Monday, June 21

Q&A with Kim Gray: How to become a stylist


I've been having a long, hard think about what I'd like to do career-wise going forward and now it's decided. I'd love to be a stylist. (Although 'Travel Writer' and 'Kit-Kat Quality Assurance' still rank highly on the list.) Styling is something I've dipped my toe in before and thoroughly enjoyed although I've never known how to progress from there. I was deeply grateful when Kim Gray, one of South Africa's most well-known fashion, lifestyle and decor stylists kindly replied at length when I popped her an email, asking for some advice. I thought I'd publish our chat here as interview for those of you who may also be considering styling as a career. Get ready to be inspired!

Hi Kim, how are you today?
Just back from a walk along Table Mountain Rd and excited to be a South African!

Super stuff! Congratulations on your blogging and styling success. What has been the highlight of your career? 
It's been really awesome having my blog which started as a hobby , blogging about my shoots, turn into a part time job! I love it so much, so it's been awesome to be mentioned in mags like Marie Claire. I sometimes have to pinch myself and I am so grateful and humbled by the support I've received!

Can you kindly walk us through a typical day.
There is no same day. Each project is different! But it usually consists of briefing suppliers, sourcing from shop to shop, shopping center to center and blogging in the evenings or shooting all day on set and then blogging in the evenings :) On none shoots days, I blog... Surprise.

Which is your must-have item in your stylists kit?
Pins to make sure clothing fits and looks perfect on the model.


Please can you tell us about your background and how you 'broke' into the industry? 
I interned at Marie Claire Magazine for just over a year. I have no formal study or degree. From there I slowly started showing my portfolio around and knocking on agency doors.

What are the attributes that you would look for in a stylist?
Good organizational skills and an eye for style.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to become a stylist?
I get e-mails almost every day from girls wanting to become a stylist. Its like any job, you need passion and you need to make a lot of coffee if you want to get anywhere. I've had girls assist me that give up after 2 weeks because they get bored of returning merchandise to stores - but that is where you form some of your best relationships (contacts) - that will help you in the future! Persistence and hard work! And then the fun!


Which are your favourite South African stores and why?
I love Woolworths, Poetry, Old Khaki - it's wearable, quality, every day fashion. Though I do believe in mixing store buys with once off treasures and unique finds - making the fashion 'you'.

Who is your favourite designer?
I love local designers like Lunar for their simple classic clean lines, Missibaba for her amazing handbags, Tashkaya for her cute, classic yet quirky and wearable designs.

How would you describe your personal style? 
Classic with a twist.

Do you prefer to shop for clothes or interior goodies? 

What should no girl be without? 
A great pair of shoes, jeans and shades!

And finally, what is the best thing about your job? 
Once you've sourced all the clothing / interiors, it's playing and putting looks together. I love the flexibility and creativity with being a freelance stylist.


That about seals it! I definitely want to pursue styling as a career. Kim lives in Cape Town and you can visit her website here to read about her daily inspirations, shopping finds and on-shoot experiences. All the images above were sourced from Kim's portfolio which can be viewed on her website. If you enjoyed this post or know someone who might, please feel free to bookmark or share it using the widget below. And as always, you're welcome to reply in a comment. Tell me about your dream job, high-five Kim or just say hi!
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