Fashionista asked Chris Benz to give aspiring stylists advice on how to make it in the industry. This question is always asked, and usually the advice that is given seems to come right out of a textbook (if they make textbooks on how to become a stylist...) Usually the advice says to find a well known stylist, become an apprentice, work on your portfolio etc. Although that's correct advice, everyone already knows that those are the proper steps. Benz's advice is a bit out of the box and focuses on the most important thing, building your own personal brand.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, presentation is everything. And I do mean that – don’t get lost in the minutia of “portfolios” and “books.” I actually can’t remember the last time I reviewed a portfolio. Curate your life and your persona, commit to your direction, and become completely dedicated to that vision. Chances are, as an aspiring stylist, you have very unique opinions about the manner in which things should look. Focus on that and anything that speaks to that direction should get assembled into a portfolio. It’s as interesting to see the process of inspiration as the end result.
A stylist fulfills many more roles than simply putting outfits together–they’re personalities unto themselves, and are often the inspiration for entire collections. By becoming the most distinctive kind of person, people will gravitate towards your vision.
First impressions more often than not are the reason to work with someone, so you must be prepared for anything and at any moment! If your message as a stylist is a huge mess of colorful hair and shaved eyebrows, then you’d ought to make sure that you’re representing that look everyday. If it’s Lauren Hutton breezy glamor, with a clean face, straw hat, and overalls, then literally wear that everyday!
All the great stylists have a clear vision, and one that they have formed after years of trial and error. I say, wear something wonderful in a new way, and trust me, people will notice.
Thanks CB and Fashionista!