Back in 90’s most people didn’t even seem to know that styling was a career option. Today this has taken a 360′ degree turn, every fashion enthusiast seems to want to be a stylist. In the past few years, fashion stylists have exploded into the fashion industry scene like never before. Skipping through the glossy pages of fashion magazines, stylists are styling runway presentations. Long gone are the days when stylists were limited to photoshoots and magazines for building their portfolios. Since the arrival of social media, it has become easy for every fashion blogger and influencer with a following to effectively become a stylist. Pre social media the fashion world was only about the stars and the designers they wore, the stylists were never applauded upfront until fashion stylists in India and celebrity stylists like Anaita Shroff Adajania, Sanjana Batra, Ami Patel, and others emerged and started becoming stars in their own right for their work. Continue reading to find the traditional role of a fashion stylist, history, and future of stylist and how can you become a celebrated stylist in the fashion industry.
The role of a fashion stylist is a real mash-up of numerous different roles emerging from the late 1800s and early 1900s. It’s an amalgamation of a Fashion Editor and Creative Costume Designer. All this started in the late 1800s when Editors entered the fashion world scenario. As the middle and upper-class women desired photographers, artists, designers, and writers to deliver a unique perspective into the fashion world, beauty, and popular culture. This lead to competition, soon all magazines initiated capturing the latest fashion trends and beauty updates. This transformed the fashion editor’s roles from penning downtrends to providing their own creative opinions. The editors began by choosing the outfits and accessories to appear on the pages and then eventually ended by choosing it for the photographs. It would not be wrong to say that fashion magazines changed the dynamics, it led to a rise in the role of fashion editor over time, and creative editors began to appear. Fashion editors successfully brought new life to the magazines and fashion world. Soon the editors began collaborating with the photographers, and as the magazines started getting more attention, the fashion designers started to advertise more because the magazines and their editors were increasing sales. The fashion magazines soon became so influential that they carried the power to make or break a fashion designer’s career through coverage and support. The top fashion editors became confidants to the fashion designers and the industry. They visited the fashion designer’s studio to look around at the collections before the debut runway shows and advised on hair, makeup, or models. This worked both ways as the fashion designers got the opinion from editors and editors got a glimpse into what’s next and could begin to lead the magazine pages in the apt direction. Looking into the entire scenario closely it seems that the freelance stylist came into the fashion industry sometime in the late 90s. The fashion editors were also referred to be celebrated stylists and were being offered top creative positions at famous fashion houses.
Today the fashion stylist is not just limited to Bollywood celebs, billionaires’ wives, or upper class. Middle class or ordinary people look forward to fashion stylists for their daily look, accessories, and makeup. People have started trusting the fashion stylist to a level where they organize their shopping trips according to the stylist’s opinion, they consider their word for where to spot and shop for the right stuff. Unlike earlier, styling has gained too much focus now, credit goes to the growing fashion industry and social media. Today a stylist is not restricted to any particular person, they help people identify aesthetics, and help them dress according to their personality and body type. Stylists consider their recommendations by keeping points in mind like where the consumers spend most of their time, their limitations, and other specifications.
1. Tom Eerebout
He is a renowned celebrity fashion stylist from Belgium. He is the stylist of global icon Lady Gaga and the stylist in the duo with Sandra Amador. In 2018 when Brandon Maxwell (another major stylist of Lady Gaga) was very busy with his clothing line, he handed the styling part to Tom and Sandra, and they overlook Gaga’s style till the present day. In Lady Gaga’s looks, we can witness how aptly the stylist is used to her pace and how much teamwork they do behind every one of her appearances. Eerebout always delivers looks that are true to The Grammy, Golden Globe, and Oscar winner, Lady Gaga. While she manages the element of surprise for the views.
2. Elizabeth Stewart
The Santa Monica-based stylist has a loyal client list that includes Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis, Gal Gadot, Jessica Chastain, and others. Elizabeth is the one stylist that builds a closet around every trip like a dream scenario. Elizabeth understands her client’s choices and accordingly provides them with specific styles and remains updated in the world of fashion. Her vision is crystal clear and is aptly guided by the clients on everything from the fit to the colors.
3. Kate Young
Kate Young is the ultimate powerhouse stylist, she has topped THR’s ranking thrice in nine years. The stylist has celebrity clients Rachel Weisz, Margot Robbie, Dakota Johnson, Michelle Williams, and others, along with that she has A-list brand ambassadors including Robbie (Chanel), Johnson (Gucci) and Williams (Louis Vuitton). The phenomenal stylist got her start as a Vogue assistant to Anna Wintour, Kate believes that the never-ending challenge in the fashion industry is “walking the line between fashion and flattering.” She believes in taking risks and making a style statement.
