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They say that trends come and go but style is forever. That sentiment could not be more true, as many professionals and individuals are using stylists to meet their fashion needs.

What exactly is the role of a stylist? There are many different kinds of stylists: commercial stylists who specialize in magazine and photo shoot styling, or work on TV shows and film sets; and personal stylists, helping clients create their own personal style through guided shopping trips, choosing things that work best for their clients' bodies.

If you're someone who is often complimented on your style, business savvy, and you enjoy helping people, you might want to consider a career as a personal stylist. There are several fashion programs in Toronto and the GTA that offer a formal fashion education in many areas'fashion business, fashion merchandising, fashion styling'including George Brown College, Ryerson University, and others, but is a formal education enough?

You need to have an intuitive sense of style and taste but, at the same time, you need to educate yourself, whether you do that formally or informally, says Irene Kim, vice-president at style consultancy agency La Closette. So you need to understand proportion and people's bodies and what looks good on them.

In addition to having a keen sense of style, Kim advises anyone considering styling as a career to ensure that they are knowledgeable about how the fashion industry works. Aspiring stylists should know what clothing retailers are out there, have a grasp on proportion, and what kind of price ranges exist in order to best benefit their clients.

The fashion industry is one that is known for its opulent runway shows, glitzy parties and, of course, the beautiful clothes, but styling is not all glamour. It's a lot of work, says Kim. It's like any other job. You have to put all the leg work in, work really hard, and create opportunities for yourself. Stylists must also be organized, keen listeners who understand their clients needs, and Kim stresses the key to succeeding as a stylist is treating styling as a true career.

Becoming a stylist is a mixture of nature and nurture. Through nurturing a natural sense of style and taste, aspiring stylists can build upon this aptitude through formal education or through observation, keeping up with styles and trends, and immersing themselves fully in fashion.

Photo: Digital Vision/Thinkstock