I'M A STYLIST, HOW DID I GET MY START

Although it may seem like my family time takes over, my career life is one of my biggest passions. I am a stylist! A lot of people ask me what does it mean to be a stylist and how did I get my start. Being a stylist is a huge part of who I am so I thought I would share how I started and what it’s like working as one!

I have been a stylist for about 10 years now. Before I started I was working for a mom and pop shoe company in LA, learning the inns and outs of the business and traveling back and fourth to Italy to help design and visit the factory when I met my boyfriend (my now husband) and he was working in the industry as a photographer. I loved my time working with the shoe company and I’ve always dreamed of having my own line so learning the business side from the ground up was invaluable. But something was missing. My “boyfriend” worked on sets and he asked a stylist friend, more like begged her, to let me come watch and help. So the next day just like that I was lucky enough to be thrown on set with a great established stylist and her team as an intern and it all went from there! I am a firm believer that I was in the right place at the right time and some hard work did the rest. I immediately loved it and was driven to make it my career! If you would have asked my friends and family back then if I would have thrived in this industry and survived during an economic hard time they probably would have been unsure, but I knew from that first day that I was on set that this was “it”

I lot of work and time an energy assisting went into it after that first connection was made but I am so grateful to this day for everything I learned and how it all turned out!

When I was quitting college after only one year and all my friends were getting their degrees and thriving I always wondered if I would one day look back and regret that decision… well I can whole heartedly say that I do not! I just knew that I had to be in the field working so to speak, I was so anxious to start working and looking back that’s how I’ve always been. I wanted a job at my local clothing boutique at 12 years old.

I knew I wanted to pursue something in the fashion industry and arts and I knew that I was ready to work and nothing about my classes or campus was feeling right. So with the support of my family I moved home from back east and that’s when it all took off.

Ok so enough about the past.. things are different now in our age of Instagram and blogging and celebrities being so exposed so I don’t know if my advice for newbies would be the same, but I always tell my interns and assistants to work hard and put everything you’ve got into it, take every opportunity your given and if you love “it” and “it” loves you, the universal will respond and make you a place!

I always get asked, so what is your job, to shop for people? That sounds fun!

Sooo.. here you have it, the inns and outs of being a stylist!

I am an advertising fashion stylist, so I am not a personal shopper for anyone. Typically my clients are brands such as: Nike, The Gap, Old Navy, New Balance, Target, Levis, Converse etc.. Occasionally I get a celebrity client and that is definitely a different work flow. So yes I do shop for a living so to speak but there is a lot more that goes into it.

One misconception that many people have is that styling is “easy” or they think if they love clothes and are good at following trends and shopping that they can be a stylist. But there is a lot more that goes into it, you need to be able to manage personalities and communicate well with many different types of clients to make their visions come to life in your own way. And you’ll also be doing lots of manual labor, like schlepping wardrobe racks and heavy garment bags and trunks of wardrobe around airports and malls.

My clients look to me for mood boarding and character development in a way, I’m usually shopping for models or brand ambassadors. I am typically working with the advertising agency or brand directly to target a certain clientele or launch a new type of customer and style the ad accordingly.

For example, working with an active brand I might be trying to elevate their sporty girls looks, to help them reach or target a new clientele or tell their existing sporty girls that they can stretch their athleisure looks into a bit more of a fashion look.

On a daily basis I am brainstorming trends and fashion forecasting, and once Im hired for a particular styling project here is how I would handle the project:

  • Having a meeting or conference call with the team to determine who and what I’ll be shopping for
  • Flying to the companies head quarters to pull pieces and style their upcoming campaign
  • Shopping till I drop for all those pieces that we are missing: jewelry, hats, shoes, full outfits in some cases
  • Reaching out to designers to borrow coveted pieces
  • Organizing, steaming and preparing outfits and putting them into garment bags (with the help of my amazing team)
  • Meeting with the models and clients for a fitting to determine the exact looks we will shoot and to tailor them so they fit perfectly
  • Then we would shoot! For this part there is an amazing production team planning every little detail and all I do is show up and worry about styling

I LOVE styling! The places it takes me and the people I meet are so great and I’m constantly creatively inspired !

This is my website that shows a lot of my portfolio.

http://www.lizziecurtis.com

Below are a few examples of some advertisements that I’ve styled.

Still have questions? ask in the comments below!?