“I’ve always loved pretty things, whether they’re in nature, fashion or beauty,” says the founder of The Wall Group, a super-agency representing makeup artists, stylists, manicurists and hairstylists.
Trust the founder and CEO of The Wall Group to know the secret to a viral red-carpet moment. After all, Brooke Wall represents the artists responsible for putting Florence Pugh in her “revenge dress” for the 2022 Venice International Film Festival and for Kristen Stewart wearing shorts to the 2022 Oscars. Below, the Canadian-born creative talks about her roster of international hair and makeup artists and stylists and how Vancouver trained her eye to see beauty everywhere.
Congratulations on winning the Vanguard Award at last year’s Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards [CAFA]! What does this achievement mean to you?
It means a lot. I’m Canadian, so being recognized in my place of birth and homeland is such an honour.
Let’s start at the beginning. You were born in Toronto and raised in Vancouver, and now you live in New York. How have those two Canadian cities influenced your fashion and beauty journey?
I’ve always loved pretty things, whether they’re in nature, fashion or beauty. And when you’re surrounded by beauty — like I was, growing up in British Columbia — your eye becomes very developed.
You started your career working with famous hairstylists like Oribe Canales and John Frieda. What sparked the idea for The Wall Group?
I saw a demand for another level of representation for that type of talent. There needed to be more people surrounding these artists with a vision of how far they could go. The most famous hair and makeup stylists were represented by photo agencies or something similar at the time. But they required legal representation and good business people around them to better understand the arc of their careers if they wanted to develop their own beauty lines. And those resources didn’t exist in the ’90s.
Did you anticipate how big the styling, hair and makeup industry would become?
I did, because when I started working with people like John Frieda, Oribe Canales, Laura Mercier and Kevyn Aucoin, there would be like 25 different jobs available but very few individuals who could perform at such a high level. So I could see that they would become a more valuable commodity in the future.
How do you decide which artists to take on, and have the criteria changed since 2000, when you founded The Wall Group?
They have changed slightly with the advent of social media. You must now be good in front of the camera and draw an audience. But certain things haven’t changed. When we interview artists, we’re looking at their ability and personality — where did they learn their craft, have they studied the history of beauty and can they create looks from different genres? The list goes on.
Has social media changed the way these creatives approach their profession?
I don’t think it’s changed this; there’s just more pressure to perform, because, through social media, more people will see their work. Everyone wants to develop their brand, so they’re more cognizant of consistency and which looks will become recognizable.
So what separates a good red-carpet look from a great one?
It’s almost like a perfect storm. [Laughs] Many different elements have to come together for it to be a great moment. Our stylists are keenly aware of who they’re working with and the story that that individual needs to tell on the red carpet. If you can do that consistently, you can win frequently. Just don’t ask me to pick favourites!
You wore Erdem to the CAFA awards ceremony. How would you describe your style when you’re not on a red carpet?
I would describe my style as casual formal with a twist of Canadian — because I do love a flannel shirt. [Laughs] I think that when you’re in the industry and you deal with red carpets and events daily, you don’t have an interest in spending time digging through a million different looks. You know who you are, what you’re comfortable with and how to present the best version of yourself.
This article first appeared in FASHION’s March 2023 issue. Find out more here.