How Does an Image Consultant Differ from a Fashion Stylist or a Personal Shopper? - ICBI

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How Does an Image Consultant Differ from a Fashion Stylist or a Personal Shopper?

Personal branding is essential to everyone in the public eye. If you work in the fashion, theatre, or television industry, you probably try to project the right image to your audiences. Building a desirable image on social media, in your profession, and the public domain can be instrumental to professional growth. But if you don’t know how to build the right image, you need to partner with a professional who knows the best way.

But to form a beneficial partnership, knowing which professional you need to look for is essential. For example, most people believe that consulting a fashion or personal stylist can help them improve their image. On the contrary, what you need is an image consultant. This article will describe the difference between a personal stylist and an image consultant, their work, and the advantages of hiring one versus the other.

What Does a Personal Stylist Do?

personal stylist

Personal stylists are style guides who curate wardrobes to create the best appearance their clients can have. They choose clothes that complement their physique, personality, taste, and lifestyle. The primary objective of a personal stylist is to help their clients look and feel their best by taking them on a unique style journey that enables them to grow as a person.

What is the Difference Between a Personal Stylist and a Fashion Stylist?

A personal stylist covers a broader sense of style beyond the wardrobe. They help individuals develop a sense of style, find reliable outfits that suit their body type and personality, and get style advice for specific events. In comparison, a fashion stylist is focused on attire, accessories and creating the right look – typically for famous people. They help celebrities find the right outfits for public appearances, visual events, photo shoots, movies, music videos, and advertising campaigns.

What Does a Personal Shopper Do?

personal shopper

As the name suggests, a personal shopper does all the shopping for their clients. They discuss the needs with their clients and draw up a list of the required things. The client gives their personal shopper a budget. Then, the shoppers decide the stores or brands they need to pick from and purchase on their client’s behalf. In many cases, personal shoppers also define the performance parameters of different products and report the metrics to their clients for determining future shopping decisions.

What Does an Image Consultant Do?

image consultant

An image consultant works to create a public image for their client. They use a combination of behavioural training, fashion choices, lifestyle changes, and image goals to create the desired image for their client. They begin by discussing the image goals of their client to understand how they wish to be perceived by their audience or social media followers. Then, they determine the personality traits and associations a person needs to build the required image.

They advise their clients about the fashion styling they need, attaining the proper demeanour, practising public speaking skills if required, using social media, and deciding the public events they should be seen at. Sometimes, an image consultant is indispensable to maintain the popularity and image a person has created – or it may be lost within days. However, not everyone can become an image consultant. It requires in-depth knowledge about how public figures establish and carry an image. If you are looking for an image consultant for the first time, check if they have the proper image consultant certification.

How Does an Image Consultant Work Differently from a Fashion Stylist or a Personal Shopper?

The best way to explain a personal shopper, fashion stylist and image consultant is to imagine a trip to the mall. If you go clothes shopping with your –

  • Personal Shopper – They will manage your purchasing based on the budget, fit, and style you decide.
  • Fashion Stylist – They will help you decide the style and clothes that suit your body type and personality.
  • Image Consultant – They will first offer consultation about the colour choices of your body type, do a style analysis to find the best style based on the image you wish to project and create capsules. Then, they will help you shop for the most suitable clothes based on your budget and colour palette.

In other words, an image consultant’s role extends beyond deciding what looks good on you and the best way to buy it. They build your image by improving your appearance and ensuring that the people you meet, the events you attend, and the social media content you post are aligned with your desired image.

Education & Training: Image Consultant vs. Personal Stylist

A personal fashion stylist and an image consultant may have similar backgrounds but must study differently to succeed in their respective careers. Here’s a look –

  • Personal Stylist – Usually, personal fashion stylists have a background in fashion design, merchandising, marketing, or related fields to form a foundation of their career as a stylist. Apprenticing under an experienced stylist is also an essential stop in this profession. Some critical skills to be a personal stylist include fashion sense, good communication skills, and relationship management.
  • Image Consultant – Image consultants may start with an undergrad in fashion design, marketing, public relations, or psychology. Then, they must develop a good understanding of different body types and how to dress them. Image consultants are usually in-depth aware of colours, theory, fabrics, and trends. It is also helpful to know how to style hair and make-up and how to take flattering pictures. A formal course such as the Image Consultant Certification by ICBI can help you learn all the necessary skills to be a successful image consultant.

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If you are looking for an image consultant for yourself or a friend, you have come to the right place. Understanding the job of an image consultant and setting your expectations right is the first step in building a desirable image. Always choose a certified image consultant with good recommendations from other clients and an understanding of your needs.

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