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Starting a Career as a Fashion Stylist

by News Desk

One of the lasting changes that emerged during the pandemic is a prioritization of self. First tagged “The Great Resignation” by media pundits, the trend spotlighted people who broke away from traditional career paths and nine-to-fives to pursue their dreams and make them a reality.

As this career trend continues, people in the fashion apparel, retail and beauty space are pursuing a variety of dream careers. They are launching direct-to-consumer brands, designing collections and finding success as independent designers and stylists.

Regarding the latter, if you ever dreamed of becoming a fashion stylist, and wondered where and how to start, there’s a new course that can help get you on the path. Titled, “Fashion Styling Foundations,” the five-module course was created by Yellowbrick in partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies and WWD.

The first module of the course, “Storytelling With Style,” is composed of 38 lessons and focuses on how to become a storyteller — which is a key element of fashion styling. The focus is on how to develop a differentiated point of view. “Fashion is always referential, so it’s important to understand how to research efficiently and understand trends,” noted the module description. “In order to do so, you will get acquainted with what’s happening on the runways today. You will also learn the history of fashion styling and the significance of the stylist as a storyteller and tastemaker. You will learn how to pull images, sort them and organize them into mood boards to illustrate your vision.”

Alex Badia
Courtesy image.

In one lesson, “What is a stylist?,” Alex Badia, style director at WWD, raised the question of what truly makes a stylist. “For me, the word ‘stylist’ is misused, and it is overused,” Badia said. “Anybody can call themselves a stylist and I think that’s great, but it’s not only the idea of having good taste. That is part of it. And it’s not saying, ‘Oh, those jeans are cute.’ That’s not being a stylist. That’s just being opinionated and kind of like a fun friend to have brunch with.”

Badia said a true stylist is someone who deeply knows fashion. “It is someone who knows art, and who knows the history of fashion,” he said. “It’s someone who understands the context and the origin of trends; although ‘trend’ is also an overused word. A stylist is a storyteller.”

Jeffrey Ampratwum
Courtesy image.

In the lesson, “Know the Classics,” Jeffrey Ampratwum, creative fashion director and menswear expert, said in menswear, for stylists to succeed, they “have to consider the past, and the present to then dictate the future trend forecasting.”

Ampratwum described being a stylist as a part of a personal and subjective process. “If [a client] asks to produce a shoot for a classic look, you need to know what a classic look looks like, and also the variations of a classic look,” he said. “So, there’s a little bit of subjectivity and your own influence that goes into that idea, but there is also an objective part that requires research.”

Click here to learn more about the Fashion Styling Foundations online course.

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