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What does a fashion stylist do?

Becoming A Fashion Stylist

Wendy Elsmore (Fashion Expert) gives expert video advice on: What skills do I need to be a fashion stylist?; How do I take a course in fashion and style?; What advice would you give to an aspiring fashion stylist? and more...

What does a fashion stylist do?

A fashion stylist creates an image that sends a message about the person they're styling for. A fashion stylist may be employed for a magazine, a catwalk show or by an individual, celebrity or otherwise.

What skills do I need to be a fashion stylist?

Number one, you've got to really love working hard to be a fashion stylist. And you have GOT to be determined to be a fashion stylist. Innately, I think as a fashion stylist you need a passion for fashion, for texture, for colour, and a real feel for fashion as well, which you CAN learn through training, but I think it innately has to be there in a fashion stylist. I think it can be fine-tuned by attending courses. But that determination to get up and go and also, in the early days as a fashion stylist, to take "No" as meaning maybe "Not now" and "I'm going to come back and see you again later." So a bit of a thick skin is useful in a fashion stylist and to have a sense of humour as well, because that keeps you going as a fashion stylist.

Do you need qualifications to be a fashion stylist?

In terms of qualifications to become a fashion stylist, in terms of college qualifications, you actually don't need any. The qualifications that you do need are: bags of enthusiaism and innate understanding of fashion, color and style. A real appreciation to learn quickly, to listen as well, to be part of a team, to do lots of research, to think on your own initiative. All of those qualities and a love of long working hours. But all of those qualities are far more important than actually a diploma you may gain from college. There's actually being in the thick of the job. So in amongst the hubub of what's going on, on a fashion shoot or a you know fashion show or working in television are going to gain you far more experience and understanding and actually give you a better insight to the industry and to what you will enjoy doing as opposed to you being at college.

When you're looking at becoming a fashion stylist it's essential that you have a real in-depth knowledge of not only fashion, but also an understanding of all the latest trends and what's going on within the industry. I make it, I consider it to be sort of a big part of my job to keep an eye on everything that's happening in that direction. I attend the shows that give us an indication of what's going to be happening for next season. I'm constantly looking at magazines, not only UK edition, also all of those through Europe and U.S. edition as well, so you get a really broad spectrum and overview of exactly what's happening. It's like any job really at the end of the day, you can't talk about it with conviction and knowledge unless you really, really understand it. And it's ever-changing as well. In one respect, you could say that requires massive commitment, in another at least its exciting, it's never ever boring cause its constantly evolving.