Gilby-area woman Molly Dickson recognized as top stylist in fashion industry by The Hollywood Reporter

Her work has taken her to the global fashion capitals of Paris, Milan, New York and Tokyo. Working with country musicians has brought her much more often to Nashville, which she loves, she said.

Molly Dickson (lower right) is pictured with two of her clients, Sydney Sweeney and Sadie Sink, on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter.

GRAND FORKS – Molly Dickson, who grew up on a farm near Gilby, North Dakota, has been named one of the 25 Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood by The Hollywood Reporter.

“I was completely shocked,” she said, when she got word of the designation. “It was pretty special.”

“This has been a career goal of mine since I got into fashion,” she said.

Dickson, who graduated from Midway High School in 2005, went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in advertising at the University of Minnesota in 2009.

As a celebrity stylist, she works primarily with actors and musicians to create complete, head-to-toe looks for their appearances at special events, media engagements and other star-studded occasions.


“I style them for the press,” Dickson said in a recent phone interview.

Although she doesn’t generally talk about her clients, she did mention several — because of their exposure on social media — who are recognizable to the younger generation: Sadie Sink, from “Stranger Things”; Sydney Sweeney, who appears in “The White Lotus”; Kelsea Ballerini, country pop singer and songwriter; and Little Big Town, the band.

Dickson helps these and other celebrities choose, not only fashion-forward outfits to dazzle onlookers, but also every accessory for the ensemble — from shoes to the purse to jewelry, and even undergarments, she said.

In her work, she would be responsible for those “million-dollar necklaces” you see high-profile stars sporting as they walk the red carpet, she said.

Although the stylists’ work is on full display at such galas, the stylist is not.

“You’re mainly behind the scenes,” Dickson said. But social media platforms have made professionals like her more visible.

“With social media, you kind of get a little bit more recognition. … Before social media no one really knew any stylists. This just shines a light on all the hard work that we’ve all done,” she said.

And, although her career oozes glamour, it is demanding work.


When the Herald interviewed her recently, Dickson was at home in Los Angeles, preparing for a work trip to Australia, where one of her clients is filming, she said. She’s practically a fixture at LAX.

“I’m on a plane at least two times a week,” she said.

Her work has taken her to the global fashion capitals of Paris, Milan, New York and Tokyo. Working with country musicians has brought her much more often to Nashville, which she loves, she said.

“It reminds me a lot of the Midwest, and everyone is so, so nice.”

The stylist, who owns her own business, Molly Dickson LLC, is “glued to her phone,” she said. “I also don’t sleep.”

Staying at the top of her game requires paying close attention to fashion magazines and other publications and noting the emerging styles, silhouettes and cutting-edge trends.

Building clientele

Similar to other professionals, Dickson attracts clients through referrals, oftentimes through hair and makeup artists, she said.

“It’s all very word-of-mouth,” she said.


In the initial sit-down meeting, Dickson seeks to learn as much as she can about the client’s personal style and preferences, using photos to bounce around fashion ideas and suggestions.

From these conversations, she interprets the insights “in a way that elevates them,” she said.

She works with a range of fashion designers to assemble “racks and racks of clothes” for the client to consider and choose from.

“Imagine. It’s like a wedding,” Dickson said of the process of dressing a star for an event. “There are lots of fittings.”

Of all the exciting — and challenging — aspects of her work, working with a designer to create a custom outfit is what Dickson enjoys most, she said. For example, she was working with Mindy Kaling, who “wanted a young, cool, sexy look" for an appearance on “The Office.”

“We chose to go with Vera Wang,” a renowned designer, Dickson said. Exchanging design ideas and sketches, “we went back and forth, and they flew to LA” to complete the garment for Kaling.

Career shift

Early on, Dickson’s career plans took a sharp turn when — two weeks before college graduation — she announced to her parents, Jill and Mark Dickson, that she definitely did not want a career in advertising.

Against parental advice, Dickson used the $300 she had squirreled away to fly to New York City, where she accepted an internship.


That experience led to a position with the Marie Claire publication, an internship with the PR department at Gucci, and, later, to a seven-year post with stylist Leslie Fremar, whose clients have included Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore and Jennifer Connelly, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Fremar, who has been named the No. 1 celebrity stylist by The Reporter, “introduced me to the fashion world,” Dickson recalled.

Alongside her success in the field of fashion and the lofty industry recognition, she treasures the few months she was able to spend at home at her family’s farm during the start of the pandemic in 2020, when — like other businesses — the fashion world shut down.

She had started her own business in New York City and “was styling on my own,” she said. “I thought, I have to get out of New York. I was scared; I thought they were going to shut the island down; I didn’t want to get stuck in my tiny little apartment.”

Her extended stay at the farm “was such a blessing to turn the phone off and actually spend time with my family, because, mind you, before when I was working, I was answering my emails and calls on Christmas Eve, because award season was right after Christmas, so I was never really present at home — so COVID was a blessing in that sense.”

She remembered that starting her own freelance business was nerve-racking.

“To lose the security of having a paycheck every two weeks to going full freelance, it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done,” Dickson recalled. “But, luckily, I had the support of my family, and they kind of knew it was time for me to spread my wings. So they kind of pushed me to go off on my own.”

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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