Careers in Fashion Merchandising: The Fashion/Wardrobe Stylist

by Mani

Styling is a unique type of fashion career, typically known as a Fashion Stylist, Wardrobe Stylist, or Visual Stylist. Traditionally, a Fashion Stylist is responsible for coordinating clothes, jewelry, and accessories used in fashion photo shoots, and/or fashion show catwalks. Stylists may also branch out to consult with individual or celebrity clients to design a coordinated wardrobe, or prepare an outfit a special event like a wedding or red carpet event.

One area of Fashion Styling includes editorial styling or styling for photo shoots. This role could include choosing the clothing and accessories for models, or styling interior designs like furniture and props. The Fashion Stylist works alongside the Art Director to discuss the focus of the photo shoot, or what brands need to be the central subject or the photographs. The Fashion Stylist may be responsible for borrowing samples from fashion showrooms and ensuring that all borrowed products are well maintained and returned in a timely fashion.

Anthropologie Winter 2012 Catalog.

Anthropologie Winter 2012 Catalog.

Anthropologie Winter 2012 Catalog.

Anthropologie Winter 2012 Catalog.

A newer area of focus for the Fashion Stylist is the role of Web Stylist. Leading fashion retailer Anthropologie recently published a job opening for a Freelance Web Stylist, responsible for “styling merchandise for the creation of product images as well as coordinate samples through the production process. They will provide all styling needs on set, from setting product display composition to maintaining the proper look of a garment on form.”

Similar to a traditional stylist, the Web Stylist focuses solely upon web-related photography. Other direct responsibilities for Anthropologie’s Web Stylist include:

  • Styling all merchandise for web photography
  • Working closely with photographer and merchandiser to make sure all pertinent product details are shown in an “Anthropologie style”
  • Working with Web Studio Manager to keep pace of photography to ensure all product photos are completed
  • Working with studio team to maintain a clean and organized working space
  • Preparing all photographed merchandise for return to buyers

Indirect responsibilities include:

  • Product preparation including steaming, ironing, and other processes to ensure that each product is displayed to the Anthropologie aesthetic
  • Follow direction from the photographer as well as work with web merchants and buyers to obtain specific direction for the presentation of product.
  • Visiting Anthropologie stores and website frequently to stay on trend
  • Upon receipt of samples, preparing and organizing the merchandise for the photography shoot.

A fashion styling career begins with an education in areas such as fashion merchandising, merchandise marketing or visual communications from an accredited fashion college.

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