Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
If you've ever seen a reality TV show about fashion, you've most likely heard the term "stylist." But, what is that exactly? And who gets to have that job anyway? It's a long road from deciding you want to be a fashion stylist to becoming a household name in fashion. And only a select few have hit the big time with A-list clients.
What a Fashion Stylist Does
The term "stylist" in fashion encompasses a specific, but broad definition. You are a professional shopper, keeping up on trends and knowing the tastes of your clients to pick and buy clothes for them, at times when they're not around. You dress them for special events. You choose what jewelry, makeup and clothes make the most stylish and flattering look for a particular client. This sounds awesome, but isn't all fun and games. There's no major in college that guarantees you'll get to have this job. You're self-employed, and it's up to you to promote yourself and get more clients. And if your sense of style isn't on point and versatile, you're not going to be a success.
Rachel Zoe is arguably the most well-known fashion stylist on the scene for 2011, thanks to her Bravo show, "The Rachel Zoe Project." She's parlayed her success dressing A-list actresses into her own brand name (the goal of any fashion stylist who wants to rise to the top) and has recently put together a capsule collection clothing line of her very own. Her clients include, but aren't limited to, Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz and Liv Tyler. Rachel is well-known for putting her ingenue clients in her signature BOHO look, and in some circles her clients are referred to as Zoe-bots.
While Rachel Zoe is the of-the-moment stylist star, Phillip Bloch's successful career has spanned decades, most of which was built under the radar. Not only is he the man who dressed Halle Berry for her historical Oscar win, he's also been a contributing editor to some of the world's most prestigious fashion magazines such as "Elle" and "Fashion Quarterly." He's created his own jewelry line for QVC and made dozens of television appearances as himself, critiquing fashion and talking about current trends.
Not all successful fashion stylists are to be found on your TV. Britt Bardo grew up in Ohio and has helped to shape the style of Kate Hudson and the Olson twins. She dresses Eva Mendez, too. Britt was named "style expert" by Mark Cosmetics in 2009, and was on "Forbes'" list of "Superstar Stylists" in 2006.