Personal stylist not tailoring to famous
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.