Design & Style

Becoming a Fashion Stylist

Karla Welch

Lesson time 07:59 min

In this lesson, Karla offers practical tips for breaking into the styling industry. She dives into the functional aspects of her work by detailing an average day and how the culmination of years of experience allows for swift problem-solving.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Becoming a Fashion Stylist * Breaking Into the Industry * How to be an Assistant * Karla's Workday * Problem-Solving in 20 Minutes With 20 Years of Experience


[MUSIC PLAYING] - There are amazing careers in styling available, personal styling, editorial styling, wedding styling. There's so many ways to get your foot in the door in this industry. You just kind of have to be brave and willing to go for it and willing to work you you-know-what off. Being a celebrity stylist, I think the best way to break into my business is to go and be an assistant and learn the craft. Styling is, of course, a very creative endeavor. But there are rules to follow and ways to learn. It's like an apprenticeship. You wouldn't become an electrician without becoming an apprentice. My thing is to take you in and do the work with you so that you're prepared to then go do the work yourself. And when someone assists a top line stylist, me or any of my peers, that assistant gets to the point where the publicists have seen them. The brands have seen them. They know that person's been trained by someone of the same caliber as me and that they're capable of doing the jobs. I think the best way to find someone to assist with is see if there's internships, reach out to their agents, DM them. Do the work. I mean, it's not that hard to actually get in touch with someone if you really want to. And for me, if someone has figured out how to email me or found I know you through such and such, that person's already showing me that they know how to do the work. And I think that's something that is really needed. I couldn't do anything without my assistants. I had a very unconventional start in that I didn't overly assist. But what I did was I hired an amazing-- my very first assistant I ever got to hire, Ashley Sinclair, she knew more than me. And I learned from her. I had it in me to do the job and the creativity that was involved in it. And maybe I really had the people skills from working in my dad's store, working in retail, working in a restaurant. I knew how to work with people, which is a lot of this business. And I loved fashion. But I needed that tangible experience of, like, OK, you go to a store and you ask them this, and you borrow these clothes, or you-- so a lot of that learning came from me being very fearless and asking people lots of questions. But also I had an amazing assistant who helped do it with me. And I've been super fortunate that I've had incredible assistants my whole career, who really were my teammates in all of it. And some things my assistants do, they'll help-- I'll set the tone of what I want to see at a fitting. Here are the looks I want. Go out in the world and get them. And then at the same time, like, hey inspire me. There could be nothing worse than someone who just follows the dots. What I am looking for in a great assistant is someone who can also say, I know you like this. What about this? Or did you see this? Or did you see this outfit this person was wearing? That constant looking for inspiration in unique places is something that you really can't teach someo...

About the Instructor

From styling stars like Justin Bieber and Tracee Ellis Ross to creating her own clothing line, Karla Welch has spent almost 20 years honing her creative process while pushing the boundaries of fashion. Now she’s teaching how you can let your individuality shine through your wardrobe. Learn to identify your personal style, bring it to life, and make a statement without saying a word.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Karla Welch

Renowned celebrity stylist Karla Welch teaches you how to find your personal style and create a strong, versatile wardrobe that’s uniquely you.

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