Really, people get paid to tell other people what to wear? Normal people just can’t figure out themselves what to put on in the morning and realize that gym wear isn’t suitable for job interviews?
However, getting to know two people very well who have chosen Personal Styling as their career and working in an industry where I've now witnessed the work of a stylist first hand, made me aware that I was being incredibly ignorant. Also I realized that my accountant probably had similar thoughts at my lack of knowledge of his business too ‘’Really, after 14 years running a business you still get shocked each quarter that you have to pay a BAS statement?”
Another misconception of personal stylists is that they really only work for people with enough money to warrant paying to get assistance in choosing the exact shade or red that was in season for their latest Louis Vuitton bag, wrong again!
After many years and closer observation I now see that the real role of a personal stylist was actually to bring the best traits inside a person OUT for the world to see in a physical, tangible sense.. Really not much different to what I do when creating and positioning brands in the business world.
In the advertising industry whilst organizing and being on set for photo shoots I have witnessed first hand what can happen when a good stylist is employed; it’s something about their creativity and observation of the finer details that can turn a great shot into a magic shot that sells.
Harvey Specter from the legendary Suits also taught us (and Mike!) that having the right clothes can make a huge difference to pulling in the big guys with the big bucks.
However, commercial stuff aside for one moment, I have witnessed two people literally changing the lives of everyday Australians via their Styling work.
Here on the Gold Coast, Elizabeth McMahon is well known for her superb work as a stylist and educator. She has worked with many celebrities and graced catwalks around the world but her passion is imparting her knowledge of fashion & style to others in a tangible sense that ‘lifts’ them as a person.
A lot of her work is with business clientele and she has seen an increase in the number of male clients who understand that their brand reflects their business.
“My mission is to make the most out of my client’s individual appearance and improve their look based on the image they would like to project. It is the reward and satisfaction of seeing people’s confidence shine and how they feel after one of our sessions – that is the most meaningful to me” Elizabeth McMahon.
In addition to the business world she imparts confidence and educational workshops to students all around Australia. As adults we know that confidence starts from the inside out so her role is to help our youth find their own special qualities. She then uses her skills to help them define and own these qualities via the way they walk, talk, dress and present themselves..
Based in Sydney, Donny Gallela has been styling and educating his clients for the past 14 years and is one of Australia’s most sought after stylists making regular appearances in National and International Media (if you watch Channel 7 you would see his lovely face on their weekly).
However, despite his years of working with the likes of Jennifer Hawkins, Nikkie Phillips. Julia Morris, Sir Richard Branson, Danni Minogue (I could go on for an entire page here) his passion still comes from the personal make overs he does for everyday Australians in his role as an ambassador for Westfield Shopping Centres.
Seeing these peoples faces when he has finished with them is incredible and the best part is he styles THEM as they are, he doesn’t try and make them anybody else. He just sees the best parts in them and somehow, via his talent and skill, manages to bring that out (again like branding a business).
So do I believe that the role of Personal Styling has substance?
Absolutely! If the lines between personal branding and business branding are blurring as fast as we think the role of personal stylist in its true sense will have an increasingly important role to play in our aesthetic world.