What does a fashion stylist do?
A Fashion stylist is a consultant who helps project the image the client wants the public to see by advising the client about their dressing style and overall presentation. Usually, celebrities and public figures hire fashion stylists to change the impact of their image.
Stylists decide the clothing and accessories of their clients for public appearances, political campaigns, photoshoots, films, television shows, music videos, concerts, print and television advertisements, fashion shows, etc.
Other than consulting, Fashion stylists may even do personal shopping for them, revamping their client’s wardrobe with clothes and other accessories, wherever necessary. They may also advise the clients on their make-up and hairstyles.
Different types of Fashion stylist jobs
A celebrity stylist is someone who helps celebrities to style their public persona. They should be aware of the current trends, the relationship between a celebrity and any particular brand he or she is associated with, and the mood and the image they want to project. The celebrity stylist will help in developing customized clothing along with the fashion designers for the public appearance of their celebrity client like photoshoots, award ceremonies, important parties etc. A successful stylist can help develop the celebrity into a brand name.
Fashion stylists can work as editorial stylists for brands, advertising agencies, magazines and webzines for their photoshoots. It’s their job to decide what the photographed person or the model will wear for the photoshoot. They have to arrange for the accessories and props as well as the clothes.
The stylists will work with PR persons of different clothing brands, showrooms, boutiques to access everything that they want for the photoshoot. They arrange all the garments and return them dry washed after each session.
Skills needed for a Fashion stylist to be successful
As a Fashion stylist makes public figures look presentable and fashionable, he or she has to be aware of all the fashion trends of the period. They should attend fashion shows, various fashion industry-related events, brand showrooms, do research on various vendors, and also keep the clients informed about current trends and styles.
They should also have some idea of human psychology which will help them understand what their client wants. They should study the personality of the client or know the brief and work accordingly in a cordial manner.
A successful fashion stylist need not have a degree in the field but it helps if they have a foundation in fashion education. They should be well-read in fashion magazines, know tailoring, fashion designing principles, and color harmonies. A detailed understanding of the human body and how to mask problem areas and project the best features and assets help hugely.
They should have strong networking skills to arrange the clothing and other accessories at the right time and place. They should coordinate effectively with their clients, fashion designers, boutique owners, and industry professionals. They should work hand in hand with hairstylists and make-up artists.
They should know all the nuances of the fashion world and all the terms associated with fashion. They closely work along with fashion designers.
Fashion stylists mostly source clothing from fashion designers and fashion boutiques. They often work with designer samples that are displayed during fashion presentations. They also collaborate with fashion designers to customize clothing for their high-profile clients.
Fashion stylists need good people skills. They have to work in a cordial manner with fashion designers, boutique owners and other suppliers. They also have to work closely with photographers, hairstylists, makeup artists to decide on a look desired for a particular event.
They should have strong communication skills. They will have to present the fashion’s latest trends in an effective manner. They should be able to convince the client that what they are proposing will help them. They should be able to provide fashion tips and advice best suited for the client
A very important skill a stylist needs is planning. They usually have to work inside a tight wardrobe budget and for this a lot of planning needs to be done in advance.
And most importantly they should be willing to put in long hours. Preparations for the final work including sourcing clothes and negotiations with different brands and vendors and doing the paper work are the least exciting part of a stylist’s job but they need to be done. It can take many hours of work for the final result to be appreciated.
How to be a fashion stylist
To be a fashion stylist experience and aesthetics counts more than an educational degree in fashion designing, communication, merchandising, styling, etc. It is one’s passion and creative potential that make a good fashion stylist.
Many fashion stylists start their career as an assistant to already established names. This gives them ample opportunities to gain experience about how the work is done, how to take care of the dresses and accessories, how to communicate with different people etc.
Building a great portfolio is the first step after educating oneself as if this can open doors. For this you may have to do work for pennies at first but this can result in increasing the pages of your portfolio and pave the way for success.
Some of the famous fashion stylists of Hollywood are Tom Erebout and Sandra Amador, Ilaria Urbinati, Rebecca Corbin Murray, Elizabeth Stewart, Petra Flannery. Kate Young, Cristina Ehrlich, Erica Cloud, Maeve Reilly are some of the top celebrity fashion stylists.
Updated on November 3, 2022 by Sarina Tariq