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Art&Fashion Student life Angelina Nikonova

The Journey of a Successful Fashion Stylist - What It's Like?

Dive into an exclusive interview with Alina Sedina, a personal and fashion stylist, as she shares her experience and advice with Clevermagazine. Alina is known for her work with Czech celebrities and her expertise in helping individuals discover their unique style. Learn about the importance of social networks, the challenges faced, and the rewarding aspects of a career in the fashion industry.
Could you share details about your professional journey? I understand that your academic background is in a completely different field. How did you transition into becoming a stylist?
"My passion for fashion styling and design has been a part of me since my early years. Yet, in the post-Soviet regions where I grew up, there was a prevailing attitude that a creative career wasn't deemed serious. This led me to initially embark on a path in diplomacy and foreign languages, aiming to become a diplomat and translator with an emphasis on English.

There came a moment when I stopped to reassess, realising my career didn't resonate with my true interests in fashion styling. This epiphany prompted me to embrace my passion for fashion, embarking on a journey that has now positioned me as a sought-after fashion stylist in the fashion industry. Today, I work with notable Czech entertainment personalities, style fashion shoots for videos, books, and fashion magazines, conduct lectures on fashion trends, share my expertise through a fashion blog on Instagram, and as a personal stylist, I help people every day to uncover their unique fashion sense."
I have noticed that many stylists, including those in my network, often pursue courses. However, there are also Bachelor’s and Master’s programs offered by prestigious universities such as, for example, the University of the Arts in London. In your opinion, do aspiring specialists require these extensive programs, or are shorter courses sufficient?
"In the nascent phase of my fashion career, I dreamed of studying at Polimoda, the esteemed Italian Institute of Fashion and Design. Instead, I decided to rely on my natural flair for styling fashion and pursued various fashion courses and studies in fashion history in my home country. Although I hold a diploma in personal and fashion styling, I've come to understand that extensive fashion degrees weren't a prerequisite for my success in fashion careers."
In contemporary times, there is a substantial influx of individuals pursuing careers as stylists. Much like the previous “boom” with psychologists, it seems there is currently a surge in interest towards styling professions. Do you anticipate that this saturation of professionals might render the profession less relevant, resulting in increased difficulty in acquiring clients and heightened competition?
"I am a firm believer that in the fashion industry, every personal stylist can find their clientele. While some stylists may draw a larger following, I found my footing in the Czech market despite the presence of many well-qualified stylists, some with education from top-tier fashion institutions. This realisation of carving out a unique niche within fashion careers is a source of great pride for me."
What qualities do you believe are essential for an individual aspiring to become a stylist? What skills would you recommend for someone currently in high school with dreams of pursuing a career in styling?
"It's undeniable that in the ever-evolving world of fashion trends, the capacity for ongoing learning and analytical thought is crucial in the fashion industry. Styling isn't just about having an eye for aesthetics; it requires a strategic mindset. To truly master the craft, one must commit to relentless improvement and constant learning.

Moreover, having sharp psychological insight is essential for anyone pondering what a stylist does. The ability to intuitively understand clients, discern their needs, determine what enhances their appearance, and customise your approach for each individual is what stylists do at the core. Along with this, patience is a virtue that cannot be overstated when dealing with the complex demands of this profession."
Is it a necessity in contemporary times for a stylist to engage in maintaining Instagram accounts and creating reels to achieve success?
"Undoubtedly, maintaining a strong presence on social networks is essential, accounting for 90% of a fashion stylist's success. Establishing oneself as a style icon and personal stylist is vital, as it inspires others to follow your fashion sense and dressing style. It's imperative to convince your audience of your expertise and your capacity to elevate their look, which is where social networks play a crucial role."
How significant do you consider qualities like extroversion, networking, and attending events in the process of becoming a successful stylist and attracting clients?
"These elements are instrumental in boosting your profile as a celebrity stylist. Showing close ties with celebrity clients can create an aspirational allure, making people eager to forge a similar bond with you. Nonetheless, when it comes to acquiring clients, the most effective tools remain social networks and word-of-mouth recommendations."
In your perspective, what is the most challenging aspect of being a stylist? What difficulties do you personally encounter?
"For me, the most taxing challenge is dealing with emotional burnout. The constant interaction with clients and the deep personal investment as a fashion stylist can take its toll on one's emotions. To combat this, I plan brief respites every two months to recharge, seek new inspiration, and come back with a revitalised spirit and innovative ideas, ready to guide individuals on their path to self-improvement."
You are currently collaborating with prominent Czech bloggers, models, and other media personalities. What advice would you give to a novice stylist aspiring to achieve similar collaborations?
"Unfortunately, I cannot offer a magic recipe for how to become a fashion stylist, mainly because such a formula doesn't exist in my experience. My path has unfolded through a sequence of fortunate happenstances, sometimes feeling as though directed by unseen forces. Interestingly, my first wardrobe consultation, which could be seen as a defining moment in fashion styling definition, began with Miss Czech Republic after a successful Instagram outreach, marking the start of my career. The crucial piece of advice is to be fearless. Even when the journey doesn't go as planned, maintain your resolve and keep chasing your dream."