Figuring out how to be a fashion stylist is a very different path for everyone who wants to be a stylist. I received this question a few weeks ago and thought I would answer it on here. I am only answering from my personal experience.
I became a fashion stylist kind of by fate and through a passion for athetics. To be a good stylist, you have to be confident and the best sales person you have ever met. You also need a natural style not too trendy but you have be able to tell what looks right. Lastly, you have to be a great listener and be able to adjust to ever changing situations.
That being said, I went to a four year university for apparel textiles and merchandising. I was taught not how to be a stylist but every aspect of the fashion industry from yarn fibers to buying calendars. I am not sure if this college experience really gave me an edge in styling, but you need to know the basics like what fibers will melt when ironed and the background knowledge of the pipeline of fashion. That knowledge and applied wisdom is essential in creating a solid business which you will be doing from the ground up as a stylist.
So to be a fashion stylist, you essentially have to create your own business. How you chose to start that business is up to you. For me, I worked at very high end stores as a “stylist” and it was all the people I met that got me here today. Where I worked, I was allowed to promote myself and that is how I created a client list. That client list soon made its way out of the store I was in and into their personal closets. It became large enough that I could quit working through stores and just dress people and clean out closets.
From this point, my story changes and I get married. Together, my husband and I make FashionStylist.com. Our website opened up a whole new world for me and a different type of styling that’s more involved in the industry.
To wrap this up, here’s the basic steps on how to become a fashion stylist.
1. Get educated about the industry as a whole.
2. Learn to sell anything and everything
3. Create a client list however you can.
4. Start promoting yourself and selling your expert styling advice.
5. Create your own business plan to keep your client list growing.
Steps 3 and 4 might be reversed for a lot of people, but for me that is how it went. If you want to talk about how you created your path, shoot me an email and I would love to post it!