Christina Corso is a 25 year old wardrobe stylist based in LA. I spoke with her about everything from career highlights to working with celebrities to advice she would give to others looking to get into styling. Her answer to the last question particularly resonated with me as I'm sure it will with everyone in the creative field; she spoke about earlier in her career feeling the need to find a more 'stable' job and not feeling as 'creative' as others in the field. Like I said when I started this blog I want to encourage people to go for their dreams regardless of these worries, and Christina is a good example of that. If you're at all interested in styling or curious about what it's like working with celebrities in LA + Hollywood then definitely check out the interview and let me know your thoughts!
Hey Christina! So first of all could you tell us a little bit about yourself, your career so far + how you got into fashion styling?
Hi there! I’m so excited to chat. My name is Christina and I’m 25 years old and I live in Los Angeles, California. I am originally from Michigan but moved to LA about 2 years ago to pursue a career in fashion. I always admired Maeve Reilly, who styles Hailey Bieber and Ciara, so I knew that when I went out to LA, I had to work with her. About the first week I was there, I saw she was doing an event at a local mall so I went and chatted with her afterwards. I asked about how she got into styling and if she had any advice for someone just starting out. She recommended interning to learn the ins and outs of the business, and mentioned that she was currently looking for one. She introduced me to her assistants and I sent them my resume that night. A few days went by, I went in for an interview, and landed the internship. I worked with her team for the next 9 months and learned so much. I mentioned I wanted to assist, so her assistants started recommending me to jobs they couldn’t take. From there, I kept meeting more and more people in the industry who would recommend me to even more things and my career took off from there. I’ve worked with stylists who’ve dressed Brad Pitt, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Jennifer Aniston, Billie Eilish, Selena Gomez, and more. I am currently still assisting celebrity stylists, as I also pursue clients of my own.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style consists of vintage gold jewellery and oversized men’s pieces.
What exactly does a fashion stylist do? And what does a typical day of work look like for you?
A fashion stylist prepares wardrobe for their clients, whether that’s a personal client, celebrity, brand, or publication. A day in the life is always different, however, it usually begins with prep by reaching out to designers/brands to ask them to lend wardrobe for the event/shoot. That may include picking up wardrobe from a showroom, pulling pieces from stores, or receiving clothing samples the brand has sent for us to use. Then we would typically set up a fitting with the client to make sure everything fits correctly. We then might help the client get ready for an event or go to set to execute the looks, if it was a photo-shoot, music video, etc. After the event or shoot, we would typically return the samples back to the designer.
Do you have a favourite type of styling work? e.g. editorial, styling for brands (like your work with Tribe Kelley), styling people for events etc.
I love it all, but I really enjoy styling for brands and events. With brands like Tribe Kelley, I loved meeting with the CEO/designer to really understand what vision she wanted to convey in the brand campaign. I love working with brands, like Tribe Kelley, who have a good ethos and are making sustainability efforts. I also love a good red carpet moment because you really feel the satisfaction of work that was done from start to finish. From the inspiration to the shopping to the fitting to seeing the client in full glam on the red carpet, it’s truly a moment.
Do you have a favourite shoot /job you’ve worked on? What did you love about it?
Omg so hard to choose! I think I would have to say the OUTWEST music video shoot I worked on before the lockdown. This shoot made me so proud to be a part of because the head stylists were all my really good friends, who are so deserving of their success, and work so hard in this industry. I am so inspired to work beside them and am so thankful for their guidance in my career thus far so it was nice to be able to help them back. Plus, we dressed SO many people that day, and every single person ended up looking so dope.
You’ve done a lot of assistant styling, what is the role of the assistant stylist + how does it differ from the head stylist?
The head stylist is hired to style and prepare the wardrobe for the client or brand. They are involved in the entire creative direction and execution of the look/s. The assistant is there to help the head stylist in anything they need. Whether that is outreach, shopping, inventory, returns, steaming, pinning, you are there as a second set of hands and eyes.
With your assistant stylist work you seem to have worked with every celebrity under the sun, Billie Eilish, Travis Scott, Camila Cabello, Selena Gomez, Hailey Bieber to name a few. What is it like working with celebrities? Are there any particularly memorable moments/experiences?
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of some amazing projects with iconic people, but at the end of the day, we are all just regular people showing up to work to highlight great talent. It’s important to respect them and keep it professional, definitely not the time to totally fangirl in front of them, but it is always a bit surreal meeting the people you look up to and admire. Memorable moments include working my first Calvin Klein job, seeing Beyoncé perform on set, and going to Paris Fashion Week.
Is it relatively easy to book these jobs/come by styling work? Or does it require a lot of networking?
Booking jobs is all about networking. I interned for a very long time and the only reason I branched out from there was because of recommendations from other assistants I worked with, and that still holds the same today. Every job I book is because a stylist or another assistant recommended me from previous work I did with them.
How did you manage the challenges presented by lock-down? I saw you did some virtual styling, was this a success? And did you gain anything from this experience?
There are many challenges we’re facing with the lock-down, especially because our work is so hands on and events based, but I’ve seen so many people adapt pretty simply with virtual press and shoots from home. With styling my own virtual shoots, I found it difficult not to be able to provide wardrobe for the model since we could only use what they had accessible in their house. We also ran into the issues of poor image quality so it definitely is a work in progress, but it was good experience to at least get my creativity flowing for a bit. I think its really inspiring what some people have created virtually during this time.
Would you say styling as a career is relatively accessible or is it quite difficult to get into? + is being based in big cities like LA beneficial in terms of finding styling opportunities?
With social media, I think the career is a lot more accessible than it has been in the past, but you still need to put in the work. Most clients or clothing brands will tag the stylist in their posts so it is easy for the public to find out who is responsible for the look. Most certainly that stylist has their agent’s contact info in their IG bio or a direct email where you can reach out to their team directly. It’s definitely beneficial being based in big cities, like LA or NY, because that is where most of the entertainment industry is but I know plenty of successful wardrobe stylists who are successful in other cities. It just depends what kind of stylist you are looking to become. If you are interested in celebrity styling, I definitely think LA or NY is the most ideal place to be.
What are your goals for the future? Do you have any dream publications/brands you’d like to work with or people you’d like to style?
In the future, I would love to style a cover shoot of my own. I would love to work with Jerry Lorenzo at Fear of God or Sami Miro at Sami Miro Vintage. Dying to work with Timothée Chalamet!!
What advice would you give to young people looking to get into styling as a career? Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting out?
I always loved fashion but spent too much time trying out other careers that I thought were more stable or would make more money than the arts. But the truth was, I just wasn’t confident in myself and my ability to succeed in the creative field. I made excuses. I told myself I had no fashion experience and I compared myself to others which made me feel like I could never achieve that level of success/creativity. Once I finally made that move to LA, I noticed how natural styling came to me and I realised it was actually something I really loved and could do. If styling is something you are passionate about, just go for it. Be confident, be kind, network, work really hard, and don’t compare yourself to others.
I hope you all found that as interesting and useful as I did, definitely go check out Christina's work (will link her Instagram and website below) and let me know who you'd like to hear from next!