You eat, sleep, breathe fashion. You are the go-to person for styling needs of all your friends and family. You know you want to make it your full time job but don’t know where to begin?
We got your back!
Here, we tell you how to become a fashion stylist, and a successful one at that. So, read all the essential tips and register them for good!
1. Get your basics on – point
While day dreaming about styling a Bollywood diva some day is great motivation, you need to have your research on- point to start with. It is absolutely important that you know the fashion trends at the back of your (latest manicured) hands. Know what’s in and what’s a usual worst dressed suspect. You need to be a keen observer and analyzer – all the freaking time.
2. Amp your skill sets
Work on the skill sets that you require to be on top of your game. Learn about fabrics and drapes. Learn the basics of photography and lighting so you know how a particular outfit will look when photographed.
Social Media will be your best friend through your journey of becoming a stylist and beyond. Keep a tab on trends and the latest works of top stylists in the country (Anaita Shroff Adajania, Rhea Kapoor, Tanya Ghavri and the likes). This will also be a great platform to showcase your work later.
Check out Anaita Shroff Adajania having styled the likes of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Pharrell Williams.
3. Get a professional degree
No, it is not necessary. Yes, it will add value.
While it isn’t imperative that you earn a degree to become a fashion stylist, a professional validation always helps. You can consider full time courses in Fashion Merchandising from NIFT or Pearl Academy. Short term certificate courses in Fashion Styling are also available at these institutions.
You can also get yourself a certification from the Association of Image Consultants International.
4. Your Internship is your most critical step
It isn’t fun to work with no (or barely any) money. But grabbing an internship with a fashion magazine, design house or a stylist will prove to the most important step in your career. Gaining hands-on experience is as critical as it is empowering. It helps you learn the tricks of the trade and is also a time when you develop relationships with key people in the industry. Who knows it might translate into a job!
Also, you will get a fair idea on what your end goal is. Whether you want to be a personal stylist to clients (these could be high profile clients or even celebrities) or an editorial stylist working with a fashion magazine or working with other designers and top design houses.
5. Your portfolio is your wingman
The internship will give you an opportunity to work on your portfolio. Work on a look-book of styles and keep it updated. When the right opportunity knocks, it will form a perfect base for you to sell yourself to prospective clients.
6. Networking is EVERYTHING
Network. Network. And Network some more. Build relationships with key people in the industry – established stylists, photographers, publicists, make- up artists and so on. Attend industry events and proactively reach out to important people in all of them. You need to build your reputation to make it easy to sell yourself to prospective clients.
Also, as you build your relationships, it is important to value and sustain them. You don’t know who you will work with or who will help you later in your career.
7. Work your way up
While you would want to start on your own right from the beginning, assisting an established and experienced stylist may be the best way to start your career. The learning curve will be tremendous, networking will be easy and most importantly, it will make you gain the confidence to finally branch out on your own. You may want to chose to assist someone whose work is close to your own work aesthetic.
Shaleena Nathani, known for Deepika Padukone’s airport looks, assisted Anaita Shroff Adajania at Vogue, before making it big herself.
Shaleena recently styled none other than the King Khan and Gauri Khan.
Remember. The job isn’t all glitz and glamour. It is a lot of hard work and no ego.
8. Stand by your unique style
Over a period of time you will hone your very own aesthetic style. You got to believe in yourself and stand by it. You might face problems in making people understand and like it, initially. But be patient and passionate and you will find the right clients who will love your distinctive style.