How To Become A Fashion Stylist

Fashion stylists are responsible for coordinating garments and accessories, such as shoes and jewelry, to create outfits. Fashion stylists may choose garments and accessories for models, actors, or other clientele. Furthermore, fashion stylists may dress mannequins or clients for photo shoots and retail store displays. Store customers may seek styling advice from fashion stylists within a store setting as well. If you are incredibly creative, have a passion for the fashion industry, and enjoy creating beautiful outfits, you may want to explore a career as a fashion stylist.

Why Become A Fashion Stylist

Fashion stylists are typically part of a vast, creative team brought together by a client. Fashion stylists collaborate with hair stylists, makeup artists, fashion designers, and fashion photographers. Returning clothing, accessories, and borrowing items from fashion designers or boutiques are part of a fashion stylist’s job responsibilities. Additionally, fashion stylists must be extremely knowledgeable about fashion trends, innovative designers, fashion history, and the overall fashion industry. Fashion stylists must have a strong sense of style, color, texture, and creativity.

Sourcing garments, accessories, and props are also a part of a fashion stylist’s job. Fashion stylists advise fashion photographers on photographic locations, while selecting the proper models, makeup artists, and hair stylists for the overall aesthetic of a photo shoot. Fashion stylists may write fashion articles for publications, provide fashion direction to buyers, merchandisers, or designers, speak at fashion events, and attend fashion shows. Fashion stylists have an extremely busy and exhilarating career; it is vital to remain creative and confident when approaching each styling assignment. A fashion stylist always needs to be ahead of the curve; the fashion-styling career is heavily involved in fashion trends and fashion forecasting for each season.

Qualities & Skills For A Fashion Stylist

If you wish to pursue a career within the fashion styling field, the following skills and qualities are important to have in order to obtain a position as a fashion stylist.

  1. Interpersonal Skills – Fashion stylists collaborate with hair stylists, makeup artists, fashion designers, and fashion photographers. It is imperative that fashion stylists have strong interpersonal skills when communicating with various team members on a photo shoot or assignment.
  2. Detail-Oriented – As a fashion stylist, you MUST have a strong eye for design, details, color, and texture. It is imperative that you are ahead of the fashion trends, while understanding classic fashion design, garment construction, and draping. Furthermore, as a fashion stylist, you will be styling and fitting client’s with different body types and personal styles. It is crucial that you understand how to properly dress both face and body shapes that present a flattering figure.
  3. Creativity – Fashion stylists must have their own sense of style and creativity. Thinking outside the box and utilizing colors, textures, and various elements to style a client will only benefit you within your fashion styling career.
  4. Punctuality & Organizational Skills – As a fashion stylist, you must be punctual when meeting with clients or on assignment. It is imperative that you stay organized, motivated, and reliable throughout the course of your career.

Fashion Stylist Work Environment

The work environment of a fashion stylist can be extremely fast-paced and exciting. Fashion stylists may act as freelancers or be employed fashion publications, fashion houses, designers, or apparel companies. Throughout the course of a fashion stylist’s day, they may attend many meetings prior to a styling assignment. Depending on the deadlines and the needs of a client, a fashion stylist may work long hours and overtime. Fashion stylists must be able to keep alert in regards to new fashion trends. Furthermore, fashion stylists may travel to fashion shows, meetings, and showrooms.

Fashion Stylist Salary

Fashion stylists earnings are dependent on their education and experience within the fashion styling field. Additionally, the median annual wage also depends on the geographic region of a fashion stylist. The median annual wage of fashion stylists varies, from $30,631 to $61,729. Furthermore, for fashion stylists that have over five to ten years of fashion styling experience, earned a median annual wage from $34,798 to $71,031.

Fashion Stylist Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not specifically report on the career outlook of fashion stylists, however, it does report on the career outlook of general fashion jobs. The career outlook for an accountant looks to grow slower than the other career areas, with a projected increase of 3%, from 2012 to 2022. The slower growth may be due to the extreme competition for employment within the fashion realm.

Fashion Stylist Degree

If you wish to pursue a career in fashion styling, you will need to obtain an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, or Fashion Design. Your academic coursework may include fashion styling techniques, fashion design for different body shapes, fashion trends, and tailoring. Your coursework may include topics such as garment construction, color theory, fashion history, visual merchandising, branding, and apparel design. Drawing techniques, merchandising theories, and marketing may also be included within your academic journey. A Bachelor’s degree within any of the aforementioned fields will help prepare you to effectively and aesthetically communicate fashion trends to a client or customer.

As a prospective fashion stylist, it is imperative that you obtain a fashion styling or fashion merchandising internship. Internships may be available within a retail store setting or at a fashion publication. A fashion styling internship will teach you valuable skills, allow you to network, and gain a deeper understanding about the styling and fashion realms. It is vital for a fashion stylist to effectively integrate color, texture, and style within a styling assignment, while maintaining a sharp eye for creativity.

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