Everyone has a clothing silhouette that makes you feel more confident and able to accomplish anything. Once you find it, it's like your secret weapon," says Leesa Evans, stylist to stars like Amy Schumer, Claire Danes, and Rashida Jones.
That's how Evans won over Schumer: The two met when Evans outfitted the actress during the Trainwreck press tour in 2015, and she taught Schumer the magic of a power silhouette. "She had this real epiphany of, Wow, I actually like clothing now, because I understand it can make me feel good—and anything that makes you feel good is good for your life," says Evans. After Schumer gifted sessions with her new favorite stylist to her friends and family (celebrity stylists typically charge more than $1,000 a day), Evans' husband asked, "What if you and Amy teamed up and brought this to more people?"
So, that year, they launched Stylefund, a not-for-profit that educates women who can't afford professional stylists on finding the best clothing for their bodies, no matter their budget. "Regardless of someone's age or economic level or their size, getting dressed is this thing we have in common. Because we have to do it every day, it can be a struggle," says Evans. "I have billionaire clients and clients whom I've donated my time to, and there is no difference."
Stylefund is the duo's scrappy side hustle—Evans spends anywhere from five to 20 hours a week on the nonprofit, and she and Schumer chat a few times a month to brainstorm event ideas. That first year, Stylefund worked with Goodwill of Southern California to put together ensembles for more than 50 women reentering the workforce (Evans, Schumer, and 10 additional stylists led the event); in 2016, Barneys New York kicked off a social-media campaign called the #LovePeaceJoyProject to help Stylefund raise money; and Evans recently joined Community Partners, a nonprofit consultancy, to learn how to expand her organization. Stylefund has also transformed into a training platform: Evans plans to start meeting this year with sales associates at retailers—from high-end department stores to thrift shops—to school them in her silhouette method. "It has been my greatest joy to know that this is not for any one person," she says, "but for every person."
"Regardless of someone's age or economic level or their size, getting dressed is this thing we have in common."
Evans and Schumer are currently working with Barneys on an L.A.-based event for women in their late teens and early 20s. "High school and college is such a coming-of-age time," says Evans. "You're forming ideas about yourself and how you're going to present yourself to the world."
At a Stylefund styling session, expect R&B playing in the background, lots of verbal encourage- ment, many mirror selfies—and to leave with a massive smile. "You can't fabricate this thing," says Evans. "It's legitimately changing somebody's view of herself."
This article appears in the September issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.