It’s a great career option if you are fascinated by the glamour industry and want to rub shoulders with the rich & famous. The popularity of your clients works directly for you as your work, creativity and talent are seen by a huge audience.
As a wardrobe stylist (another name for the same profession), the network and contacts you build over time with influential folks can pave the way for bigger and more interesting opportunities.
Fashion stylist Shreeja Rajgopal shares more about the field of fashion styling.
Fashion Stylist Careers in India
Q&A with Fashion Stylist Shreeja Rajgopal
Can you share a little about your background?
Shreeja: I’ve always been inclined towards fashion and everything else that came along with it. Although I come from a background of Mass media and not fashion or design, I did undertake a few short courses on styling from London College of Fashion.
To begin with, I underwent a couple of internships in fashion public relations where I was mainly involved in the communications and marketing for fashion brands.
The glossy magazines, working on fashion weeks, coordinating styles with fashion magazines for their upcoming shoots etc was all a beginning to eventually what pulled me into styling.
What steps did you take to become a fashion stylist?
Shreeja: I started off by working in a fashion and lifestyle boutique agency called Peepul Consulting that handled public relations and marketing for brands like Vizyon, Anita Dongre, Hidesign etc.
Being part of the PR industry gave me an insight to so much more apart from what I was doing – one if it being styling.
I learned how celebrities are always in the limelight for what they wear at any point in the day and realised how stylists play a huge role in helping them look their best at all times.
A part of my role as a PR executive involved interacting with stylists and coordinating their requests and this really got me intrigued about styling and what it’s all about. It didn’t take me too long to quit my job and dive into fashion styling.
What challenges did you face?
Shreeja: It’s definitely not easy to step into the industry as a freelance stylist and build your client list (specially celebrities) unless you have certain connections in the industry that would trust you as a fresh talent.
I had a tough time to break through and what’s more difficult is to stay constant and get better with every project. But once you prove yourself and you’re being appreciated for your work, everything else comes your way.
Any familiar names that you’ve worked with?
Shreeja: I’ve been in the business for about two years now. I started off with assisting stylist Nitasha Gaurav, where we worked together on styling Ranveer Singh.
I learnt the basics of styling and understood the dos and donts of working with celebrities which is an integral part of the job to understand too.
Since 2013, I have worked with names like Alia Bhatt, Aditi Rao Hydari, Ayushman Khurana, Kiara Advani, Kriti Sanon, Radhika Apte, Randeep Hooda, Saqib Saleem, Surveen Chawla, Tamannaah Bhatia, Vaani Kapoor, Yami Gautam, Zoa Morani and so on.
Can you share a typical day in your life?
Shreeja: A typical day in the life of a stylist involves a lot of moving around, from store to store for sourcing, having a bunch of bags full of clothes, fittings with celebrities, making appointments with designers and stores, coordinating with designer PR’s etc.
We shoot at the most odd hours sometimes, so it’s definitely not an entirely glam job, yes we do have our perks but you really have to love styling and be passionate about it in order to survive 🙂
What are the pre-requisites to become a fashion stylist?
Shreeja: I personally feel there’s nothing like learning on the job. Assisting a stylist for a year or so would be ideal to learn everything you need to about styling. Education always helps, although in the case of styling it’s best learnt while on the field.
If needed, one could undergo diplomas/short courses in fashion styling that gives you a base of how things work.
Styling as a career path is really growing and there are plenty of universities offering courses – internationally and in India as well.
While I enrolled for my short courses on styling in London, I assisted stylists on brand shoots, interned with a few magazines and production houses which really widened my horizons.
Also I highly recommend one to do constant research on websites or blogs to be updated with everything that’s going on, it really helps!
How can someone decide whether a career in the fashion industry is right for them?
Shreeja: It’s simple, you need to be passionate about everything that comes with fashion – keeping up with new trends, new designers in the market, working late hours, having insane last minute changes, lot of running around etc.
At the end of everything you need to really enjoy what you do, that’s the only thing that matters!
Image source: News World India