Fashion Consultant Career Profile

Fashion consultants work at many different levels. Some are personal image consultants, some are more involved in image marketing. Fashion consultancy and image consulting aren’t really the same thing, but they’ve become closely related in the marketplace.

The Work Environment

This is a true fashion industry job, the archetype of style definition. A fashion consultant’s role is to advise on aspects of image projection. Clients may include celebrities and people in the public eye. The fashion element in image consultancy is the major role of the fashion consultant. This is a client-based job, working on the client’s needs and issues. The fashion consultant operates as a business consultant like a marketing job or public relations.

This role includes major elements of personal or group images. It includes style, choice of clothing, color usage and “the look”. This is a potentially difficult job, building an image, and tailoring it to an individual. This is the image work done for film stars, supermodels, musicians, politicians, and corporate major league stars, and it requires tact and high levels of competence. Fashion consultants are experts, usually with extensive industry and media experience.

Range of Industry

The market image created has to fit the individual’s status, role and the market and the demands are high. The result of the fashion consultant’s work is the public image, and has to work with publicity requirements. That’s not necessarily easy. Some clients appear in public regularly, wearing a large range of looks, and the fashion consultant has to deal with the demands of clients on an ongoing basis. The range of industries which use fashion consultants is a good indication of the scope of this work:

  • Media celebrities may use a large range of fashion images in their careers.
  • Corporate fashions and images are usually the result of fashion consultancy inputs as part of a marketing strategy. 
  • The fashion industry has a reciprocal relationship with fashion consultants with a multi-level marketing approach, with fashion consultancies cross-branding people and fashion brands.
  • This applies to clothing, makeup, accessories, jewelry, and other “look” elements of image.
  • Market fashion imagery is structured to appeal to specific demographics.

Salary and Hours

The hours are extremely variable, from $50 an hour to $500, depending on location and type of employment and whether with an agency or independent. The hours worked are business hours, unless otherwise required.

The Career Environment

Career development in this line of work usually relates to a past history in the fashion industry with qualifications. Estheticians, fashion designers, makeup and wardrobe professionals are the primary industry backgrounds for fashion consultants.

Career advancement is based on the area of employment, either as an agency consultant or an independent. The agency career track is a hierarchical progression. The independent fashion consultant works as a business, developing contacts and networks, building a reputation. Both career tracks can lead to the top of the industry, but the agency track is the better defined form of career progression.