Stylists: Often the unsung heroes of countless artistic projects. Not on our watch! For the fifth volume of TNC Talks, we’re shining the spotlight on one of the most elusive jobs in the fashion industry, styling.
Possibly one of the most intriguing paths in the industry, hard to get into, even harder to remain successful and actually “make it”. But why is this? The path to becoming a stylist is tricky, it requires talent, determination, and of course, style. But it’s so much more than that too. Not only do you need fantastic interpersonal skills and a gift for synergy and collaboration, but most of the time you also need to be blessed by that right time, right place fairy dust of opportunity. That is not to say, that you can’t bend the odds in your favour.
We are gathered here today, as the humble online followers of fashion that we are, to hear from a selected group of gifted and unique stylists. So they may enlighten us with their experience and practical knowledge of this intriguing and exciting profession.
So ladies, gentlemen, and everything in between and outside… The Stylists.
Stylist and Creative Consultant
Storytelling is the most important thing when it comes to styling. Clothes tell so much about us as humans and the time we are living in. With styling I am able to tell things in a different way, create new perspectives and shine a light on the unseen. Fashion is a tool with incredible power. It’s an armour we wear every day on our skin but also on our soul.
Fashion has also a big impact when it comes to representation. Campaign imagery and editorial content shape a new point of view. Diversity in all aspects is an important part of my work.
Fashion has been a very important part of my personal life and the development of my personality. I want to use these emotions for my work, so others find inspiration and can translate what they see into their own world.
My creative process is a constant conversation with the world around me.
To have a magazine in your back makes things easier to build your portfolio and create stories with high fashion but this is not a must. As more and more magazines shut down, young creatives need to find other ways to create and draw attention to their work. It’s a shark tank, but honest and raw creativity is the key. You don’t always need designer clothes to create fantastic imagery. It’s the message that counts. The story you want to share with the world. Go from there and create free, with no strings attached.
For me, one of the most important characteristics a stylist or someone who aspires to be one in the future should have is an interest and curiosity about the new as well as the old. The job of a stylist lives at the intersection of past and present and future.
I am very excited to see how the tech industry is entering the fashion world and how brands and talents are using the endless spectrum of its possibilities. I think both worlds can only learn from each other and we as creatives even more. The profession will change in a way that there will be even more levels of creative engagement and collaboration. It’s all about an open mind and willingness to learn new techniques. It’s about creativity and the power of visual creation. In my opinion, the two worlds have been separated for too long. Fashion has been a very exclusive clique in many ways, and I think that the digital world is a space for everyone and gives us the possibility to interact in new ways and opens the door for an even bigger community.
As a stylist, you have to fill up the visual space which should be complementary to the model, output and vision of the photographer but also to the location and/or set design.
I think it is very important for a stylist to live in a semi to large multicultural city. This is where everything happens and where progression can be found. You literally have to move around town to meet new people and make strong connections. Even without a background in fashion, you can start your career as a stylist. Just move around, go to coffee spots and parties and make real eye contact. You’ll find out that a real connection will lead to a positive reference for other people in the scene. Nowadays it is also very easy to meet new people through Instagram. In my opinion, this is a very effective way of working and meeting new people but this mostly results in a short term relationship. Meeting people in real life is very important in my point of view.
Only the people with the same mindset and kindness will deliver the best outcome for you as a creative. Just keep on thinking about the intrinsic value and the reason you started working in this industry.
To have the best final result you should work with people who are having the same norms and values in life. You’ll find people who are having other work ethics and standards which is fine but stay true to what is comfortable to you. If someone wants something from you for the wrong reason, don’t be afraid to say no.
I think the fashion scene will change regarding its sustainability. For instance, brands are developing digital showrooms with digital designs of their collections. This makes it easier for buyers and stylists to see the collection and understand the meaning of the collection or item.
Paris is the greatest city if you’re focused on Fashion but at the same time, it’s a really difficult city. Some of the latest editorials I’ve done: Unpolished, Novembre, Vogue Portugal… These editorials were developed while being in Paris, where I moved last year. Everything I’ve done here has double the value since I’ve done it away from my comfort zone.
Instagram is a really good tool for that for the first contact with photographers. After that, from my experience… You have to meet them in person. That’s the most important part. Meeting them, feeling the vibe, sharing your thoughts, etc. And then sometimes it flows, sometimes it doesn’t. If it flows, it is the right time to create something together.
You might be less talented by nature, but with hard work, you can learn and gain this talent.
It’s a meeting game business. It comes naturally after lots of hard work. Assisting, meeting photographers, other stylists, everyone. Sometimes you will like the person you’re meeting and sometimes you won’t, but it’s business too. And then connections will come little by little.
Talent is important of course, but not the main thing. Hard-working, organised, communicative, energetic, etc. I even think this is more important than even the talent.
Stylist and Fashion Copywriter at The Next Cartel
My mission as a stylist is to express my perspective of fashion, from colours, textures and volumes to express a concept to the viewer and make them feel something. My influences are very diverse, at the end of the day, I am inspired by everything around me, the perspective I get about it and how that is interpreted in my mind. It can be a scene from a movie or by creating a mental scenario with an aesthetic by listening to a song.
I think the most important thing is to understand that the contacts are there and are always looking forward to seeing new talent and movement. The main thing is communication and in this case, it is the interested party who must take the first step (stylist).
Above all, have faith and keep in mind that you have to go through everything and there is always something new to learn.
Definitely be patient, value yourself and have faith. It is an industry like any artistic industry, difficult. You have to work hard to make a name for yourself in the industry, it’s not easy.
Personally, I think that something very nice about this profession is sharing art, stylists and photographers work very closely and it is great to be able to feed off each other’s knowledge and sense of art.
Between us, we always seek to collaborate and try new things with which it is easy to create a work relationship and if it works, continue working together. The biggest challenges in my opinion have arisen from working with creatives with different perspectives on the profession and working together, communication is key, but it is something you learn as you work. I said communication before and I insist, it’s really worth it to express how you feel, and what you think, always with respect for each other work but this would make easier to work.