How Do You Become a Stylist?


Quick Answer

Aspiring stylists usually start out as interns and assistants for professional stylists, or they work at fashion houses, fashion agencies, department stores and boutiques. While interning, aspiring stylists often build connections with a variety of industry professionals who can recommend them to clients. While a degree isn't required, aspiring stylists can expand their industry knowledge by studying topics such as fashion history, textiles, merchandising, marketing, costume design and retail buying.

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Full Answer

Working at clothing stores gives stylists the opportunity to engage with potential clients and demonstrate their skills. Jobs working on photo shoots, at fashion houses or for magazines allow entry-level workers to collect lookbook material from professional projects.

In general, stylists have to immerse themselves in fashion and keep up with changing trends by attending fashion shows and trunk shows, researching collections and analyzing celebrity looks. They should also keep track of department stores that carry major brands. Fashion organizations, such as the Fashion Stylists Association and the Association of Image Consultants International, help stylists network, find training opportunities and stay informed of fashion news and events.

Learning to evaluate each client's personal style helps stylists create tailored, individualized looks, says celebrity stylist Basia Richard. Aspiring stylists also need to know how to dress different body types, and they use clothing silhouettes to help them visualize how styling ideas translate to real life.

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