With their new reality show, stylist Jason Bolden and his interior designer husband, Adair Curtis, are about to upstage their celebrity clientele—which includes everyone from Ava DuVernay, Alicia Keyes, and Gabrielle Union to Ryan Coogler, Mindy Kaling, and Janet Mock.
The eight-episode Netflix series Styling Hollywood follows the couple at work in their downtown Los Angeles home base JSN Studio as their staff stans and gags over successful looks for talent like Taraji P. Henson, and if that’s not reason enough to binge it, come for the keyhole you’ll get into their personal lives. One significant thread this maiden season involves a frank yet loving discussion about them having a baby.
The St. Louis, Mo.–raised Bolden, who was named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s “25 Most Powerful Stylists” last year, and the Bronx, N.Y.-raised Curtis married in New York in 2012. At the time, Curtis was VP of Communications for Russell Simmons’ Rush Communications, and Gabrielle Union, Bolden’s first high-profile client, was among the wedding guests (as was La La Anthony, who created clothing line 5th and Mercer with Bolden and featured his nuptials on an episode of her reality show, La La’s Full Court Life, in 2013).
Just in time for Styling Hollywood’s premiere, the busy couple spoke to NewNowNext about their entertaining and inspiring series, their client wish list, and who they’d never work with.
How did Styling Hollywood come together?
Adair Curtis: We’ve been asked in the past to participate in a reality show and docuseries many times. In this particular instance we had dinner with Carlos King, the producer of our show, and we really authentically came up with this idea and partnered with Netflix. We felt safe working with both parties because it came about organically.
Was anything off-limits when making the series?
Jason Bolden: What you see is in real time, and it’s our regular day-to-day life. When it comes to off-limits, I don’t know. I never thought about that because everything has been easy and smooth. Obviously you’re not coming into my bedroom at 11 at night! But it was easy and refreshing. We never had an opportunity to say, “We don’t want to do that” or “That doesn’t make sense.”
Did you worry the baby story line would become too personal or raw?
Bolden: No, again, everything was happening in real time. That was really happening. There was never a moment where we felt it was too raw or personal. It’s literally what happens every day when Adair is asking to have a baby.
Curtis: Because we’ve been on this journey of having a baby for a while now, exposing ourselves to the cameras and them catching everything, that happened organically. We’d gone down the road and talked about it so often, they captured a lot of it and it made its way into the show. We never really censored ourselves around our desire to start a family.
I read an interview about the show in which Jason said, “As two black gay men, it’s super important to help shift the planet… Adair and I are on the same journey as everyone else, searching for joy and balance.” Was there anything the cameras didn’t capture during this first season that you feel is important to add?
Bolden: I felt they touched on a lot! Some days I was like, “Do we have to? Can you leave now because I’m going to start screaming?”
Curtis: We touched on quite a few topics, and I don’t know if we could handle more. It’s a great first season.
You work with some really cool clients. Who’s on your wish list?
Bolden: I’m really happy right now with all my people, and I’m just so busy I can’t think about anybody else. After this I have to get on a plane, and I’m in New York for six hours, and then I get back on a plane and come back to L.A.
Curtis: On the design side, I would love, love, love to work with Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. They collect homes and have really exquisite taste. Working with clients with such an educated, beautiful perspective would be a dream.
Have you worked with Lee Daniels?
Curtis: We haven’t, but we would welcome that for sure. They just featured his house in Architectural Digest. Really beautifully done. He or his designer—someone has really good taste. And he owns it. So we would love to work with him.
What about a gig with the Obamas?
Bolden: Duh! Why didn’t you say that when you asked first? I think you nailed it on both interior design and styling! Absolutely!
Curtis: Who’s turning down the Obamas?
Alternately, what if Trump wanted you to redesign his Doral resort for the G8 next year or style Donald Jr. for the NRA gala?
Bolden: That’s a hard pass for us.
Are you guys addicted to any reality shows or docuseries?
Curtis: I love VH1’s T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle. Their kids are the best thing about the show. They’re the funniest.
Would you like to do a second season of Styling Hollywood?
Bolden: We would love a second season. Then you can finally meet the kid.
Ah, sounds like you guys end up pregnant…
Bolden: [slyly] I don’t know!
Styling Hollywood is streaming now on Netflix.