So You Want To Become A Fashion Stylist

A fashion stylist is a job where you get to give advice and/or execute a certain look for a person. The look can be according to a pre-determined theme for instance, an awards ceremony, a charity dinner or for a socialite event.

Fashion stylists can work in many medias from print publications, film and TV, runway styling or as a personal stylist consulting by appointment. The best place to begin is by educating yourself about the differences between them.

  • Film and TV is about creating characters.
  • Print, video and runway is about creating a look for today–what’s happening’ now and for the near future.
  • Personal styling depends on your clients tastes and what they’re comfortable in, most of the time they don’t know so you need to be a good judge of character along with your sense of style.

Who is a Fashion Stylist?

A stylist is an expert who uses art and science to make people and objects look good in order to make a statement. To become a stylist you must have a passion for the fashion industry and be able to research and understand the latest trends. Having an eye for color and a feel for textiles and garment construction is helpful.

Fashion stylists need to make hard decisions

Envision putting makeup on Angelina Jolie or Heath Ledger for their latest movies, styling Britney Spears comeback tour maybe or giving fashion advice personally to the top socialite in New York City.

Those that will avail of your stylist’s services will admire you for your eye and sense of balance, detail and beauty. Most importantly, they will respect you because you will make them feel beautiful inside and out.

What kind of jobs can I get as a stylist?

Well, more than you can imagine. Here’s a partial list of various professions that require stylists –

  • Photo Studios
  • Theater
  • TV sets
  • Film sets
  • Modeling
  • Advertising Companies
  • Magazine Publishers
  • Book Publishers
  • Fashion Houses
  • Haute Couture Houses
  • Music Industry

There are plenty of fashion stylists who make hundreds of dollars a day and more. A step-by-step method to become a stylist could be outlined as below –

  • Build a portfolio
  • Work with good photographers
  • Get signed to an agency and
  • Set a day rate

Getting your foot in the door

Building a portfolio takes time. It takes about a year to two before you may begin to feel confident that your portfolio can compete with the others. It’s a work in progress. Don’t get discouraged.

Assisting is a great way to learn without the risk of losing a job. It’s an opportunity to get a first hand look at what goes on during a shoot or prior to a ceremony. Assisting can also lead to personal work.

As the public becomes more fashion conscious, simply wearing the right labels is no longer enough. The hair, make-up and accessories are part of the gig and a stylist needs to be an expert in all those things. So if you work in the Film and TV industry and a celebrity goes for an award ceremony they will get in touch with you and start planning weeks before for what they’re going to wear.

Stylists can have tremendous influence over the way the public views fashion. They can develop looks to inspire beauty, creativity or even a specific mood. They can also create sex appeal as well as “shock” appeal simply by wardrobing their client in a certain way.

Being employed as a fashion stylist is often not a full time job, but rather a freelance career. Stylists often develop a client base through word of mouth and work on an “as needed basis” from project to project.

In fashion, a stylist’s role is critical to the success of a photo shoot. The stylist is responsible for assembling the apparel and accessories to be worn by each model. Many stylists even determine the hairstyle and make-up that should be used for a shoot.

Successful stylists often enjoy V.I.P treatment with front row seats at fashion shows including free clothes and flights. You may even get to hang out with the world’s most stylish people; some are celebrities, some are members of royal families and some are “ordinary people” with discriminating tastes.

If you are considering a career as a fashion stylist then your best bet would be to network as much as you can while you’re learning. It’s the contacts that will get you a job, not how much powder you apply to a nose.