Some new friends seem to be confused when I tell them about what I do for a living. When they hear the word ‘stylist’, most of them think that I would be a ‘hair stylist’.. Even the terms of ‘fashion editor’ and ‘fashion stylist’ are quite confusing to some people as they actually have the same meaning. The two terms are pretty much the same in my opinion, they basically share similar job descriptions.
But this editor that I’ve had the chance to assist, let’s just call her DJ, she would never want to be called a stylist, “I’m not a stylist, I’m an editor, it’s two different things, my dear.” To her, a fashion editor doesn’t limit herself to styling and creating a certain look or image, she’s actually the mind behind the concept, constantly brainstorming with the creative director and photographer to make sure she would get what she has always envisioned. “That’s how I earn the big buck!”, as she always tells everyone. I remember seeing her carrying her scrapbook on the shoot, sketching storyboards on how the models would actually pose and where they would be standing inside the frames. She told me that she learnt that from her former boss, a prominent name in the industry, when she used to assist her for 7 years!
On the other hand, some stylists wouldn’t even bother to sketch because they have been preoccupied with styling, sorting at least 10 different looks at the minimum *often more than that*, from hundreds of clothing, accessories and jewelries.
What I think could be the main difference is how they climb to achieve that title. Those who started within the publishing industry, from slaving as an intern, then as a closet assistant, to becoming a fashion assistant of some prominent fashion director or editor-in-chief, would probably prefer to be acknowledged as ‘the editor’.
But those who went a different route by building their credentials with a great portfolio, networking, and managing to find their own styling flare, would usually be referred as ‘stylists’ rather than fashion editors.
Then again, I could be wrong.. who am I to give such theories? I’m just a debutante in this crazy industry..And why should we care? In most cases, their name would always be printed *either as a stylist or editor* alongside the photographer, the hair and makeup team, and of course, not a single credit for the assistant(s).. well, certain publications actually credit the whole team, but it’s still very rare unfortunately ;(
photos: blurry scenes from 2 different photo shoots