I'm new to the site. Based on the advice of an existing member (thx fashion victim), I'd thought I'd share a recent post from my blog with you.....
If you've been keeping up with my chronicles as a stylist, you're abreast on the latest info. When a stylist (ME) is hired by a client, 9 times out of 10 we are allotted a budget for clothing. Some retailers charge stylists "pull fees" for using their garments. These pull fees can range anywhere from 20% or more of the total "pull" (i.e. if the merch you want to use totals $1000 with a pull fee of 20%, you'd pay the retailer a non-refundable fee of $200). Now some retailers will waive those fees in exchange for editorial credits (i.e. take a look at the newest editorial spread in your favorite fashion mag. Usually at the bottom of each page, they'll tell you where to get the featured outfit, along with prices, etc. That's editorial credits).
I gave that long explanation, to lay for foundation for newest development in current editorial project. This particular client (the same one from my Monday post) has built relationships with local retailers so they can have their pull fees waived. Great! That makes my job a lot easier! But here's the catch. The location where I can "pull" from doesn't have the greatest merch and on top of that, I can't get in contact with their liaison. It's very frustrating and I'm 'bout ready to throw up my hands! I mean it's like they expect me to produce a miracle. The shoot is in a couple of days and I HAVE NO CLOTHES! And let's not even talk about shoes and accessories. That's another topic for another day. Oh the trials and tribulations of a stylist.
Have other stylists incurred these types of problems as well? Please feel free to share your battle stories.
the story was published this month....
i just got a copy today...
not bad...nothing embarrassing anyway.....
but this happens all too often, unfortunately...
it's very stressfull....
it makes me mental....literally...
you wouldn't believe how quickly some things are pulled together...
especially covers and beauty stories...
or how many clients change their minds over and over...
right up until the night before...
so you can wind up pulling the clothes for one job three times...
and you never want to say no...because you never know if they will call again...so you have to try to make it work...but how are you supposed to do your best without a sane amount of prep time, right?...
it's just crazy---it's a crazy job and most stylists are a little bit kookoo or they would be doing something more sane...
"It is not money that makes you well dressed: it is understanding."
Not as stressfull ... but here's something I did yesterday .... that I never thought I would do ...long story ... bear with me.
I'm contacted by a photographer who's coming in to town to shoot a magazine editorial next Monday and needs a stylist who has contacts for the right type of clothes in my city. I do have the contacts plus I have a personal goal to get 2 more published editorials under my belt this year. And in this case, I would have enough time to do my sourcing and pulling with time to spare. So I'm really excited to have this "great" opportunity.
Before I commit to anything like this I ask a lot of questions. I have to see the photographer's work, see a copy of the magazine, find out what the concept is, how many looks there will be, and very improtant ... who the models will be. He said he didn't have the models yet but I'm assured that they only use professional models. I let him know that I must see them and get their stats for final approval ... and he says I won't have a problem.
So, I agree and get right to work ... contacting my sources, providing them with copies of the magazine and pull letters, find a few new sources to add a higher end touch to this coming editorial and set appointments to pull on Friday. After hours and hours of work and running around, I'm all set to go.
For any of you who don't know ... the clothing that stylists pull from designers and showrooms are pretty standard in sizes ... that's why models need to be about the same size ... so that the samples will fit.
So in comes the information from the photographer and guess what? The male model is 3 inches too tall and 2 to 4 inches too big in the waist! Well ... I can make it work if the clothes are a bit too big ... but it's almost impossible when they are too small ... they will pull and look horrible. And I cannot cut or alter the samples. After I advise the photographer that we must have a smaller model, I'm told that we must use this guy ... he's a friend of the publisher. Then ... I get the stats on the female model ... and he sends me to a amateur model's site on ModelMayhem and this girl is only 5'4" .... at least 3 or 4 inches too short!!!
Well ... that did it!!! I quoted his email to me that stated that they only use professional models and stated that I accepted the assignment based on that and that neither of these models met the requirements of professional fashion.modeling. I advised him to get another stylist.
If I had proceeded with this, I would have had to give copies of the published magazine to my carefully cultivated sources. If it looked as bad I thought it would be, I'd probably never be allowed to pull again.
So it was only stressfull for a few minutes ... once I pulled the plug, I knew I had done the right thing. My reputation is all that I have ... I won't do anything to ruin it. My sources agreed with me.
Oh ... I havn't heard back from the photographer ... probably because he got caught in a lie!
That sucks but it happens all too often in this industry. Ppl just expect you to work miracles and it just not possible. If you want fab results, you have to produce fab models and a fab concept. I have another story to share.
I was contacted by an upstart magazine for young teen age African American girls who would like to use my talent to style their cover. They found my port via my photo blog and it sounded interesting enough. So I spoke with editor to get the details and everything sounded on the up and up. I began to ask a ton of questions (just like Bette) to make sure that this is not a waste of time. First question, who is the photog? The editor replied that he would be. That's a red flag to me so I asked to see samples of his work. He replied that he didn't have any and I kindly replied with no samples, no styling. I'm a professional and don't have time to have my talent wasted. He then states that he'll be using 2 teenage models (again np) and he has confirmed that they will be from an reptuable agency.
