Author: Wanjiku N. M | Editor and Founder of TDS | Twitter: @WanjikuNM
What do Annabel Onyango, Sunny Dolat, Silvia Njoki and Connie Aluoch have in common?
This month, we dedicate our time, energy and focus on our very own fashion stylists. Fashion stylists have a personal style, an eye for color and an understanding in how fashion items work in putting outfits (“styles”) together. In a sense, they are chefs in the fashion world; able to mix and match to achieve a particular look. Having said, there is so much more to being a fashion stylist. Some say you can teach someone how to dress but you cannot teach him or her style. Fashion stylists are masters of style.
So what is a fashion stylist?
A fashion stylist, also referred to as a wardrobe stylist, selects and puts together clothing ensembles for a particular person, company, brief or objective (to communicate a message). This could be for a published editorial feature, print or television, advertising campaigns, music videos, concert performances and any other public appearances.
Stylists are often part of a larger creative team, which involves collaborating between the client, fashion designer, and photographer; make up artist and hair stylist in putting together a particular look. Fashion stylists come in many packages depending on specialization. Where some are personal stylists, others are strictly fashion editors for a magazine/publications whilst others specialize in celebrity styling. These are distinct from costume designers (movies and plays), image consultants and to a certain extent, fashion bloggers. With regard to the latter, fashion bloggers and fashion stylists can be one and the same person, quite similar in presentation and yet distinct in their objectives.
We want to use this time to also dispel misconceptions about fashion stylists. Firstly, it’s a real job with long hours; much longer than you expect. It actually involves 12-14 hour days, missed meals, coordinating with designers, magazines, meeting the brief and being able to translate ones style and simultaneously flatter the person being styled. The fashion shows and after parties make up perhaps 5% of the job. Secondly, to become a fashion stylist requires building reputation and maintaining a particular aesthetic, which will take time and hard work.
We present to you our very own fashion stylists making their mark in this beautiful Kenya of ours. From Annabel Onyango to Sunny Dolat, we share their stories and journeys as well as their successes. They have styled the likes of Sauti Sol, behind the stunning looks on fashion films as well as numerous magazine publications.
Let’s get started then.
Follow the stories using the hashtag below on our Twitter and Instagram. Join in the conversation and if you have a question/comment, feel free to share away.