Earlier this spring, the School of Fashion was excited to announce the accreditation of the new BFA Fashion Styling program, offered exclusively in the U.S. at the Academy of Art University. One of the most critical parts to executing a succesful photo shoot, ad campaign or simple public appearance, styling is a carefully honed trade that is vital for a brand or personality in creating their image. This past week, MFA Fashion Merchandising student, Con He, was offered the opportunity to shadow 7X7’s fab fashion editor at large, Lauren Goodman, as she styled and shot the fashion spreads for the magazine’s upcoming September issue. Con He received unique, hands-on insight as to what it’s like to work as a full time stylist…and she’s sharing it with us!
When did you first become interested in fashion?
Since I was in high school, I have always loved to dress stylishly. My mother also influenced my interest in fashion a lot. In my eyes, she is the most fashionable parent that I have ever known. Her passion is fashion, and this fueled my interest as well.
Tell me about your experience at the School of Fashion.
I am glad that I took “Introduction to Styling” this past fall. My experiences in this class changed me a lot. It showed me what I would really like to do in the future. As I said, I’ve always loved to dress well but, after this class, I want to help others build their personal image and define their own style. Before this class, I thought styling was a piece of cake. I was wrong. Styling is a challenging thing. It is not just helping someone to dress up. It is more about creating personality. Stylists need to do a lot of research, preparation, and so on. While it always presents me with a challenge, I totally love it.
Images from Con He’s latest photo shoot, styled for the School of Fashion. Photographer: Jeffry Raposas, Model Agency: Scout Model Agency, Model: Morgan O, Grooming: Marsha Litvinova, Seanna Murray
What was it like being on set with 7X7 this past week? What were the different types of shoots they had you working on?
To assist with styling for a magazine shoot was my dream job. I was so happy that my instructor, Keanan Duffty, introduced me to 7X7’s fashion editor at large, Lauren Goodman. I definitely got great experience being a part of the photo shoot. The concept was an indoor editorial shoot, which will be published in the September issue. Also, I am going to assist the 7X7 styling team in the upcoming outdoor photo shoot, which will be published in the September issue as well.
What is the most challenging part of working on a photo shoot? What is the most fun?
For me, the most challenging part is working on a photo shoot outdoors. But, these can also be the most fun. You always need to consider the weather and the convenience when working on a shoot outside. So many unanticipated things can happen because you can’t control the environment.
After this week, what are the three things that you think no stylist kit should be without?
A steamer, clamps, and tape are my best friends when I’m working. I can’t do a photo shoot without them.
What are you currently obsessed with?
Without a doubt, I am currently obsessed with styling. I truly believe it is becoming my passion in this industry, and being a part of the 7X7 shoots have only inspired me to work harder so that I can become a stylist full time.