Long story short, I get a phone call today from this publication and they still want to use me. I simply told them that my rates are non-negotitable and they will be penciled in my book pending the forwarding of the following info:
Samples from the photogs port
The models pics and stats
So I'll be sure to report back once I get the following info and keep the group updated. STAY TUNED....
I'm so glad to see this thread is alive and kickin!
sometimes i only have hours to do a cover, people want things done very quickly and well, its not easy but it can be done.
mainly i shoot covers for a TV magazine, its hard to style too well because we shoot actors and actresses.. but i guess its fun if the interaction with the actor/tress is good, if the chemistry is there
quite glad since they almost always love the clothes and props i bring
the worst is when i have 'double covers' which is what i had on Monday, a boy and a girl.. it turned out quite well i guess.
Lena ... I admire you and Softie for pulling things together so quickly. I'm afraid that I just balk if they don't give me enough time ... especially for editorials. My regular clients ... well, I know what they want and I've got plenty of things that will work for them in my closet, in a pinch... so I can knock those out really fast.
M.E. ... so typical of small publications and semi pro shooters. We have to be vigilant that we aren't wasting our time and resources on something that won't help us.
mass ... you are too funny! That's exactly what this photographer will probably have to do ... or maybe "models own" or "photographer's own" will be the caption. he,he,he
To follow up on my story ... many times when one door closes another opens .... I got called yesterday (just hours after I withdrew from the editorial) by a very talented, professional photographer who's coming in to L.A. and wants to shoot 2 days next week. And then ... I also booked a personal consultation for the day of the oringinal editorial shoot and I was able to do both of these because I had just freed my time up. So I'm actually better off now than before. Yep ... I did the right thing!
i was styling for a musical artist and her live concert which was to be held on a monday. I had been given VERY specific regulations on her shoes , since she was worried that if they were too thin of a heel, she would wobble and fall... but she`s very short so she also needed a heel.. but still not to big or she cant move, and we were on a TIGHT budget... so i find some shoes that SHE herself wanted and then got a call saturday that they werent gonna work... so this is a weekend and i cant call press rooms,so instead i ran around shopping for a pair of )('!'!'&%'# shoes all day instead of finishing her costume... much to say i pulled an all-nighter... and then come to find out the next day we were being filmed all day for a documentary.... i looked like death! in the end it was great fun, but even at my age, i think i gave myself some wrinkles...
Recently I was hired to do a shoot for a photography/ production company for Corbis. Now I know Corbis and I pretty much know what the images look like ... stock images that anyone can buy to use on ads, marketing material, brochures, posters, etc. Lifestyle ... but nicer than real life.
Easy and simple to do ... I thought.
We were shooting over several days in different locations ... one shoot was young people on a road trip out in the dessert (there would be a convetible that they would be driving) ... another was "urban Hispanic youth' chillin' in the city.
When asked what to get, I was instructed by the producer to get lots of youthful stuff for the 2 shoots and that the wardrobe would be interchangeable. Usual model sizes ... things to change up the looks a lot. Upon questioning him on the "urban" looks, I was instructed NOT to bring anything oversized, gang/hip hop looking nor nor anything too casual. He provided me with a theme board that showed the locations and lots of pics of young models ... girls in bikini tops and guys bare chested, along with a couple dressier shirts over jeans for the "urban" look! I mean ... the bikini and bare chest images were shot on a beach, for Pete's sake. That doesn't look uurban to me .....
I'm totally confused?????? so I shoot back a few ideas to him and he says what they want is Ralph Lauren/Tommy Hilfiger with a little Quicksilver. Do things like that and I will have nailed it. So what's RL and TH got to do with urban Hispanic youth? Arrrrgh!!
So ... I pull mostly size 4 and 6 for the girls and 32 pants and medium and large shirts for the guys ... ... the usual sizes for lifestyle. Iv'e got a huge selection ... conservative, preppy to surf chic and other interesting things for the guys. Sexy, punk and pretty things for the girls ... per the requirements.
Well, then I meet with them ... after I pull most of it. Now there's an art director in the picture ... from Corbis and it her that I must please (and no, they did not put me in touch with her in advance ...didn't even know we had one coming in).
She's French ... and she's got some very specific ideas but it's totally different than what I'd been told. This was for the Euorpean market and she wanted a distinct fashion/Nylon magazine vibe to it ... it's not lifestyle at all. And she wants to shoot color stories ... now this is just for stock photos. (Uh ... I'm thinking that she's got another agenda here ... that she's trying to impress someon to further her career.)
Then, she's not hiring lifestyle models ... she's looking for fashion models ... size 0 and 2 for the girls and super slim for the guys. She want's everything skin tight on both the guys and the girls, but she won't let me clamp "because zay have to mooove!". She hated every preppy thing I got ... and rejected anything that looked remotely like RL or TH. She did like the things I got for the girls and thank goodness a lot of them were small and stretchy so I could still use them on smaller models.
Well, needless to say, I was thrown into a major scramble to return and replace most of the wardrobe (in half a day) and since I had contracted this for one price for the entire job, I ended up working way harder than I expected.
The good news is that I learned a lot from her ... she had a great eye and I quickly learned what she really wanted and why she made certain selections. Secondly I was able to express my need to communicate with her directly, instead of through the producer. She confided in me that the misinformation that I got was because the producer was not handling things right and she knew that it was not my fault. And lastly, she went away very happy with the results, which is ultimately the goal ... to keep the client happy.