7 Tips on How to Become a Fashion Stylist

Do you have an eye for fashion? Are you regularly ahead of the up and coming trends within the fashion industry? If so, then you may wish to explore a career as a fashion stylist. With your creative vision and trend-setting style, your designs can soon grace the runways and magazine covers around the world.

What is a fashion stylist?

A fashion stylist is responsible for creating and coordinating outfits and accessories for a variety of clients. Stylists may choose clothing for models or influencers, as well as for photo shoots, retail displays, and mannequins. It’s also a stylist’s responsibility to choose props and accessories for television and film. A fashion stylist is always ahead of the curve on upcoming trends and is the go-to source for fashion advice. Some famous fashion stylists are Basia Richard, stylist to Selena Gomez; Annabel Tollman, stylist to Shakira and Liv Tyler; and Michaela Erlanger, stylist to Meryl Streep and Lupita Nyong’o.

What do you need to become a fashion stylist?

1. Land an internship

Finding an internship at a fashion agency or house is an excellent starting point, especially if you want to be a celebrity stylist. Much of the fashion industry works based on recommendations, so working as an intern and then as an assistant to a stylist allows you to learn from the best while also making meaningful professional connections. Internships give you the chance to understand the real stylist experience under the guidance of a mentor.

2. Create a lookbook

Begin to put together a lookbook or portfolio to showcase your work as a stylist. The lookbook allows potential clients to see your best work so you can build a more extensive and high-profile client base. An appropriately crafted portfolio can help you land jobs and clients, and kick-start your stylist career.

3. Build your network

Use your internship or assistant position to begin polishing your networking skills. Connecting with other industry professionals helps you make valuable connections and create a reputation for excellence. Word-of-mouth can make or break a career in the fashion industry, and you want to build a strong network to help earn a loyal clientele.

4. Do your research

While a day in the life of a fashion stylist can involve a lot of hustle and bustle, it often includes days in front of the laptop doing research. Take the time to research different looks and stay on top of upcoming trends in the styling world. Many stylists use research to create new styles or anticipate needs and wants for future photo shoots.

6. Hone your distinctive point of view

Be sure to refine your aesthetic view as an artist and stylist. Taste is personal, and your style may not be understood at first by others. Nevertheless, you must be patient and passionate about your vision, and you need to believe in yourself. A stylist’s job is to interpret an idea and execute it. That’s a process that can only be learned by going out there with your creative mindset and making it happen.

7. Complete a relevant degree or qualification

Even though a degree isn’t necessary for this field, taking courses and earning a diploma as a fashion stylist can give you an edge in a competitive market. Classes can help you better understand art and fashion history, hair and skin care, as well as the different types of stylist positions available, such as:

  • Corporate styling
  • Personal styling
  • Celebrity styling
  • Editorial styling
  • Commercial styling
  • Wardrobe/show styling
  • Personal shopping.

You can also establish connections with the teachers of your classes, which may help you find an internship and begin to develop your professional network. Supplementary courses in business management can also help you if you want to start your own business as a stylist.

What are the job prospects and salary of a fashion stylist?

Fashion is never out of style, and therefore the job prospects for this industry typically hold steady from year to year. The average starting salary in the UK for a junior stylist is around £15,000, while a more established stylist is likely to earn between £22,000 – £35,000. Stylists who land large corporate or celebrity clients can also make considerably larger salaries than the average.

Bring your style to the runway

You can create your visions and bring them to the world by becoming a qualified fashion stylist. Enrol in the Fashion Stylist & Image Consultant course from the International Career Institute today and start to bring your creative style to life.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.