How Do You Become a Stylist?

How Do You Become a Stylist? 

While there are many different ways of becoming a stylist, let’s review a few of the main avenues:

Assisting is an integral way of breaking into the styling industry, and the best way to build your portfolio. As an assistant, you may be in charge of returning the garments, steaming the clothing during the shoot, and organizing the rack; very rarely will you actually style the clothes on the model. For editorial shoots, the assistant is often responsible for keeping track of the credit information — the price and designer of each piece of clothing used in the shoot — and, in some cases, contacting showrooms, designers, and boutiques to request samples for use in the shoots.The latter task will provide you with the number-one resource in the styling industry: contacts. All of the people you work with on set, including the hair and makeup people, photographer, and art and editorial directors, are important contacts. And contacts are what build your career and client base.The best way to become an assistant is to contact local styling agencies and offer your services. Even an unpaid assistant job will get your foot in the door, and may lead to paying jobs in the future.

You can also enter the styling world by interning at a fashion magazine. You will not only learn what it takes to work on editorial shoots, but you’ll also meet important industry people. Don’t wait for an internship to be posted on a job search site — at that point, hundreds of applicants will already have poured in. Instead, show initiative by contacting the magazine and proposing your own internship. Start off at a smaller publication, such as a regional publication in your city, and work your way up from there.

Test Shoots
It’s the ultimate catch-22: you need a portfolio to get work, but you need to get work to create a portfolio! The best way to build your portfolio is to collaborate with up-and-coming photographers, models, and hair and makeup teams, as these people also need to build their portfolios. Set up shoots for which you style the model in return for images from the photographer. This is also a great way to make contacts; any one of these photographers may be able to get you a paying job in the future.


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Categories: Fashion, Fashion Careers

Author:Tamisha Monet

Fashion Editor ( Tamisha Monet calls Oakland home as a Bay Area native but resides in Houston. She's a staff writer for The Rouge Collection magazine, in their Beauty and Style department. She is the art contributor for the West Coast division of F.A.M.E. The Experience magazine. In the blogosphere, she’s worked with Vogue, Lexus, True Religion and more. She works as a Business Life Coach for various fashion and beauty start-ups through her company iStyle Fashion and Beauty Society.


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