Living the Dream

byFaatemah Ampey | July 10, 2011
I wanted to share some insight to other aspiring stylists on how they can become an editorial stylist. One thing I have learned is the path to the destination is different for everyone. I decided to reach out to some very special celebrity friends to share their secrets.

Ted Gibson is one of the most sought-after editorial and runway and celebrity stylists. Oscar James has tamed the manes of Tyra Banks, Halle Berry, Iman and Beyonce to name a few! Resumes aside these are two of the most humble celebrity stylists I know. I am grateful to have their friendship and share their insight with you.

How do I break into the field?
"I would look in magazines at the hair and make-up credits to see who is doing the work you love. I would reach out to those individuals or businesses and offer to assist or style hair so you could become a part of the team. When they are asked to do assignments, you will be in the mix or maybe, one day the person that they are looking for may not be available and that just may be your chance to get your foot in the door. That's my personal story!"
—Oscar James

How do I start working with top magazine title?
"The first way to do it is to get an agent. An agent will help to manage and get the right bookings to grow your career in the direction you want it to go.That takes a long time to do editorial for magazines. It doesn't happen over night. Test, test and test so that you become very comfortable. You should be able to change hair in a second to give the picture a different feeling."
—Ted Gibson

What do I need to know about fashion styling?
"A great editorial stylist understands that fashion is about creating an image. It is rarely hair driven and you must know how to complement a designer's aesthetic. I suggest shooting often. You will encounter a fashion stylist that shares your style and complements your energy. This is how I developed my team over the years. Once you find a fit, stick with it."

How do I differentiate myself from all the other editorial stylists out there?
"The first rule is to know the basics and the expand upon them. Ted Gibson suggested, 'Use references like periods of time—40s, 60s, 80s—get a sense of self.' Once you do this you can create your signature style. I am personally drawn to the renaissance era and chose to play on my strengths for my NAHA submission for Fashion Forward. The result was a winning one!"

I am thrilled to work in the sexiest industry on earth. Everyday I have my hands in something beautiful or have a hand in it.


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