One of the most sought out jobs in the fashion industry is the career of a celebrity stylist. The glamour that is associated with this key role makes it incredibly appealing, but also seemingly out of reach. The role of a celebrity stylist is arguably becoming one of the most important roles when it comes to a celebrity’s career; fashion is how we develop a first or even long-lasting impression. Now, stylists like Law Roach and Karla Welch are becoming micro-celebrities in their own right. As this career path becomes more significant, what steps do you need to take to get there yourself?
To begin with, styling has been around since dressers and image consultants worked for the monarchy in the Elizabethan era, defining the trends seen at court. It remained a very upper class luxury to have someone dress you or shop for you. As such, these jobs often fell to servants or people in the 'low' class and could be looked down upon. Until the 80s and 90s, celebrity styling was a very hidden career, and many celebrities still wore their own clothes to events. But with the increasing visibility of celebrity culture online, dressing the stars is more important than ever, and now, celebrities also seek out people not only to style them for red carpets and press junkets, but also for everyday. It-girls like the Hadids and Jenners for example, have notoriously gained a lot of their fame and notoriety by way of the outfits they have been "papped" in by photographers on the street - you can bet that those were painstakingly selected by a stylist.
With the unforgiving speed of the fashion industry today, the key to entering any sort of fashion career, especially celebrity stylist, is knowing fashion inside and out - from design history, to a wide range of modern designers (haute couture, major luxury brands, as well as emerging labels and even MA students), as well as fabric and fabrication. It is also important to have a clear understanding of how the industry functions and all of the different moving pieces; doing an internship at a fashion PR agency could be incredibly helpful to see how stylists "pull" clothing for clients, and of course, intern for as many stylists - editorial or celebrity - that you can.
While it is important to understand fashion, having your own unique style is also very important. Although it may change to suit the needs of your clients, it is also vital to have a point of view so you stand out from the many other individuals looking to enter this field. This is especially important in celebrity styling, as creating a celebrity’s image for them is largely about helping them stand out and make a splash in the press. Being able to look at fashion differently could benefit the career of both the celebrity stylist and the celebrity; think about how Kate Young - arguably the most powerful stylist in Hollywood - transformed our image of Selena Gomez from a teen starlet to the face of Coach, thanks to a slew of appearances in brands like Saint Laurent and Proenza Schouler. A good stylist helps to create a consistent brand for a client, but they also need to innovate.
Become a stylist already requires an intense amount of hustling, but a celebrity stylist may be an even more illusive job. Although, social media can make it easier - start small, style some friends, or local editorial shoots. Create a brand for yourself, and maybe even make a separate Instagram solely to promote your styling services. It is so easy to find people, or even meet people; don’t be afraid to DM people you think could benefit your end goal. Once you have a portfolio, reach out to local stylists for internships or gigs as their assistant. Get to know cool bands or actors in your community who may need help with wardrobe - you never know where they could end up, and if you could be a key part in helping them make that jump.
The road to becoming a celebrity stylist is a long one, and the biggest obstacle is probably how many people will say ‘no’ to you. The best advice is to stay true to who you are, allow yourself to see fashion differently than everyone else, and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
Image via @karlawelchstylist