Becoming a fashion stylist was one of the scariest yet BEST decisions I have ever made! Working in the fashion industry as a stylist, is the one thing that I enjoy doing even if I wasn’t getting paid. I’ve had a love affair with fashion since I was about 9 yrs old. I’ve been reading Cosmo en Espanol and Vanidades Magazine since the late ’80s, thanks to my godmother. I just loved how a fashion story was told and how an outfit became art.
So when a family friend and photographer asked me if I would be interested in styling a photo shoot for her back in 2014, I immediately agreed. Months later when that look I styled with Nomee Photography, landed on forbes.com, I realized that I wanted to do more of this “work.” I immediately began to brand myself as a freelance stylist.
Website✅ , business cards✅, and social media✅.
In Late 2018, while I was creating online style guides and promoting shoetiques with my #ShoesDayTuesday shout-outs via my social media, I came across @msheelmagazine on Instagram. With a shared love for heels, I had to follow up. Our friendship and business-ship began from there. Long story short–I am now the Style Guide Editor for Ms. Heel Magazine.
If you have a passion for fashion and can create visual story-lines, then becoming a fashion stylist is probably right up your runway.
Being a stylist takes so much more work than people assume or give us credit for. You will need a strong will, a business mentality, and thick skin! I have been styling for 5 years now; but to be honest, I didn’t see a paid gig for the first 3 years. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who supports me; which allows me to focus full-time on building my fashion empire.
Furthermore, there are several different types of stylists: Fashion, Personal, Commercial, and Event to name a few. Focus on the type of stylist you want to become – I fall somewhere between a fashion stylist and a event stylist, because I mostly style photo shoots and events. But I won’t shy away from helping family and friends for their personal styling needs. Which leads me to my number one tip: GIVE IT AWAY FOR FREE. Consider it on-the-job training (in the beginning)!
Additionally, stay consistent with your craft and work on building a network within the industry. Your network should empower your brand. Start by reaching out to your favorite local stylist and maybe even DM a famous stylist and ask if they need any assistance on projects. Create looks with what you have available and take pictures of the outfits to start creating your portfolio (digital or physical). Contact local photographers and see if they would be interested in collaborating in order to expand your portfolio.
Probably the most powerful FREE tool today is Instagram–it helped me create my brand. Curate your page and posts with relevant information. Keep your followers informed with all things fashion: trends, the classics, D.I.Y’s, etc.
If you would you like more information about becoming a stylist. How much to charge? Which style apps make my life easier? How to set up a successful collaboration? How to manage being a mom and a freelance fashion stylist and even hashtagging, I’m offering 45-minute virtual consultations with aspiring stylists for $95
(featured image courtesy of Hollywood Reporter Magazine)