels. If they were wearing heels, they wore heels with sweatpants. Guys were no longer really wearing suits or shoes but were wearing a nice hoodie and a great pair of sneakers. So, the pandemic is what sort of helped me mesh both where you can actually be extremely stylish and also extremely comfortable.”

Until the time comes when we can indulge in Jones’ collection, we take heart in knowing the future is gleaming and bedecked in cozy must-haves. Listed below are some of our favorite looks styled by Jones, alongside his thoughts on the inspiration.

Terrell Jones in New York City, January 2021

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My mood definitely inspires my look. It all depends on how I'm feeling that particular day. Then, I take weather into account. I also take into account what I'm attending that day. That's how I determine what my style is going to be. This was a fall day in New York City. This coat, I designed, and I felt neutral with the pop of color. I felt like I wanted to blend.

DJ Khaled at the 60th Grammy Awards, January 2018

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It’s so interesting. We had just gotten off the stage. That was actually Khaled’s performance look. So, he had just performed “Wild Thoughts” for the very first time with Rihanna. I want to say this was the Grammys. So, the colors we were going for were like very rich, sultry jewel tones, and things that sort of kind of popped. The whole scenery was very spicy. So, what I chose for Khaled, obviously, as a man of his size, I have to always pick very detailed. So, where my spice came in from was color. So, I chose to go for cinnamon and very rich cranberry velvet, so we didn't lose its luxe. So, it was a color that had a little sensuality to it so that it would go with the “Wild Thoughts” set.

You want to put some kind of thought into it. So, I'm thinking of the set design, lighting, background, or other artists that Khaled’s performing with or any client that I'm actually working with. I try to keep things as cohesive as possible. I like to call it “considerate style.” So, you want to be considerate of the set design, the props, the dancers, the background, and the band. I feel like it helps make an overall picture a little bit more beautiful instead of just a hodgepodge of just labels or whatever you just felt like doing.

DJ Khaled and his wife Nicole, Dolce&Gabbana x Khaled Khaled Collection, July 2021

What went into the look, obviously crediting Dolce for a lot of it, but this is just a combination of who Khaled and Nicole are. Nicole is our queen. She's a butterfly. So, we love her because everything blossoms, everything blooms, and everything's just absolutely amazing when she’s around. Purple is her favorite color, and purple is a color that means royalty. We paired the leopard with it because leopard is Nicole's favorite print – and Khaled loves that. There’s leopard throughout their home, and obviously, purple is throughout their home. Khaled loves flowers. He loves his garden, and he loves flowers. He loves nature. So, when we did this, we thought of personalities and transferred them into print and art. This is what we were able to make. A lot of the inspiration came from the previous work that I did with Khaled. All my work throughout the years is what has inspired these collections.

Fat Joe, February 2021

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At this particular moment, Joe had just gotten this blue Rolls-Royce truck that he was sitting in. This is Joe's favorite color. So, I saw this look on the runway, and it looked like this. This design was sort of like shattered glass or cracks in the ground, but they were blue. So, I wanted to match him to his car because he had just gotten this car, and it’s his favorite color. So, I just thought very rich, very sleek, and Joe had lost a lot of weight, and I never really put him in jean suits. So, I felt like we'd be able to show a different Joe. So, it was just really turning a new leaf.

Tracee Ellis Ross, VIBE Vixen (Fall 2006)

That was a really intense job. For this particular, I was going for sexy, chic, and elegant. So, I wanted it to be sexy without actually showing anything. So, I was chasing an illusion. Tracee has a gorgeous body. So, when I saw this dress, I thought of her filling it out in the sense of a silhouette of Tracee – so you actually get to see it, but you honestly can't. It’s so funny because we had to run out and search for these little boy shorts because obviously, you would have been able to see everything. So, once we got the shorts, it was the perfect cherry on top of sexy but super classy at the same time.

Photography by: Steven Moran