Hair stylist to Marla Maples: No free services in exchange for Inauguration Day ‘exposure’

The Washington Post
Emily Heil

Though Donald Trump and his family project an image of boundless wealth, a Washington-based hairstylist says the president-elect’s second wife tried to get out of paying her to style her tresses and those of her 23-year-old daughter, Tiffany Trump, for Inauguration Day.

Freelance stylist Tricia Kelly says she was contacted by a longtime client with ties to the Trumps about a job coifing Marla Maples and the younger Trump daughter for the big event. Kelly expressed her interest and she explained her rates — a $150 fee to travel in addition to the cost of her services — but Maples, through her assistant, balked. “I was told they had a $300 budget for both of them for hair and makeup,” Kelly says.

After some back and forth, Kelly agreed to be paid $200 total and a makeup artist $150 to get the women camera-ready. That’s when Maples’s assistant came up with another proposal: Would Kelly and the makeup artist be willing to provide their services for free? In exchange, they would get “exposure,” and Maples would mention them on her social-media feeds, the assistant told her.

Kelly declined. “I was stunned,” she said. “I told them . . . I work for a fee, not for free.”

For starters, she typically shuns such exposure of her work with political types, so as not to appear partisan, since her clients include prominent Republicans and Democrats. And Kelly, who says she typically prides herself on her discretion, was reluctant to speak out about the booking gone south. But in the end, disgusted at what she called “entitled” behavior, she decided to share her story publicly.

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