Celebrity stylist Trish Townsend is one of the Nashville music industry’s most influential behind-the-scenes players. Throughout her career, Townsend’s eye for fashion and ability to translate personal style into public image have made her the go-to stylist for stars like Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, Alan Jackson, Keith Anderson, Brian Setzer, John Rich, Blake Shelton, Montgomery Gentry, Tim McGraw, and many more. “When I started out, the work of a stylist was not as prevalent as it is today,” Townsend recalls. “As artists’ images have become more important, the value of the celebrity stylist has grown. We set the tone of the artist’s personality and the direction of their music as it relates to the fashion of the moment or of the past.”
As a small child, Townsend could usually be bribed into good grades or good behavior with a pair of shoes or a great bag. Even the thought of a wallet would get her going. She began sewing her own clothes in high school, and went on to the University of Mississippi, where she studied arts and clothing construction. After graduation, Townsend got a job in international banking in Nashville. As a credit analyst, she was always assigned to music companies because of the way she dressed. With her edgy, provocative, rock-inspired look, “It became obvious that I fit into the music community here in Nashville,” she explains. “I was then exposed to all kinds of opportunities in the music world, and the opportunity I landed on was FASHION.”
Townsend’s first stylist gig was at The Nashville Network, where she began by styling talk, cooking, and talent shows. She moved on to styling artists like The Forrester Sisters, Highway 101 and Travis Tritt in the early 1990’s. Since then, Townsend has had the opportunity to style clients for music videos, award shows like the Grammys, Academy of Country Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards, CMT Music Awards, American Music Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards, as well as special events including Fashion Rocks, Movies Rock, Kennedy Center Honors, July 4th in Washington, American Idol shows and finales, the Pulitzer Prize ceremony and more. She has also styled ad campaigns for Target, Volt, Saturn, and Tennessee Valley Authority, and has worked with VH1, Country Music Television (CMT) and CMT Canada.
Most recently, Townsend has singlehandedly made country superstar Carrie Underwood a bona-fide style icon. A fixture on best-dressed lists of all kinds, Underwood is sure to represent Townsend with immense style and class at the 2009 Grammy Awards, where she will wear a custom Trish Townsend original design. Showcasing Townsend’s unique ability to craft an outward style persona around an artist’s natural personality and flair, Underwood makes it easy to see that in the world of celebrity styling, Townsend is a superstar in her own right.