Meet AJ Gibbson, Nigerian-American Stylist Behind Some of Lil Nas X and Chloe Bailey’s Most Iconic Looks

Alexander-Julian “AJ” Gibbson, a Nigerian-American creative director, entered the fashion industry with the goal of styling models, but he ended up being the most sought-after by celebrities on a global scale. Laverne Cox, the first openly transgender person nominated for an Emmy, singer Chloe Bailey, rapper Lil Nas X, and many others are among the celebrities he has dressed.

AJ, for example, styled Bailey for her Flaunt Magazine cover photo. The singer had previously stated in media reports that she had lost confidence in displaying her body. But it seems that AJ regained her confidence in one of her major cover shots.

According to Madamenoire, her admirers went crazy after social media was flooded with different colors of images from Flaunt magazine. Celebrities such as Marsai Martin, SZA, Snoh Alegra, and Jordyn Woods praised her appearance on the cover photographs on social media. The singer appeared in various dimly lit scenarios wearing jaw-dropping clothes and gorgeous haircuts.

AJ also made headlines when he dressed Cox in a stunning floor-length gown made of kanekalon braiding hair. When Cox was prepping for a Paper Magazine cover shoot in 2020, the decision to style him was made on the spur of the moment. He spent two days crafting the mermaid-shaped gown, which he designed using seven packs of bleach-blonde hair.

According to media reports, AJ expressed a desire to do something unusual for the actor. He knew the process would be difficult because hair readily entangles and takes man hours to separate each stretch from the next. His initial try at using the first hair was a complete failure, but he persevered and brought out the imagery he had projected in his head for the hair garment. He did really kill the show, as he had predicted. According to Allure, his expertise as a stylist became apparent, providing credence to why he is the chosen choice of many celebs.

These are just a few of the celebrities AJ has dressed in order to increase their self-esteem. AJ’s talent has known no bounds when he first entered the fashion world, from his engagement in Howard University’s homecoming fashion show to styling singer Lucky Daye for his Candy drip tour. Raised in a Nigerian household in Houston, Texas, he had originally planned a career as a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. But he had a natural flair for fashion and elegance, which led him to launch his clothing brand at the age of 16. He oversaw his personal website and also handled arranged photo shoots. In the thick of all, he couldn’t get away from the styling component, which had always piqued his curiosity.

After his internship at XXL Magazine in 2012, the dream became a reality. The director was impressed after he completed his first picture session and provided an eight-page thread as well as the concept, and he assured him of a position after graduation. As a pre-law student at Howard University, AJ changed his major to public relations and went on to intern at Flaunt Magazine and Fendi, where he landed his first job.

With a growing fashion brand, it’s no surprise that the Nigerian-American creative director was named to the 40 Under 40 list of achievers. According to the Huffington Post, he attributed his growth and achievements to his Nigerian upbringing, where style took center stage in every activity of his life, whether he was dressing up for church or social occasions.

“Styling is, in large part, literally just problem-solving. What is the situation at hand and what is required of me? And how can I fill that out? After I figure out how to make it happen, then I start applying my own style and my own flare to it,” AJ said of his work to the news site.

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