Per­sonal stylist not tai­lor­ing to fa­mous

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CAREERS - Janita Singh For more tips, go to alar­na­hope.com.au and that­ef­fort­less­bitch.com.au

IT goes with­out say­ing that any good per­sonal stylist has a pas­sion for fash­ion. But it is not as glam­orous as it seems, says Alarna Hope.

Hope, a stylist, im­age con­sul­tant and blog­ger says mak­ing a mark in this in­dus­try in­volves tears, hard work and em­pa­thy.

“We’re here to make peo­ple look great and this re­quires more than just putting to­gether a few stylish out­fits,’’ she says.

Stylists can have a huge im­pact on the lives of their clients so it is im­por­tant to un­der­stand them, she adds.

“And its def­i­nitely not about styling celebrities as many be­lieve,” Hope says.

“Stylists aren’t only avail­able to stars (they’re cer­tainly not my bread and but­ter). Ev­ery­day men and women are.’’

After re­ceiv­ing en­cour­age­ment from her mother, Hope stud­ied at TAFE, FBI Fash­ion Col­lege and later in the United States to turn her dream into a re­al­ity. “Get­ting started is the hard­est part,’’ she says.

“Then there’s in­tern­ing, lo­gis­tics of set­ting up a business and cre­at­ing strong con­nec­tions with your con­tacts. Business skills are a huge fac­tor.”

Another im­por­tant fac­tor is de­vel­op­ing peo­ple-skills.

“Hir­ing a per­sonal stylist can be an emo­tional thing . . . trust­ing a stranger to come into your home and to see you in your un­der­wear, shar­ing your in­se­cu­ri­ties can be hard,” she says.

“It’s im­por­tant to make clients feel like they’re in a judg­ment-free zone.’’

Stylists also learn lots from their clients, Hope adds.

“Each client gives you some­thing dif­fer­ent to take away,” she says.

“I’ve had clients with cot­ton al­ler­gies, those who hold onto too much cloth- ing, some strug­gling with body dys­mor­phic dis­or­der and oth­ers who work in an im­age-con­scious en­vi­ron­ment. No two peo­ple are the same.

“I’ve learned more about fit and tai­lor­ing work­ing with real peo­ple than I ever have from a text book.’’

Hope also has a blog ti­tled That Ef­fort­less Bitch aimed at women who can’t af­ford a per­sonal stylist.

“I got over read­ing ‘just change your shoes and add a clutch and you’re set for a night out after work,” she says.

“The blog is for ev­ery­day women who need re­al­is­tic ad­vice who look for last­minute an­swers for any­thing like stain re­moval to dress­ing in a hurry.’’

Alarna’s top styling tip for women is to in­vest in a col­lared shirt and for men a well-fit­ted sports blazer.

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