Tips to Becoming a Fashion Stylist
I am often asked “how did you become a fashion stylist?” Although I have been in the fashion industry for over a decade, my road to becoming a stylist was a curvy one. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology with numerous internships under my belt I assisted as a fashion stylist. I enjoyed styling, but I didn’t realize that it was my true calling until after working full-time as a fashion publicist and freelancing on and off as a wardrobe stylist. I heard a quote once “When it’s all said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it’s not so much which road you take but how you take it.” There’s no picture perfect and clear way to becoming a fashion stylist, but there are helpful tips I can give you to put you on the right track.
1. Attend a fashion college or university with a fashion program – Most fashion colleges offer styling courses and the trend is slowly making it’s way into fashion programs across the country. If you choose not to take the courses it’s still very beneficial to attend these types of schools. You will get a better understanding of the industry and have access to more desirable internships.
2. Intern – Although it’s not fun working for free, this is probably one of the most valuable tips I can give you. Not only will you be getting hands on experience as an intern, but you will build relationships with people in the field and also whom may hire you after. I interned in the fashion editorial department at shopping magazine Shop Etc. in NYC where I frequently assisted on set for fashion editorials. Once the magazine folded, the previous fashion market editor hired me to assist on projects in her new role as a freelance stylist. I found a fashion magazine internship very beneficial, but other routes you can take include interning for a wardrobe/fashion stylist (or even a personal stylist), a fashion designer, the celebrity PR department of a fashion brand or fashion PR company, or even a reputable clothing boutique in your area.
3. Assist – The key position right before becoming a fashion stylist is an assistant stylist. While it would be lovely to jump right on in and become this kickass stylist, assisting will make you more confident and successful in your craft when you decide to go out on your own.
4. Network – Like several other occupations, ambition, strong work ethic, and quality of work contribute to a successful career. However, networking will also prove to be invaluable as a stylist. Get to know anyone and everyone you can in your city’s fashion industry from boutique owners, hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers, fashion publicists, fashion designers, etc. Build up your relationships and be kind. The industry can be very small and people will take notice of your likability. No one wants to work with a diva.
5. Read up – As a fashion stylist, you need to know the current and upcoming trends, styles, designers, and breaking fashion news. Read blogs, magazines, newspapers, and anything you can get your hands on to make you a conversant stylist.
6. Frequent local fashion events – Find out what’s going on in your area. You never know who you could meet or when there might be a chance to get involved.
Now go get’em!