How to Make It as a Stylist, According to Zanna Roberts Rassi

A stylist’s work is never done. Forget about the cushy, glamorous caricature you see in the movies—you know, the one that involves dressing models, rubbing elbows with celebrities, and sipping champagne out of shoes. Not even close. The reality? A stylist is the person grinding through every photo shoot. Constantly on the clock, they’re pulling an outfit together with clients in the wings. Sometimes they even pull the clothes off their own fashionable backs for the sake of a shot. They work weekends, they mend clothes on the fly, and they’re a living, breathing index of the latest trends, designers, and shops.

It’s a tough gig, and breaking into the industry is equally challenging. So, when you’re just starting out, it’s essential to have a great mentor by your side. Iowa native Grace Rosson can attest to that fact: Rosson was selected for the #SORELstyle mentorship program and got the chance to learn from fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi. The idea of working in New York City alongside one of the industry’s elite (Roberts Rassi is also an E! correspondent, a Project Runway All-Stars judge, and the co-founder of Milk Makeup) would have had any other fashion fangirl shaking in her boots, but that wasn’t the case for Rosson. “Zanna is the best at what she does,” Rosson tells us. “She has trail-blazed her way through the industry with poise and determination”—and naturally has a lot of insight to share. 

Curious about what it takes to make it in the industry? Below, we share six things every aspiring stylist needs to master, straight from Roberts Rassi herself.

Are you an aspiring stylist? What’s the most interesting piece of wisdom you’ve picked up on an internship? Tell us in the comments.