A Job that Still Thrives During the PandemicFashion Stylist
Written by Minsang Bae | Published. 2021.01.08 19:29 | Count : 997

Garments have been worn by people over a long period in society. Initially, people started to wear clothing for physical protection from the environment and the climate. As social developments were made, wearing clothing became a common code of society. People started to utilize clothes for additional purposes such as social identification, implicit social conformity, and self-expression. As a result, fashion became a major component of modern society. 

Fashion is not only a popular trend in terms of how clothes are worn but also an artistic measure for reflecting one’s personality. A person that views fashion from a creative perspective is often called a “fashionist,” and the title of their professional occupation is known as “fashion stylist.” They blend the message that they want to express into their attire. Some may think of this job as unfamiliar, but fashion stylists have been contributing to a significant portion of society and culture by becoming trailblazers of the most rapidly changing vogue.

After the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, social constituents have been challenged to adjust themselves to an unprecedented condition of society. Many are struggling with a relatively low-performance rate of their occupations compared to what they have previously received. Meanwhile, fashion stylists are taking advantage of this situation by the very nature of their profession. 

[Interview with fashion stylist Seunghee Son. Photo Credit: Minsang Bae]

Seunghee Son, who majored in Creative Direction for Fashion from London College of Fashion, is now continuing her career as a fashion stylist & art director in Seoul and London. In the field of fashion, Son has received much attention lately from the public and organizations, ranging from individual artists to groups of fashion brands. She played a major role in overseeing the styling needed for various activities, including brand commercials, editorial photography, album covers, and music videos.Son is one of the fashion stylists who have well-adjusted to the pandemic, and thus was an appropriate interviewee for my article. After approaching her artworks on social media, I requested an interview with her via email and she thankfully provided me an opportunity to do so in November. My interview with Son focused on how the rudiments of fashion design are suitable for the current situation and the key role it has played in facilitating the fashion industry’s growth during the past and present.

I foremost questioned her opinion about the public majority’s assumption on the dependence of the fashion industry upon social affairs. She answered that every job depends on the social trend. Son, however, also emphasized that the field of fashion was rather benefitting from this aspect, as the basic principle of this profession was to act according to the trend. To be specific, Son mentioned that as consumers’ consumption patterns started to incline more online due to COVID-19, work inquiries for fashion stylists such as brands or lookbook photography needed for e-commerce has significantly increased. As a result, Son also received an opportunity to participate in making the artwork cover for several European magazines.

[The cover of “Metal,” a European magazine that Son worked on.
Photo Credit: Seunghee Son]

Keeping the work performance status quo was no big deal for Son. She stated that capturing more work opportunities during this period was possible due to another major characteristic of her fashion stylist career: multiformity. As the word itself suggests, fashion is applicable to almost every media and communication platforms we use nowadays. The range of fields it can be applied varies from a campaign photoshoot conducted by the social enterprises to a music video produced by an artist. 

[Son’s Fashion Artwork about the value of Korean ethnicity.
Photo Credit: Seunghee Son]

Not only are fashion stylists able to earn their budgets by working with a diverse range of clients, but can also simultaneously continue to progress as an artist. Through public media, Son was able to promote her skills as a fashion stylist, in terms of satisfying the clients’ needs and impressing the customers. On the other hand, Son continues to pursue her passion as an artist by creating her own artworks. She described fashion stylist as a kind of a profession, but also as an individual who satirizes the social messages through artistic measures. Son lastly commented that the biggest advantage of fashion stylists is an ability to depict the clothing however they want to express beyond the basic intentions of its creation.






Minsang Bae
Seoul Scholars International

Minsang Bae  student_reporter@dherald.com

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