Career Choices: Fashion Stylist or Fashion Designer



Fashion is an ever-evolving industry with many career paths and choices to choose from. Out of the many, becoming a fashion stylist or a fashion designer remains as the top picks for most fashion-hopefuls. And though the two jobs are often confused to be relatively similar, it really couldn’t be more different.


When it comes to job functions, the key responsibility of a fashion designer is to create new clothes and establish new trends. Fashion designers work closely with manufacturers and are involved in every stage of the production process of a garment. They essentially are the brains and hands behind a clothing label and in most scenarios, they also often become the ambassador or the face of the brand. Fashion designers are ultimately recognised for the garments that they produce and the trends that they set.


On the other hand, a fashion stylist’s job is to study trends set out by designers and style clothes for clients that they work with. Fashion stylists often have a vast knowledge of fashion and are able to translate a client’s style into a fully realised aesthetic. Clients can range from individuals like celebrities or models to fashion houses and even fashion publications. In terms of visibility, most fashion stylists remain unknown to the mass consumers  (unless of course, they’re Rachel Zoe or Micaela Erlanger) but are highly regarded by those who work within the industry.


Now that you’re informed of the differences, here’s how you can start your career in fashion:


For those of you who are thinking of becoming a fashion designer, consider enrolling in fashion and design schools to gain all the relevant technical skills and fashion knowledge needed to succeed. Make sure you review all the best fashion design schools available, select ones that resonate with you and then head on over to apply for fashion designing courses like a bachelors’ in fashion design, apparel merchandising or garment production technology amongst many others.


The same route can also be taken by budding fashion stylists but because style is not a distinctive technical skill but rather a matter of taste and visual imagination, those who are keen on becoming a fashion stylist can always opt to start their careers by working from the bottom up. For instance, celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger (best known for styling Meryl Streep and Lupita Nyong’o) earned her wings by working as a fashion intern and set assistant for years before landing her first big break in 2013 where she was hired to dress Downtown Abbey star, Michelle Dockery for the Golden Globes.


It’s important to note that there isn’t a right or wrong way to carve your career in fashion but being persistent, doing hard work, having passion and humility will be key to owning your dreams.

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