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Fashion styling as a career in South Africa by Marilyn Primich

Some people just have it! Fashion styling talent, that is. The ability to throw together an outfit and look amazing no matter the occasion. For the rest of us, we need a little help. Like the style guides in popular fashion magazines or the well-crafted looks, we see on mannequins when we walk into a clothing store. In-store styling tells us, ‘Wear these pants with this shirt’ or ‘This dress goes with these accessories’. These techniques are proven to be successful at increasing sales, and thanks to the skills of a stylist, many fashion businesses flourish.

Career opportunities in fashion styling in Africa are booming, and we can thank the growth of the Internet and the increasing need we have to communicate with each other. Having a fashion stylist on hand for any event that must be photographed or filmed is quickly becoming the norm. Believe it or not, there are even opportunities for online stylists, making this career a favourite for young digitally inclined fashionistas.

What does a stylist do every day? It depends on the client’s needs and the occasion they need to be styled for. A stylist may style a bridal party for a wedding one day and models for a fashion shoot the next. This means they must be organised and ready for whatever new fashion styling project is on the go.

There is a growing demand for skilled fashion stylists in South Africa’s fashion industry. Today, stylists provide valuable input into photoshoots for fashion, personal styling for individuals, corporate styling and product styling for both the in-store and online retail environments.

People choosing this vocation can explore various entrepreneurial ventures because of the multifaceted skill sets that they acquire. Each project requires creativity and soft skills, from styling a client for a special occasion or event to styling a retail look and feel for a window display. Stylists pay attention, are detail-oriented, and have a vast knowledge of fashion and associated topics.

Here at STADIO School of Fashion, we have developed a one-year programme with industry professionals to prepare our students for the diverse fashion environments. This programme provides students with a fully immersive learning experience. Each module helps students to work with a common theme throughout their projects.

When you study with us, you will learn key concepts and put them into practice on authentic projects. You will learn about face shapes and body types, colour analyses and the elements and principles of design. Adding to these topics, you will practice key skills relating to visual merchandising, digital photography, makeup, and fashion communication and design.

With qualified lecturers and the support of industry experts, you will be trained and ready for the ultimate student fashion event. Graduates of this programme will emerge as fashion stylists, capable of seamlessly applying their skills in-store, online, and for entrepreneurial ventures. They will be able to create captivating window displays, style digital and print catalogues, capture product and flat-lay photographs and execute client briefs with precision, including makeup application. After a successful year of practice and work-integrated learning, you will be ready to enter the fashion industry and style any body type for any occasion.


DATE: February 2024 | DISCLAIMER: The content of this blog is accurate at the time of publication. STADIO reserves the right to change the content due to changes in legislation, as well as for market requirements and other reasons.