Depending on which country you are from, the job of a fashion consultant and stylist can be a case of same scope, different title. But in some cases, there is a clear distinction between the people and purpose they style for. Both the consultant and the stylist need an impeccable dress sense, a passion for fashion, and psychic-level trend-prediction! So if a daily dose of window shopping is your idea of a dream job, these are the two professions you should keep both eyes on.
According to payscale.com the average hourly rate for a fashion consultant ranges from US$9.70-$121.96/hour in America. Employers in this field look out for graduates with a diploma or bachelor’s degree in fashion design, fashion marketing, or fashion journalism.
The Fashion Consultant in retail
Fashion consultants usually work in the retail scene or with consultation agencies. Those in retail are professional shoppers, different from the regular sales girls. When someone calls the shop to book for appointments, the consultant will usually select anywhere from 8-30 outfits and accessories for the patron to try.
Clothes selection is usually based on events that the customer will be heading to, or a wardrobe makeover. The consultant has to keep in mind the patron’s style preferences and lifestyle. Sometimes, they will work with make-up stylists to give the customer a complete makeover. Depending on workplace, the consultant might have to give image tips like having good posture and other pieces of advice to boost the customer’s aesthetical charisma.
A true fashion consultant is able to make her client look and feel good with a perfect outfit and an air of confidence. The salary of a fashion consultant is usually based on an hourly or monthly basis. And the job can give a careful employee financial stability.
The Fashion Consultant in an agency
A professional fashion consultant working in an agency does not usually help a retail consumer directly. In this setting, your clients will be fashion marketers and distributors. Your job will be to research trends from the latest high-profile fashion shows. And also source for clothes for your clients. If you join a big company, you can expect to travel a lot to manufacturing countries. Over there, you will source for clothes and secure deals.
Sometimes, the fashion consultancy agency might offer grooming courses for corporate bodies. And this will require you as a fashion consultant to teach professionals how to dress and carry themselves.
The Fashion Stylist
You can find fashion stylists at editorial photo shoots for magazines; on film sets dressing the cast, or if they are good, they style celebrities. The main difference between a stylist and a consultant is that a stylist’s skills are almost exclusively used by media people only – or very rich individuals.
Stylists in general have a certain look to achieve. And 90% of the time, they do not go by the personal preference of the people they are dressing. Models and actors often have no say on what they wear unless they are A-list people.
Depending on where they work, stylists can unleash a little more creativity to create highly inspirational fashion spreads or movies. One moment you can be doing street fashion. In another, you can be styling someone to look like a teen-idol vampire or a Chinese emperor.
Like-wise, a fashion stylist can earn around US$9-100+/hour. But most assignments are contract work. And you will see a stylist hop from one assignment to another. If you want to be a stylist, you need a good dose of social skills. Also, influential connections help a lot to keep you informed about available paid assignments.
Sometimes it is really just a job title
Certain job responsibilities of a fashion consultant can seep over to a stylist’s job description and vice versa. They both have to source for clothes, and they both need to assemble outfits to achieve certain looks.
So it will not be surprising to see a “personal stylist” working in a high-end mall performing the job duties of the fashion consultant mentioned earlier. Though on the other hand, it can be hard to imagine a “fashion consultant” doing a stylist’s job on a movie set or fashion shoot.
A stylist will usually not have the time to teach every model on a fashion show how to dress and do their makeup like a consultant does. But if you have time to sit down with nice professional stylists during breaks, they can share some fabulous fashion tips!
If you want an easier entry into the world of fashion, do yourself a favor. Find a reputable fashion school that suits your needs. And pursue a fashion-related bachelor’s degree. Not only does this increase your chances of being hired, it prepares you to handle your future job like a seasoned professional!