When you see celebrities walking down the red carpet at big events like this Sunday’s Oscars, it can be easy to forget that they aren’t the ones responsible for how amazing they look. It takes a whole team of people: makeup and hair artists, manicurists, waxing pros, and a slew of people who never get recognized. Then there’s arguably the most important piece of the puzzle: the stylist.
Jason Rembert is the man responsible for British pop star Rita Ora‘s to international status as a fashion It-girl and a red carpet “Best Dressed” list mainstay. He also has officially made Ciara the most stylish pregnant woman in recent memory, and honed Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea from super-fringe musician to gorgeous glamazon.
Rembert knows a thing or two about breaking into the fashion business, and he sat down with StyleCaster to hash out the specifics of how to become a celebrity stylist. Read on for his top six tips on cracking the code on the red carpet styling world!
1. If you get your start in fashion editorial, your transition will be easier.
“I think it’s easier to transition from one side to the next side if you’re on the editorial side first. With the editorial side, you learn structure. That’s really important. I interned at Elle magazine, and that was the first really good internship I had. I worked there for six months, then was at W magazine. From there I moved into styling celebrities.”
2. But you should learn the industry from all sides.
“I recommend that [aspiring stylists] start on all sides. Learn all aspects of the industry. It’s all about testing and figuring out what you think is cool for you. I once worked as a fashion assistant doing commercial shoots all day, and I learned that wasn’t for me. I was freelancing for a year and a half ad as much as I loved it, I knew it’s not for me.”
3. Know the type of client you ideally want to be dressing.
“Right now, I’m working for some amazing athletes, but realistically do I see myself doing that long term? Not realistically. I love styling pop artists and doing different kinds of projects every day.
You need to really know what you want. Styling pop artists may not be for some people. You can’t try to emulate what someone else is doing. Don’t try to wonder why that person’s there and you’re not, because what’s meant for you is not meant for them, and vise versa.”
4. Learn the market.
“Learning the fashion market is so useful in this industry. Knowing who the press contact for Prada is, or knowing who came up with over-the-knee boots for the season, who has polka dots—just knowing market period is the best thing that you can invest in as an aspiring stylist. Most celebrity stylists have to learn market to stay relevant, or they find an assistant who knows market.”
5. Understand that the industry isn’t as glossy as it seems.
“I feel like so many people are jaded by the industry and only see the glitz and the glam, and they lose themselves for only that portion of it. As a stylist who’s been an intern, a market editor, all of it, one thing I kept is my integrity.
You really have to work really hard, work extremely hard until you can’t work anymore. There’s days when I’m really tired. Then when you see your work on a carpet, it’s a pride moment. That’s the thing that humbles me the most. I’m like wow, I can’t believe I did that. But it’s a lot of hard work, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of no sleep.”
6. Have a life outside of fashion.
“[Spend time] with your family and friends, and have a hobby. I enjoy being able to lose myself from the [fashion] world a bit. There are real people in this industry who you actually do care about. Some of my closest friends I met through fashion. They’re about doing the work and doing their job wholeheartedly, but also they love and they live and they laugh.
I think it’s important to live life and to actually be happy. That’s where I am in my life. I’m about happiness in all aspects of my life.”