Monday 26 April 2010

Insight into the fashion industry - the stylist

If you fancy yourself a career in fashion, your first two thoughts might be "designer" and "model" but a whole lot more goes into the catwalk shows and gorgeous editorials that you see in the magazines. Unless you count writing this blog, I haven't worked in the fashion industry and like anyone else I love getting a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on. So when freelance stylist Nasima Ahmed got in touch with me I had plenty of questions for her about her job!

what are the main skills involved in doing your job (other than a good eye for fashion!)
Being able to understand what the client wants, being able to create something from scratch is always a good advtange, sometimes clients want one off pieces that no one else will have and it helps to have the skill to know how to quickly make something. Being able to work with different types of creative people is important, a lot of times you might have clashing opinions on things and its always important to know when to draw the line.

Describe an average working day
Depending on the project, if I am given a brief from a client I will spend a couple of days prepping the idea, giving feedback, sourcing props and specific bits for the shoot/ event. Then on the shoot its pretty much working with the creative team to get the achieved look!

what's the most enjoyable part about your job?
Not knowing where I’m going to be next, doing freelance styling means that I'm flexible to move around to new and exciting places and it also means I get to meet all types of people. Last week I did a talk on styling to fashion students on a fashion course, the week before I was shooting on the streets of East London and the shoot before I was shooting in a national park! The possibilities are endless! There are different parts to styling, there’s commercial styling which is more advertising which is really great fun, then there’s editorial which is more creative, personal styling with individuals, there’s so many different areas that I work with that I'm blessed to work in all areas.

what's the most challenging aspect?
Hmm maybe the long working hours, some shoots can start really early and last up 15 hours depending on how intense it is or if the client is not happy with the results you need to keep going till it is!

do you have any tips for all the budding stylists out there on how to get started?
Get work experience with a fashion stylist, do internship with a magazine, possibly do a fashion or styling course.

All images are from the "garden of eastern" shoot which Nasima styled, these appeared in Asian Woman Magazine and were a collaboration with FK Creatives. If you want to get in touch with Nasima, visit her website

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