The Secret Life of a Stylist
While the average person may not know what a wardrobe stylist does, in the fashion industry, stylists play a big behind-the-scenes role, necessary for any editorial project.
Wardrobe stylists are consultants who select clothing for publications, editorials, brand campaigns, and more. Designers often consult with stylists for fashion shows, celebrity public appearances and advertisements. Celebrities often hire stylists for public appearances and photoshoots as well. Stylists work together with photographers, models, makeup artists, creative directors, designers and brands to execute concepts.
Stylists can work in visual merchandising (dressing mannequins and arranging clothes in stores), with brands and designers for photoshoots, advertisements, fashion shows, etc., and are also necessary for choosing clothing for publications.
Mareka Baptiste is a 26-year-old Dallas-based stylist and designer of Inahsa, and she does everything from personal styling to visual merchandising. She calls Inahsa her "alter ego," with edgy, dark designs with fabrics like tulle, latex and leather.
Mareka's brand, Inahsa, is nonprofit and benefits local underprivileged children and homeless. She said she was inspired by her mom to make Inahsa a nonprofit brand and volunteer regularly. Mareka said she looks up to her mom more than any designer or celebrity, and her mom is her biggest supporter.
Her motto is "Be who you are," which she finds empowers her and her brand, as well as the kids she mentors.
I've personally worked with her on many projects from brand campaigns to fashion shows to published photoshoots. We first worked together in 2015 and have since become a styling, photography, modeling & makeup team.
Mareka, creative director Sydney Escada and photographer Mike Lee recently collaborated on a fashion editorial with three models for publication in Lucy’s Magazine anniversary edition. I tagged along at The Lumen Room and took behind-the-scenes while Mareka styled. I interviewed Sydney as well, who raved about Mareka's styling skills.
Mareka has been published as a stylist and designer at least 10 other times in advertisements, magazines and celebrity articles. She’s worked with hip-hop artists and celebrities including Tokyo Jetz, DJ She Real, Lythal and Megan Thee Stallion and brands Dolls Kill, Forever 21, Zara, H&M and Garage.
Have you ever been in a situation where there was a stylist involved OR have you ever needed a stylist? Do you think you'll ever need one?