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Industry Spotlight: Finding a Job as a Stylist in the Music Industry

Jamie-McfarlandThe Fashion and Music industry is very competitive and securing a job can be tough, so if you are looking to work in this industry, how do you make your CV stand out?

Jamie McFarland works as a Stylist for a music label in London. Here he tells Jobulo how he cracked the industry and shares some CV advice.

Tell Us About Your Career Background

I have worked in various places before eventually working in Fashion Retail. I also went to university to study a degree in Graphic Design where I channelled my fashion interests into each project and brief I was given. I have now been designing and styling for two years and have managed to work with a number of high-profile outlets including Xfactor, Channel4, Assist for Labrinth, Cher Lloyd and I now have a few celebrity clients of my own.

What Made You Want to Work in Fashion/Designing?

I have always had an interest in fashion, but I didn’t see it as a realistic job when I was younger, it almost seemed unattainable. When I moved to London I was surrounded by more fashion-minded people who worked in the industry and I became to realise it was possible and that someone had to do it, so why couldn’t it be me? As I realised that a lot of people were interested in my opinions and what ideas I had, I knew I was in the right place.

How Did You Get Into the Industry?

Almost by accident, it kind of fell upon me. I was designing my own clothes to wear myself, until I was spotted by a stylist who wanted me to design for an artist’s music video. I went with it, enjoyed it, and my knowledge and interest grew from there.

What Does Your Job Involve?

My job is mainly to dress people who are maybe not so sure about their own style, therefore I work with them to really pull out of them their best attributes to enhance their finished look. I also dress celebrities for events, appearances, photo and video shoots.

What’s the Most Exciting Thing That Has Happened in Your Career So Far?

Seeing celebrities who are either dressed by me or seeing them wear clothes that are designed by me is pretty rewarding. It’s nice that something I have put together has been put out for the world to see.

What Are Your Aspirations for the Future?

My aspirations for the future are to grow as a stylist and take on bigger and harder projects. I eventually see myself having an Image Consultancy Business where I have many different types of ‘creatives’ that would take care of different aspects of a person’s or brand’s image that is in the public eye.

What Three Personality Traits Do You Think You Need to Work in this Industry?

Dedication – a lot of people think designing and styling is a glamorous job – it can be, but there is a lot that goes with it that isn’t so glamorous. It’s not just a 9-5 job, you will have to stay up early hours of the morning preparing for shoots, constantly think around the clock how to improve and come up with something new and also lug suitcases of clothes around with you all day. Persistence is crucial too as designing and styling is very competitive, you have to be prepared to start at the bottom and work to the top. Assisting is imperative and it may take you a while to get your ‘break’. I also think you should be thick skinned. Designing and styling is also you putting your hard work, heart and soul out for everyone to see. Some may not like it, others will. Criticism is inevitable, so you need to make sure that you know what you’re doing is right and that you and the client are happy with what you have produced.

What Advice Would You Give to Someone Looking to Work in Your Industry?

Assist! Assisting is the biggest thing that has helped me so far, it will give you the knowledge you need before taking on sole responsibility and if you assist someone who has a good profile in the industry, others will take you seriously when they look at your CV. Furthermore, work on your own projects! Organise and style your own shoots and blog about them and put them somewhere where people can view your work – you never know who might see it.

What’s the Most Important Thing to Highlight on a CV When You Are Applying for a Job in Fashion/Designing?

I would say that experience is the most important thing to put on a CV when it comes to any fashion job. A lot of experience involves working for free but it is definitely worth it. The person who is looking at your CV needs to know that you can handle responsibility, take risks and can handle pressure in a fast paced environment.

To find out more read Jamie’s blog here.