About Fashion Stylist

The Golden Globe Awards, the Cannes film festival, the New York Fashion Week – are some of the biggest, most eagerly awaited events every year, passionately discussed and critiqued by fashion experts and novices alike.

If you are someone with a terrific fashion sense and follow fashion trends like your life depends on it, here is a career you might want to know further about!

Fashion styling is a relatively new career option in the fashion industry. As the name suggests, fashion stylists help people make a statement through their get up. They select clothing, accessories, makeup and hairdressing styles for their employers, who are often celebrities dressing up for a fashion advertisement, editorial, music video, red carpet event or a private function. These days, fashion stylists are hired to even dress up celebrities for the airport.

Fashion stylists also known as wardrobe stylists are different from fashion designers who create clothing. Fashion stylists are not even the same as costume designers – the ones who dressfictional characters for films, television or theatre. Fashion stylists are not the same as image consultants (experts who create the right public profile for their clients) or colour consultants (experts who identify the most suitable colours for their client). Then again, these are related fields and a fashion stylist with the right skills can be all of the above.

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Top Colleges

Most fashion styling courses across the best institutes are short-term diploma or certificate courses. The best path to follow in order to pursue a career in this field is by studying a fashion management/fashion design course at the bachelor’s level and then doing an extended short-term course on styling.

There are several good universities in India (All NIFTs, Pearl Academy, Vogue Institute, etc.) that offer the four years B Des. courses in fashion communication / technology. If you wish to gain more knowledge in this area, 2 years masters programs are also available in various institutes. The education should be complemented with 4-5 years of internship or work experience with a major fashion stylist, post which you will be able to create your own brand in fashion styling.

Europe is the hub for fashion styling and has some of the best institutes for pursuing this course. The Istituto Marangoni in Milan offers a 3 years BA (Hons) degree program in Fashion Styling & Creative Direction. It also offers a BA (Hons) 4-years and wich course. In Paris & London, the course is offered with a certification from Manchester Metropolitan University.

In India, the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi offers a part-time 6 months certificate program in Creative Fashion Styling. The course has only 30 seats and students who have passed the 12th grade or are currently pursuing grade 12 are eligible to apply. The Pearl Academy of Fashion –Delhi, Mumbai & Noida offers both UG and PG courses in fashion styling. The 4 years Bachelor’s degree program in Fashion Styling & Image Design covers the 3 major areas of styling – Personal (for individual clients), Editorial (for publications) and Commercial (for mass media.) ISDI Parsons Mumbai also offers a 24-week fashion styling course.

The short courses teach the basic of styling while the extended courses cover different aspects of styling, historical and contemporary arts and styles, photography, styling for TV/advertisements/ movies, presentation techniques, fashion trends, hair accessorizing, material sourcing and model casting.



Duration: 6 months - 1 Years

Fee per course/annum: AUS $3,000 - $12,000

Career Prospects

Most fashion stylists are freelancers although many prefer to stay employed with publishing and events management companies, model and advertising agencies, fashion labels, e-commerce portals shopping centres, trend forecasting agencies, public relations firms and retail stores. As a freelancer, once you become famous, you will enjoy a loyal client base.Picking up clothing and accessories for media events, working with designers, hair and makeup artists, photographers, publicists, etc. are routine jobs for fashion stylists.

To create and keep the right public profiles of their clients, fashion stylists also have to stay updated with the work of different designer labels, attend fashion shows, locate the best clothing and know to predict, and spot fashion trends.

Some of the top industries that hire fashion stylists are:

  • Apparel & Fashion
  • Design
  • Retail
  • Entertainment
  • Media Production
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Internet
  • Writing & Editing
  • Luxury Goods & Jewellery
  • Motion Pictures & Film
Similar Careers

Jobs & Salary

Fashion stylists often work as commercial stylists, costume designers, fashion & lifestyle bloggers, corporate trainers, image designers, personal shoppers, social media managers and image consultants. Some of the other relevant careers that can be pursued by fashion stylists are:

Fashion Journalist / Fashion Editor
Fashion Merchandiser
Fashion Marketer
Visual Merchandiser
Wedding Planner
Fashion Retail Sales
Set Designer
Creative Director
Model / Talent Agent
Life Coach

Some of the top companies in India that have employed fashion stylists are:

In the US, entry-level stylists and interns make about $150 to $200 a day. At a mid-career level, a fashion stylist typically makes between $500 to $5,000 a day (approximately $5,400 a month). Top fashion stylists make $8,400 a month, or even more.

In India, an entry-level fashion stylist makes anything between Rs.10,000 to Rs. 25,000 a month. The pay package depends on the institute the stylist passes out from. With experience and an established client base, the salary can go up to Rs. 120,000 a month. On an average, fashion stylist earns Rs. 37,000 a month.

Pros & Cons

To become a fashion stylist, one must have an inherent understanding of colour schemes and what suits different faces, body types and the best ways to dress people. Knowledge of fashion trends and designer labels should be complemented with the business skills of marketing, networking and advertising. Since fashion stylists work closely with clients, it is important to align the styles with the client's personal tastes. Good communication skills, creativity and innovation, eye for detail and being well organized are some of the other skills that will stimulate growth in their career.

  • Your work with high profile clients will make you famous
  • The work never gets monotonous since each client is different
  • Through your work, you will help people feel good about themselves
  • You risk losing your client if you go over budget
  • If you do not meet the client’s expectation, disrepute comes easily
  • Since most fashion stylists are freelances, the job security is relatively lesser than other fields of work

Famous Personalities

Karla Welch

She has been declared as one of the most powerful stylists by The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times. The celebrity stylist to Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Pink, Karla Welch dresses the A-listers of Hollywood for award functions, red carpet events and concerts. She has over 100,000 followers on Instagram. Apart from celebrity dressing, Welch has styled campaigns for Dior, L’Oréal and Apple, and in magazine editorials for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Rolling Stone.

Anaita Shroff Adajania

The Fashion Director for Vogue India magazine, Anaita Adajania is the most famous fashion stylist and costume designer in India. Her work has been showcased in publications including Vogue, L'Officiel, Elle and Rolling Stone. She is noted for her design work in several Bollywood movies like the Dhoom series, Love AajKal and Cocktail. These days, Adajania styles actress Deepika Padukone exclusively for all her events.

Kate Young

Having started her career as the assistant to American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Kate Young has come a long way and is one of the most powerful fashion stylists in Hollywood. She was responsible for transforming Selena Gomez from a Disney girl to the Louis Vuitton campaign star. Her clients include Natalie Portman, Sienna Miller and Dakota Johnson.


400 ADRoman togas become a symbol of social status and rank

1000Women in Europe start wearing more material to keep warm. Men wear armour or plain working clothes

1628American men wear suits with leggings; women wear long dresses and caps

1790Style changes from the voluminous dresses to sleeker, high-waisted dresses

1830French fashion gets popular and spreads in the western world

1856Synthetic dye is invented

1900Skirts get slimmer; pants get longer

1930Shorter skirts and jeans become fashionable

1960Women start wearing pants. Clothing became shorter and looser

1980Modern clothing (1980's-present day)

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