Style Change

Halfway through my engineering training, I discovered I have a passion for fashion. Although it has not been easy getting to the point where I am now, an assistant fashion stylist, and though I am fully aware of how competitive this industry can be, I’d like to know how I can move forward to become an established fashion stylist.
-S. Lo, Via the Internet

The fashion business is a competitive one. It’s also an industry in which careers are developed based on one’s network. A great way to develop your contacts as well as your talent is by participating in internships at fashion magazines,

says Kirk Shannon-Butts, men’s market editor for Glamour. Apply to the fashion department only, he stresses. There’s an assumption that getting in anywhere will eventually connect you to the right department, but fashion editors like to know that interns are solely and passionately focused on style.

“Secondly, seek out local designers in your area and ask to style their fashion shows-for free,” advises Shannon-Butts. “For free is a big sell.” Third, and this one pays-most upscale department stores have personal shoppers and stylists. “These professionals shop for a wide range of clients, including celebrities.” He also suggests contacting modeling agencies and asking to test with new models and emerging photographers as well as hair and makeup artists. “Last, seek out some rising celeb or television broadcaster in your area in need of a makeover. Get in touch with them-and style!”