I received a message via social media recently. The message read, “Hi Lorrie, my name is Tina. I’m an aspiring fashion stylist. I read your profile and Googled you discovering that you have been working in the industry for quite some time. I am writing to ask if you would mind if we could speak at your convenience so that I can ask you some questions that may help me make career decisions.”
This message made me curious, so I of course replied with my contact information so that we could connect. Two days later, I received a call.
This aspiring fashion stylist had just started college majoring in Fashion Merchandising. She was also working part time at a designer boutique. Tina’s goal is to eventually work as a freelance fashion stylist. Her focus is to get experience and gain knowledge. Our conversation lasted about an hour. We talked about her love for art. Tina learned to draw at an early age and it was clear that she loved working with color and creating patterns.
Working as a fashion stylist requires knowledge and experience. This type of work, especially in a freelance setting requires business skills. Tina will have to define her business profile. In doing this, she will determine the type of clients she want to service. Tina’s initial goal is to work with magazines and style clients for the red carpet. She learned that these are goals she needs to aspire to. I suggested that she decide the types of magazines she may want to represent, because many of the fashion editors are in charge of styling. She could start working with small publications who may outsource style work as she builds portfolio and enough experience to apply with a top publication.
To style for the red carpet would mean she would work with celebrities and/or spouse or friends of the celebrities attending the events. It’s not easy to walk in to those types of jobs. Tina learned that she may want to begin working as an assistant stylist to get the experience and connections she may need.
One thing Tina did not realize is that she would need to move to LA or NY in order to succeed in the type of styling she wants to do. She currently lives in the Midwest. Another option I suggested was to market herself as an event stylist or personal stylist. In doing this she could potentially work with clients who attend special functions and fundraisers allowing her to be closer to her goal of becoming a red carpet stylist.
The conversation continued to talk about having a style kit and portfolio. A portfolio is a calling card for fashion professionals demonstrating their skills and work. Having a good book is essential to get better bookings and charge market rate fees.
I offered suggestions which I followed up in writing summarizing our conversation and a list to help her get things started.
This was a very enlightening conversation for both myself and Tina. I look forward to hearing her progress in a few months and am happy to offer her additional guidance. It is also great to share my knowledge and spend a little time helping someone realize their dream.
Check out my other blogs: