How a stylist presents herself in the industry has always been important. It’s what I call creating your own “packaging.” A stylist’s “packaging” becomes her/his calling card. Stylists become easily recognizable and build their brand this way. How we present ourselves to our clients and our industry is our own special way of marketing. And now, with blogs covering the looks of editors, stylists and all other show-goers, packaging is even more important. In fact, a few stylists have even made careers out of marketing their personal style.
For stylists and their assistants, their look expresses their sensibility and aesthetic without saying a word. Whether they like it or not, stylists are being judged on their looks, specifically their outfit, hair, makeup (for women), nails, etc. This is not about being “pretty,” or attracting a mate, this is about stylists physically reflecting their art. Clients and stylists’ teams want to be inspired by the way a stylist looks.
Also, the “packaging” of the stylists’ team matters. How a stylist’s team of assistants and interns dress is also judged by the client and creative teams. So if you are an assistant or intern be mindful, you are reflecting an image for the stylist for whom you are working.
I am a full believer in a uniform. I have uniforms for first time meetings, on-set days, etc. that all reflect my vibe. I also adjust for the type of client I am working with that day, but always remain true to my look and story.
When I think about what I am going to wear to an introductory business meeting with a potential client, I am very deliberate about presenting myself in a manner that demonstrates my creativity and my portfolio, which they will be flipping through in front of me during the meeting. To me, it’s crucial that the aesthetic reflected in my work is also reflected in my dress, hair, makeup (or lack thereof), otherwise a stylist can look a bit schizophrenic. In the end, clients and people are inspired by the “real” women or men standing in front of them. I think that it’s one of the big deal breakers for landing a new client. I have sealed the deal on quite a few jobs by showing up looking like the client’s aspirational customer. Clients want a muse.
I’ve Polaroided some my looks in heavy rotation right now: for meetings, consultation days and shows, as well as some budget buy versions. When preparing for work, I choose looks based on what’s appropriate for each situation. For example, on shoot days or when I am working on a show, I wear clothes I can bend over in without showing all of the “goods” (very UNinspiring to see butt cracks, etc. of a stylist or their assistants!!) and shoes I can stand in all day. So when working on looks, remember, although stylists must present themselves in an inspiring manner, they must also be able to perform their job.