How to Become a Professional Fashion Stylist

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If you live for fashion and have always had an eye for what’s hot, then you could make it a career by becoming a fashion stylist. As a stylist, you may be asked to work with celebrity clients, companies, movie productions, or private customers. But it takes more than an innate sense of style to make it in this industry. You’ll need a mix of good networking and people skills, sales, and understanding how to manage an actual business. Here’s how you can become a professional fashion stylist.

Start with an Internship

Getting an internship is the easiest and quickest way to get into any sector of the fashion industry. If you want to be a stylist for celebrities, then you should consider getting an internship with an agency or a fashion house.

Working with celebrities can be tricky as they value their privacy and prefer to have familiar faces around them. This is why recommendations are so important. Interning with another stylist is another great option, as they may be able to vouch for you later on. Not only that, but you’ll have the chance to get invaluable insights on the job.

Build a Lookbook

As you work as an intern, you’ll also get the chance to start working on your lookbook. If you don’t know what that is, a lookbook is where you’ll be showcasing your eye as a stylist through photos of different styles you have put together. The goal is to show diversity in your style and attract a wide range of clients.

Eat, Sleep and Breathe Fashion

Know that fashion is going to be your life right now, and you can’t afford to treat it like a hobby. While you may have been following the recent trends and changes in the fashion industry for fun until now, it is now your duty. You’ll have to be there at these important fashion shows and take notes. It will be your responsibility to know everything that is going on with the industry.

You should also start observing trends among celebrities if that’s the crowd you intend to cater to. Look at what the latest fashion icons are wearing and try to incorporate some of these elements into your style.

Be Ready to Spend a Lot of Time on Research

You’d be surprised at how much of a stylist’s time is spent behind a desk. Developing research skills will be important if you want to be successful as a stylist. You’ll have to read up blogs, check out the pages from the top influencers, start looking for suppliers, etc. While you’ll spend a good portion of your work on the floor with people, prepare to spend a lot of time on your laptop.

Start Looking for Suppliers

If you can’t get access to gear, then you can only be a stylist by name. It’s great to be able to build a nice lookbook, but you have to be able to actually find stuff your clients may want. This is why you should start building a list of reputable suppliers you can work with.

One option would be to look at online retailers. Retailers like SSENSE, for instance, have everything from the latest Givenchy sneakers, to more obscure brands like Fear of God that are big hits with celebrities. One great thing about online suppliers like SSENSE is the immense selection that they have. While it’s nice to have relationships with boutiques in your area, you’re almost guaranteed to find what you want when working with a supplier like them. So, make sure that you have a shortlist of suppliers you can go to and become a regular so the process will be easier in the future.

Consider Getting a Formation

Getting a formation can also be a great way to gain some valuable insights on the business and become more efficient as a stylist. One of the best degrees you could follow is fashion merchandising.

Through this program, you’ll learn about things like manufacturing, design trends, marketing, product development, and more. This will also give you the chance to build some important connections and will make it easier for you to score an internship.

Not only that, but having a degree will add an additional layer of legitimacy once you start looking for clients. They’ll also sense immediately that you know what you’re talking about. Schools that offer this formation include the New York Fashion Institute, the Design and Fashion Merchandising institute in LA, or Brooklyn’s Pratt institute. In addition, other schools like Baylor, the University of Georgia, and Texas Tech among others all have degree programs in fashion merchandising.

Being a fashion stylist can sound like a dream job, and in many ways, it is. However, make sure that you’re ready to put the effort in, get your foot in the door, and consistently work on your craft while building your clientele.