Kate Young’s Tips for Becoming a Celebrity Stylist
“A question I get asked a lot is, ‘How do I get your job?’” says stylist Kate Young. “That answer is complex, because people come to this from all different walks of life.” To illustrate her point, she FaceTimes with friends in the industry to learn about their wide-ranging paths to the trade—and the experiences that helped them along the way—on the 10th episode of Hello Fashion, created with The Slowdown.
Young begins by talking about her own journey to styling. It started with snagging a job as an assistant at Vogue, followed by a stint at Interview magazine, and then led to styling celebrities on a freelance basis, for runway shows, advertisements, and editorials. Today, she’s fine-tuned her approach to working with clients, which involves making mood boards, requesting looks from fashion houses, scheduling multiple fittings, and taking lots of pictures. “Because so much of [styling] is about the picture, I want to see what the look looks like in a photograph almost more than what it looks like in person,” Young says. Sometimes she’ll do a “dummy fitting,” where a client tries on a number of outfits for no reason except for Young to understand what looks best on her body. Young selects clothes that tell a story about a client, convey a consistent identity throughout a given event or press tour, and ensure everything accentuates the body in the best ways possible. “The most important elements to how a look works are the undergarments and the tailoring,” Young says.
There are other ways to get into the game, too, as Young’s calls with Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Samira Nasr, who worked alongside her at Vogue, and Just Jared founder Jared Eng, who studied computer science in college, attest. She also speaks with YouTube’s head of fashion and beauty partnerships, Derek Blasberg, and celebrity stylist Jason Rembert, both of whom began their careers without knowing they’d end up doing the work they do today. Each circuitous path to success speaks to how accessible a career in styling can be. Anyone with dedication and a passion for clothes, Young suggests, can get started now by defining an aesthetic, collecting references, learning how clothes work on different body types, and shooting stories, even for Instagram. Spending time with people in the fashion industry also helps, she continues, but it really begins with developing a distinct perspective. “The most important thing you can have as a stylist is a point of view,” Young says, noting the need for budding stylists to find ways to implement and express their voices. “The people who are the assistants today will be running the show tomorrow.”
Watch new and previous episodes of Kate Young’sYouTube show Hello Fashion at youtube.com/kateyoung.