TH: OK so, what got you started on the idea to create Stressed Stylist?
SS: It all started as a joke. I am a devoted meme lover so one day I decided to give it a try and created an account to share them. I was blown away by the response. Stylists are often neglected in the fashion industry and outside of it most people don’t even know this job exists, so maybe in a way other than becoming a community for people who do this job, my page has also risen awareness and created a more public platform for us.
“I feel like memes are a way to escape from everyday stress, a lot of other people who work in the fashion industry DM me to tell me they are “so relatable”, and they make them laugh through the pain.” – The Stress Stylist
TH: I understand; stylists are the silent magicians whose names aren’t ever remembered beyond the inner sanctum of those in fashion… I always think of that when I look at iconic images by Avedon or Penn. Their names are remembered and revered, as are the models’, but never beyond that.
Have you noticed a difference in recent years with the type of memes people suggest you use? Where are the sorts of things you get DM’d about by other stylists?
SS: Some memes go viral and become a trend and some are evergreens. I try to do a little of both, keeping up with what is new but also I have a king of the archive where I keep all of the famous memes images I know and might use again! I feel like memes are a way to escape from everyday stress, a lot of other people who work in the fashion industry DM me to tell me they are “so relatable”, and they make them laugh through the pain. It’s quite hard especially for freelancers to make a living in this industry, being overworked, underpaid, having to constantly chase payments… And with the pandemic, it was a true struggle for many people. I was surprised to see how much I connected with other people in the industry simply by making memes. I feel like memes can really bring people together somehow.
“It’s quite hard especially for freelancers to make a living in this industry, being overworked, underpaid, having to constantly chase payments…” – The Stressed Stylist
TH: You’ve created a wonderful community out of a kind of comedic pain we’ve all related to. What are your thoughts on styling as one of the main jobs in fashion? Would you recommend it to people who think they want to get into it?
SS: Styling is a beautiful creative job but unfortunately extremely overlooked. I went to fashion school and we didn’t have any class on that, it was never mentioned even though it’s one of the main jobs in fashion. I started as an assistant for a stylist I met totally by chance, and that’s how I learned that this job existed! I wish more people inside and outside of the industry could acknowledge and appreciate the important role stylists have in creating the inspiring images we see in fashion magazines, and the iconic looks of celebrities of the past and present.
“I love this job but sadly, I feel like it’s one of those jobs that’s only accessible to the privileged. ” – The Stress Stylist
I love this job but sadly, I feel like it’s one of those jobs that’s only accessible to the privileged. Not everyone can afford to go to fashion school (especially when most of them are private) or to spend months or even years working as an underpaid intern when the cost of living keeps getting higher and higher everywhere. I was lucky enough to have a family that supported me during fashion school and while I was assisting, but I know I am privileged for this. I hope this will change and interns will stop being asked to work for free or for ridiculous pay, it’s unfair how this is so normalized, especially within creative jobs.
That said, I think it’s a beautiful job that can be very rewarding and fun, even more so when you get to work with passionate, inspiring, creative people. It’s not easy to earn your spot in the industry and reach financial stability (I’m still struggling with this myself), but whenever I meet anyone with the same passion I encourage them to give it a try!
TH: What are your favourite Stressed Stylist memes you’ve posted in the past and why do you love them?