Image consulting,  Styling

Image Consultant or Fashion Stylist – what’s the difference?

What is an Image Consultant? How is an Image Consultant different to a fashion stylist? Why would I use an Image Consultant?

These are questions I hear regularly and the answers are quite simple.

Fashion stylists select outfits for particular looks and might also help with wardrobe planning and personal shopping. They mainly work with celebrities, models and actors to create looks for events, photographic shoots and fashion shows.

An Image Consultant is trained in “image enhancement (appearance, body and colour analysis, wardrobe development, and management), sound and effective communications, business and social etiquette, civility, branding, and moreā€”all through coaching and training.” This is the definition given by the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), the industry’s peak professional body.

So, while a fashion stylist might provide a particular look for a big event, such as the Met Gala or a high-profile business awards event, an Image Consultant provides that service included in an holistic approach to personal presentation.

The following information is reproduced from the AICI’s website. I have italicised my areas of specialty.

An image consultant guides you in presenting yourself to your best advantage and in expressing your highest potential. Whether you are an individual or a business, whether you work outside the home or not, an image consultant can teach you how to polish your image in three areas:

  • Your physical appearance 
  • Your behaviour 
  • Your communication skills.
An image consultant utilises the learning environment you find most comfortable and convenient, whether it be a personal consultation in their studio, your office or home, a coaching session over the phone, a presentation to your executive team, a seminar for your employees or a workshop at your annual conference.
  • Wardrobe consultations
  • Colour consultations
  • Personal Shopping
  • Interview skills coaching
  • Image branding
  • Clothing or uniform designing
  • Hair and makeup styling
  • Etiquette consultations
  • Executive presence coaching
  • Fashion feng shui
  • Image motivational speaking or training
  • Public speaking training

Image consultants are experienced in working with an array of people and professions, including:

  • Corporate professionals
  • Job seekers
  • Politicians
  • Media personalities
  • Professional speakers
  • Individuals who are tall, full-figured or petite
  • Exclusively with men, women, teens or children

An image consultant may also represent a line of clothing, accessories, eyewear, makeup, or other products; they may also offer books or other materials supporting their area of expertise.

Because of my background in recruitment, I tend to specialise in coaching people in the business world so that they can present themselves to their fullest potential.

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