A wardrobe stylist, also fashion stylist, is a consultant who selects the clothing for published editorial features, print or television advertising campaigns, music videos, concert performances, and any public appearances made by celebrities, models or other public figures. Stylists are often part of a larger creative team assembled by the client, collaborating with the fashion designer, photographer/director, hair stylist, and makeup artist to put together a particular look or theme for the specific project. A wardrobe stylist can also be referred to as a fashion stylist, fashion editor, or celebrity stylist. According to one view, “Stylists are the people who push each celebrity to make the best dressed list,” and assist with editorial photo shoots.
The job description varies greatly depending on the assignment. Stylists in the editorial and celebrity fields work primarily with designer samples, which are shown during fashion presentations and are lent to members of the fashion press during the 4–6 months before retail sales begin. High-level stylists may collaborate directly with designers to produce custom clothing for celebrity clients or editorials; this is common for celebrity stylists whose clients attend awards shows and for fashion editors at top magazines. Stylists may also provide services such as personal shopping, restructuring a client’s entire wardrobe, reorganizing a client’s closet, or other duties relating to the client’s personal lifestyle.
A wardrobe stylist is distinct from a costume designer, the person who clothes characters in film, television, or theater. A wardrobe stylist is also distinct from an image consultant or a color consultant. A person can be a color consultant without knowing the basic principles of line or style. An image consultant is an expert in both color and line, and may work with business professionals or individuals, as opposed to celebrities in particular. A color consultant’s aim is to identify the most flattering colors for their client, while the goal of an image consultant is to tell a story about the client through clothes, shapes, and colors.