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What does a Fashion Stylist do? 

  • A Fashion Stylist is one of the most popular emerging professions in the fashion world globally and is the job title of someone who selects the clothing and accessories for published editorial features, print or television advertising campaigns, music videos, concert performances, and any public appearances made by celebrities, models or other public figures.
  • Fashion Stylists are often part of a larger creative team assembled by the client, collaborating with the fashion designer, photographer/director, hair stylist and makeup artist to put together a particular look or theme for the specific project. 
  • Fashion Stylists generally borrow and return clothing and accessories from fashion boutiques and directly from fashion designers. Items can also be bought if funds are available. Most boutiques and designers will want you to leave a deposit or credit card details in case the garment or accessory becomes damaged while on loan. 
Fashion Stylists may perform the following tasks:
  • Select items to appear in fashion magazines/media
  • Select clothing for TV personalities, celebrities or the wardrobe for film or TV characters.
  • Source fashion items and props for photographic shoots or film/tv personalities, or product placement in fashion magazines/media.
  • Advise on photographic approaches and the selection of locations, props, clothing, models, makeup artists, photographers, hair stylists and the overall look for photo shoots.
  • Advise and direct the photography of items and clothing selected for promotion.
  • Liaise with fashion designers, retailers, the media, models/model agencies, photographers, makeup artists, hairdressers, beauty therapists, personal trainers and the media.
  • Organise and compare fashion parades and events.
  • Write articles on the latest fashion trends.
  • Provide fashion direction to buyers, merchandisers and/or product developers/designers.
  • Speak at events about image and fashion trends.
  • Provide makeup and hair styling services to clients or complete makeup and hair styling on location for photo shoots.
Andrea Lieberman 

Patricia Field

What does a Celebrity Stylist do?
  • A Celebrity Stylist works with his or her clients in many situations and capacities, from red carpet events and commercial shoots to shopping and salon trips and holds many roles, such as fashion consultant, personal shopper and psychologist. 
  • No matter the type of clients, the main job of the Celebrity Stylist is to make clients look good including fashion image,  hair and makeup, daily clothing and formal wardrobe. Many Celebrity Stylists not only have backgrounds in fashion design, they also have expertise in hair styling and makeup artistry. 
  • Celebrity Stylists are utilized when celebrities buy their day-to-day wardrobes, including jeans, shoes and accessories. They also are consulted when a celebrity is choosing an outfit for a media event, such as a fashion show, photo shoot, movie premiere or press interview. Some celebrities use the Stylist as a consultant, and others prefer the stylist to purchase their entire wardrobes. These types of Stylists find flattering looks and styles to help their clients look fashionable and set new trends.
  • Many Celebrity Stylists receive free products and couture samples, and they get invited to elite, private parties and events as well as runway fashion shows. Successful stylists have the privilege of being able to influence pop culture and design.
  • However there are downsides to being a Celebrity Stylist.   Celebrities might act unappreciative or be emotionally draining, and if the client goes out in public without taking the stylist’s advice, the stylist still could be blamed for the bad outfit or appearance. A few Celebrity Stylists are as famous as their clients, but most stylists will always remain in the background and often not receive the credit for their ground breaking fashion trend ideas.
  • Celebrity Stylists may collaborate directly with designers to produce custom clothing for celebrity clients or editorials; this is common for Celebrity Stylists whose clients attend awards shows, and for Fashion Editors at top magazines.

A Fashion Stylist can also be referred to as a Wardrobe Stylist, Fashion Editor, or Celebrity Stylist. 
 Fashion Stylist at work 
Fashion Stylists can work in the following areas:
  • Editorial Styling: involves conceptualizing and organizing the photo shoots for the pages in fashion magazines and other media publications. This may also involve selecting items to appear in fashion product pages for magazines and writing articles on personal style, fashion trends etc. Here you will find yourself working closely with photographers, art directors, designers, artist managers, and fashion editors. Print assignments include fashion magazines, publicity shoots, album covers, advertising, and movie posters.
  • Video/Commercial Styling: involves styling models or actors/actresses for advertising commercials, film clips,  industrial and educational videos.  This could involve anything from selecting the wardrobe items to coordinating the shoot - selecting the location, models, makeup artists and even the photographer. 
  • Television: involves style actors, talent, live broadcasts, news and current affairs, breakfast television, sitcoms, soap operas, dramas, styling show hosts and visiting talent.
  • Wardrobe Styling: involves working on film, television, concert or theatre productions, (sometimes under the direction of the Costume Designer), developing the look and/or selecting the wardrobe items for the actors/actresses, musicians/performers, dancers or television personalities (i.e. newsreaders). Wardrobe Styling is often considered a form of Show Styling.
  • Show styling: involves organizing events and fashion parades. This could involve public speaking/comparing, working backstage at fashion parades, selecting models, organizing the running order, selecting garments and/or accessories, selecting the venue, developing the event concept, dealing with the media, photographers, and PR companies.
  • Live performance: involves styling musicians and other performers for concerts, special events, road tours.
  • Celebrity styling - Corporate Styling: involves advising companies on their corporate uniforms, providing talks/seminars to staff on personal appearance, in-house magazine publications and more.
  • Corporate: involves styling company executives and/or styling annual reports.
  • Personal shopping: involves selecting clothes for a client.
  • Runway styling: involves styling for fashion parades
  • Catalogue styling: involves working with designers or businesses on developing promotional materials such as product catalogues. Catalogue Styling involves Merchandise Styling as listed below.
  • Retail fashion styling: involves styling retail customers in-store.
  • Prop and set styling: involves finding and buying the props that surround the products featured in print advertisements.
  • Photo Styling - involves styling any photo shoot and includes editorial styling, commercial styling and catalogue styling.
  • Merchandise Styling: involves creating displays of products in retail stores or for photo shoots.

Skills of the Successful Fashion Stylist:
  • You MUST have a passion for fashion and a keen eye for detail, as well as be up to date with the latest fashion trends and colour schemes and be familiar with a huge range of fashion labels.
  • You MUST learn  how to conceal body flaws and use accessories and props to your advantage. An understanding of body and face shapes will also be a necessity.
  • You MUST have have patience and not let your ego rule, and be creative and able to think outside the box.
  • You MUST be highly organized, have the ability to work to a schedule, be self motivated, trustworthy, honest, reliable and have a sense of humour.
  • You MUST expect to work for next to nothing in the beginning of your career but then know what you are worth later in your career. You also MUST have the ability to learn from other experienced stylists, work long and demanding hours, do seemingly boring but necessary tasks and at the end of the day have a positive attitude.
  • You MUST have a great and well presented folio of work to present to prospective clients, and if you are good enough, find an Agency to represent you and help find you work. A professional looking website will also be an advantage.

NB: A Fashion Stylist is distinct from an Image Consultant or a Colour Consultant.  An Image Consultant is an expert in both colour and line and may work with business professionals or individuals, as opposed to celebrities in particular. An Image Consultant may also provide services such as personal shopping, restructuring a client's entire wardrobe, reorganizing a client's closet, or other duties relating to the client's personal lifestyle.  A Fashion Stylist is also distinct from a Costume Designer -  the person who designs and creates the costumes for fictional characters in film, television or theatre.  

 

Giovanna Battaglia Fashion Stylist interview
Behind the scenes with NY Fashion Stylist Rod Novoa