Silvia Njoki is not only stylish but also a businesswoman at the end of the day having founded and Managing her own company called Style by Silvia. When carrying out a styling job for a larger client such as a television network, artist or groups of artists, she is contracted as her Company. Depending on the job, Silvia can both work alone or together with her assistant and intern supervising at times a team of up to 10 without including the hair and makeup artists.
So what does being a fashion stylist entail? Silvia defines a fashion stylist, in basic terms, as a professional who creates outfits (including garments, shoes and accessories) for one or more individuals to be worn for a specific occasion. The outfit, she continues, needs to reflect the personality of the individual as well as their requirements to reflect a certain image for a given situation or purpose. “I have always had a passion for fashion and initially,” she confesses, “I wanted to become a designer.” Knowing the fashion scene more, Silvia found herself attracted by the creative process involved in bringing all the elements in different crafts together as she does being a stylist.
Becoming a fashion stylist for Silvia Njoki was an organic process. “From the moment I decided to dedicate myself to styling rather than design, I attended fashion schools in London and Milan to pursue this course of action,” she tells us. Believe it or not, Silvia initially studied food science and technology, however, during her time in university a new love arose; fashion. By the time she had finished her studies, Silvia needed no further convincing to purse a career in fashion and not in the food industry.
Delving into the fashion industry as a fashion stylist brought with it the usual initial challenges; landing that first styling job. As they say, the first step is the beginning and for Silvia, starting to work professionally as a stylist, this led to building her network of contacts especially the manufacturers, retailers, designers and consistent sourcing locations for her work. In addition to this, Silvia also needed to keep updating herself on international fashion trends. Her first job was for a fashion page for the Magazine called MOVE, which closed down shortly afterwards for entirely different reasons, she remarks lightheartedly.
“What I enjoy the most is styling my little daughter and to feature her outfits on her instagram page @nielsines_closet”
From then, Silvia has had exciting projects and jobs as a stylist noting most keenly her work experience in London for ARISE Magazine and working for Tusker Project Fame for two consecutive seasons. Silvia Njoki has also enjoyed styling celebrities like Vanessa Mdee, Victoria Kimani, Kalekye Mumo, Elani and Eric Omondi to name a few. She admits however “what I enjoy the most is styling my little daughter and to feature her outfits on her instagram page @nielsines_closet.”
Her style, she describes, is unpredictable, taking bold decisions when it comes to combining individual garments for a specific outfit. This can be seen on her personal style blog: www.silvianjoki.com which we would highly recommend. When it comes to her work, Silvia separates issues without imposing her personal style preferences on her clients noting that they are all individuals with a wide variety of tastes and style requirements who often do not subscribe to her tastes. “I guess my ability to be unpredictable and open to fashion trends makes it easier to work with different individuals,” she states.
Client satisfaction is definitely one of her strong driving forces in her work. “I love to make my clients happy and sometimes I feel that I am a spreader of joy – and for some performing artists, a contributor to their success.” Silvia takes her client services seriously and when starting a styling job, she will start out by getting to know the person/people including their personality, style and body form leading to a mood board for their looks. She also ensures that a common understanding is reached on the overall characteristics and style of the outfit(s) prior to sourcing the garments or material for sewing. Yes, we said sewing.
Contrary to others, Silvia Njoki is fashion stylist and sometimes designer, as seen with her own outfits. If the outfit needs a little extra that cannot be found, Silvia will make a plan as seen under her DIY section of her blog. Once the items have been collected, it will involve photo sharing, fitting session and necessary adjustments leading to the final fitting with hair and makeup artist. Honestly, Silvia Njoki is fashion stylist extraordinaire from styling, to designing, to blogging.
For her, a fashion stylist and blogger, although related, are different from each other by virtue of the different execution methods and target groups concerned. “Anyone with a love for fashion, who can write and photograph well can become a blogger without necessarily having to offer professional advice,” she explains. The advantage of being a blogger in addition to being a stylist, she further adds, is the ability to be a voice with a personal style. She acknowledges that bloggers are a huge driving force in the fashion industry noting further that being stylist, however, requires a fairly professional background. Being a fashion stylist, she describes, involves being willing to face rejection, work with different people, understand various body types, learning to follow briefs (sometimes with scanty information) and work with strict deadlines. She concludes “I feel that my activities in both roles complement each other and that my styling experience and professional know how gives me an edge over other fashion bloggers.”
“Anyone with a love for fashion, who can write and photograph well can become a blogger without necessarily having to offer professional advice.”
The reality is that nothing is easy or rosy. Silvia remarks that, like any other business undertaking, this work requires dedication, hard work and knowledge of the trade. In the field of fashion, she adds, the biggest pitfall is to think that just because you like to dress in attractive clothes and love your own style, that you can therefore project that onto others.
Did you miss Part I, read here. For more information on Silvia Njoki Kamau: find her here:
Blog: Style by Silvia
Facebook: Silvia Njoki Kamau
*Images courtesy and copyrighted to ©SilviaNjokiKamau