1. Anaita Shroff Adajania
She’s the ultimate fashion stylist in India to look up to, she’s fashion director at Vogue India along with being a stylist and creative consultant. Anaita Shroff Adajania is one of the leading voices within the Indian fashion industry, she’s also appreciated for helping to steer the magazine’s growth and to become one of the most fashion-forward publications in India. She’s the main stylist for actress Deepika Padukone and has worked on several Bollywood hits like Dhoom (2004), Love AajKal (2009), and Cocktail (2012).
2. Tanya Ghavri
Tanya Ghavri’s, an Indian fashion stylist’s client list is an absolute A’ list Bollywood celebrities including Kareena Kapoor, Freida Pinto, Jacqueline Fernandez, Katrina Kaif, Shraddha Kapoor, Karishma Kapoor, Alia Bhat, Ileana D’Cruz, Madhuri Dixit and others. Tanya is a young and talented celebrity stylist, she started her career assisting Pernia Qureshi. She aptly manages between the client’s comfort and gorgeous style looks and this is what makes her attract these B-town celebrities. She adds a pinch of dramatic charm to roast the client’s look.
3. Maneka Harisinghani
Maneka Harisinghani, now a renowned fashion stylist in India started her career as a fashion journalist in Times Of India, later a friend offered her the post of a stylist which further led to the beginning of her stylist’s journey. Maneka has aced the art of multitasking, she works as a celebrity stylist for Malaika Arora and admires her attention to detail. Maneka’s secret to styling lies in understanding the body type and embracing it. She believes that if one knows the keys to dress according to what flatters their body and not blindly follow trends, they’ll be good to go.
A fashion stylist is someone who closely studies the fashion trends and picks garments and accessories to style clients for events, fashion shows as well as photoshoots. They conceptualize colors, textures along with designs to create some unique styles for their client. They hold skills like –
If you aspire to become a fashion stylist of India or at a global level and dream to be a celebrity stylist too, you can pursue any of the below-mentioned courses and programs-
Post Graduate Diploma in Fashion Styling (2-year duration)
Certificate in Creative Fashion Styling (6 months)
Diploma in Fashion Styling and Forecasting (1 year)
Under Graduate course in Fashion Styling and Image Designing
Online applications like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube led to the rise of self-branding in society today. These applications have helped young fashion bloggers to market themselves as brands. People trust these influencers for styling and the bloggers utilize these applications as a tool to establish their branded-selves. These applications led to an ultimate rise in the growth of fashion bloggers and fashion stylists, they come with content that includes both traditional beauty and fashion tips to the latest trends in the fashion world. The major advantage of these applications is they connect the global fashion world. These applications keep you updated with the latest fashion trends and teach you how to style. If you’re looking for an honest review of the latest fashion trends, matte lipsticks, or for ideas for future travel looks, through these applications you can easily connect with the fashion bloggers and stylists. There’s no denial in the fact that being creative in terms of fashion is not everyone’s cup of tea and you need some help and tips from an expert. Through applications like Instagram and YouTube, it’s become quite easier as there are numerous fashion stylists and bloggers who share their latest looks and trends for you to draw inspiration from. Be it fashion trends, beauty, or jewelry Instagram influencers have figured it all out for you. Social media has led to a rising in the career of fashion bloggers, women in India have been ruling these applications since its dawn.
According to speculated data, the average salary for a Fashion Stylist in India is INR 4,30,000. As mentioned earlier a stylist is not limited to a particular work, they work with designers, public relations, magazine publishers, manufacturers, retailers, and photographers. They purchase and decide on the best accessories and props, they mainly work for the film industry. The fact that they play a huge role in the film industry is evidence of it being a career that is never going to die. Apart from dressing models and props for the shoots, the stylist has now begun to connect with the middle-class people as well. They keep people up to date on all the fashion trends, it’s an extremely promising job because of the constant need of a stylist in movies, commercials, photoshoots. A fashion stylist, with the emergence of social media, has started working on freelance and are even self-employed today. If you carry the abilities to be highly organized, can work on a schedule, and hold a sense of creativity you can pursue styling as a career in the future. Apart from shopping and styling clothes for a living, you’ll even get to travel the world, learn different types of fashion trends, get to collaborate with numerous fashion designers, photographers, hairstylists, and make up artists for projects. There’s no doubt that fashion styling is a demanding career but as they say, never stop for any little thing, go big for your future career.
Although styling as a career comes with a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities, it carries its perks as it provides you with an extreme level of exposure. Having a proper degree or course can help you jump-start your career. But now that the social media is here, only with your creativity and unique content you can make your name in the fashion industry. Don’t let the obstacles of your dream job stop you from stepping up in life, do what you love and love what you do. Would you like to know any further details about fashion styling and stylists?
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