Stylists : Career Options

We were very lucky recently to have a talk from a visiting lecturer Cath Roberts. She was articulate, interesting and funny and I could have listened to her all day.

She was with us to talk about career opportunities as a stylist. It’s not something I had ever considered so I didn’t know anything about it apart from celebrity stylists such as Rachel Zoe but there is so much more and its sounds fascinating.

A stylist is someone who acts with attention to styling and can include:

– Fashion Stylist

– Make-up Artist

– Hair Stylist

– Scout – dealing with locating styling

– Prop Stylist

– Food Stylist

We learnt from Cath about the different fields within Fashion Styling.

Editorial Styling

Vogue UK editorial shoot May 2012

An Editorial Stylist creates the whole image, chooses the photographer and team and is, arguably, has one of the most powerful positions within styling. They are responsible for creating aspirational images and must understand the target audience and interpret the season and trends.

Commercial Styling

Chanel Advert

The job of a Commercial Stylist is to sell fashion and product to a particular market.  This could include:

– Fashion Advertising

– TV Commercials

– Looks Books

– Non-Fashion Adverts

– Fashion Shows

Commercial Stylists have to style to sell the look and work to a very tight brief given by the marketing department of the client.  The focus must be on the product and they therefore have less creative freedom.  This branch of styling is the most financially lucrative.

With non-fashion adverts the clothing is a complementary element and here the director will have creative control.

Commercial Stylists have to work to set budgets.

L’Oreal Advert

Personal Styling

House of Fraser Advert

Personal Stylists work as image and colour consultants.  They can work within a store or independently.  They need to be able to communicate effectively and have good interpersonal skills. They must be aware of the body shape, colour, age and most importantly lifestyle of their client. An important aspect is listening and asking pertinent questions including the client’s budget.  They must also know the shops’ stock very well.

This is the most flexible area of styling and can be fitted around other commitments.

Another aspect of personal styling that is becoming more popular is wardrobe management (or weeding) where the stylist helps a client go through their wardrobe and refresh it.

Wardrobe Management

Celebrity Styling

Monica Rose – Celebrity Stylist

This, of course, is the one that we all know about but to succeed in this area a stylist must be super confident and have a huge amount of connections within the fashion industry.  All their work is under constant scrutiny and they can influence whole trends.

Show Styling

Maria Grachvogel

More designers are employing stylists to style their shows to bring a fresh perspective to their clothes.  To work in this field stylists need to build relationship with designers and be able to interpret the inspiration for the collection.


To learn more about qualifications and careers in styling have at look at the following links:


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