Guest Subject: Top 3 Skills Stylists Look For In An Assistant

Brittany Diego, fashion stylist

You spent hours upon hours perfecting your resume (CV) and getting your cover letter on point. You press send on that email and wait to hear back from your favourite stylist…days go by…. then weeks… and you start to wonder what you did wrong? You know you spell checked 10x, but it feels like your resume just disappeared into some dark hole in the WebSphere. You may have sent your resume off with the best of intentions but what probably landed your resume in the “no” pile. All because you simply didn’t list off the skills we as stylists actually need on our team.  

So many aspiring stylists make it a point to talk about how much they LOVE fashion but that’s the last quality we look for in assistants. We want someone dependable, trustworthy, and understands that being an assistant is a supporting role because assistants are a stylist’s right hand. Most importantly, we need someone who understands that they’re not going to be the one doing the styling.

That’s right. As a stylist assistant your role is mainly handling pickups, returns, sending emails to showrooms, setting up appointments. It’s an admin role really, so if you’re expecting glitz and glamour you’re in for a rude awakening. You’re there to learn, and once you prove that you’re in it for the right reasons, that’s when you get to go on the photoshoots and fittings, the fun stuff comes later.

I’ve seen plenty of resumes and received many, many emails from aspiring stylists. Don’t be fooled by what you see on Instagram, it’s hard work and lots of labour. So, keep these skills in mind next time you send in your resume for a styling internship/assistant position:

Organisation Skills

Organisation is of the up most importance as a stylist. There’s hundreds of garments coming in and out of your studio from multiple places and those clothes all have to go back to where they came from by a certain date so it’s crucial to stay on top of it all and give your boss some peace of mind.

Computer Skills

You’d be surprised how much time we spend in front of a computer whether it’s writing emails or creating mood boards. If you can help with these tasks, you will alleviate a lot from your boss’s already full plate. Kudos if you have creative computer skills such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or any Adobe programs.

Common Sense

It has to be said because apparently it isn’t so common. It’s totally ok to ask questions but sometimes you just have to use your head to problem solve. For example, if I’m busy at a client fitting and you call me to ask me where to park when you’re returning at a showroom, I probably won’t call you back the next day. I need someone who can figure basic things out without me having to hold their hand.

These are 3 of the top skills we look for when hiring:

If the stylist puts out a formal job post that lists out their desired requirements, use that as the guide to write your resume with (you’re not sending the same resume to everyone right?). That means if they list they’re looking for someone to research new clothing brands, do pick-ups/ returns, and keep their studio organised, this would be a good time to add your research skills, strong familiarity of the LA (or your city) area, and brag on your organisation skills. Use specific examples. It’s all about personalising it to that stylist’s particular needs.

Next, be sure to write a short message in the body of the email. Don’t just send your resume and cover letter attached with no context. I have to mention this because it’s happened to me and I’m just wondering 1. Who are you and 2. What am I supposed to do this.

Last but not least, do not—And I must repeat: do not send in your portfolio. Unless the stylist has explicitly asked you. I had someone send me an email with 22 separate attachments of Polyvore (R.I.P) styling as well as street style photos of herself…. I was speechless and not in a good way.

You are not there to be the stylist, you’re there to learn the tricks of the trade first-hand and your opportunity to actually style will come way down the line once you start doing your own jobs. For now, you’re there to support and learn.

Kind regards,

Brittany Diego

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