I became a stylist for Netflix's 'Next in Fashion' by DMing a producer on Instagram. I now make up to $1,000 a day styling models and musicians.
- Jules Wettreich styles for TV shows, musicians, and models.
- She says dropping out of college was the right move for her.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Jules Wettreich, a freelance fashion stylist. It has been edited for length and clarity.
I'm from North Carolina originally. I had been living between LA and New York before I enrolled in Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. I had only done one semester at FIT before dropping out in December.
I realized school wasn't really my thing — I felt like I never had time to myself and I was always stressed. School also made me feel insecure about my abilities. When I left, I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom and motivation.
Without the time constraints and added stress, I could do more and take on more. I wouldn't have been able to land my first major stylist job at New York Fashion Week if I had been at school. I probably would've been studying for finals.
I'm glad I made the decision to leave when I did, but FIT is a great school, and I know it's always there for me if I need to go back.
I got my first big gig by direct messaging designers on Instagram
My first major styling gig with my name on it was a New York Fashion Week show for Nicholas Raefski. He had his first men's day show, and he asked me to style it.
The way I got the job is an insane story. I messaged him on Instagram and wrote, "Your clothes are so sick." And he said "Seriously thank you for the kind words, I think I passed you on the street a week ago." I replied, "That's funny because if you saw me walking past FIT, it's probably because I dropped out this week!"
We hit it off. He invited me to hang out, and while we were talking, he told me about his brand and how he really wanted to get on the fashion calendar this season. And I was like, "Well, I believe in you. Your product is amazing. If you ever need help with styling, let me know."
Three days later, he called and said he was on the New York Fashion Week calendar, and asked if I would style his show. I was so excited. It was excellent timing, because I had just left school. That experience went great, and we're still really good friends. I'm helping him style his show for the next season too.
Connecting with new people helped me land my next role as an assistant stylist for Netflix
I met someone at a fashion week show who DM'd me an instagram post, from one of the producers of "Next in Fashion" on Netflix. They were looking for stylists in New York.
I messaged the producer to say hi and that I was interested. I said, "Hey I'm very interested in this opportunity and would love to know more about it!" — and she said we should hop on a FaceTime call.
I told her a little bit about myself and we got along pretty quickly. She said she felt like we could work well together and she'd let me know in a week whether or not I got the job, because there were a lot of other people applying.
The producer said she was looking for young talent who were willing to learn along the way. That made me feel comfortable on the call with her. I spoke to her like I was on FaceTime with a friend — I talked about my life, my passion for styling, and my social media presence.
I think the more genuine and human you are during an interview, the better, because I ended up getting hired as the assistant stylist for the show — season two of "Next in Fashion".
It was my first corporate styling job — even though it didn't feel that corporate because it was really creative, fun and relaxed. And after I finished my work on the show, I actually became friends with the producer that hired me!
Styling for a fashion competition show was hard, but rewarding
"Next in Fashion" is a competitive show where designers compete to become the next top designer and win a prize. I worked on the second season of the show, which will be streaming in 2023.
I was allowed to make TikTok content on the Netflix set, as long as I didn't give away anything creatively. Usually, I just get permission ahead of time to make content while styling, but most of the time it's not really that big of a deal.
I was in charge of sourcing accessories for the contestants' runway looks. I was given a mood board that had all of the challenges that were going to be presented to the contestants throughout the season. I used that mood board to source accessories based on the aesthetic of each challenge, but I couldn't tell the contestants exactly what to use.
My schedule was anywhere from 10 to 12 hours a day. There were some pretty long days on set, but it was really fun and awesome. I had a great time doing it.
My TikTok presence helped me land stylist gigs for major label musicians
The Netflix gig is over for now, so I'm mostly styling musicians at the moment.
Atlantic Records reached out to me about using one of their artists' sounds on TikTok. I replied that that would be awesome, and then they asked if I could do a styling video.
When I first started out on TikTok, I styled hypothetical outfits for influencers. I wore a bunch of different, very expensive pieces that I found on Farfetch and put them together to show what I think would look good on them and fit their style. Atlantic wanted me to do that for one of their artists.
At the time, I was trying to move away from doing that because I wanted to change my demographic a little bit. I proposed to them that I could style their artists in person, and they said they'd be willing to work something out with me when I came to New York.
Musicians are my favorite styling clients
Around six months later, I had settled in New York and connected with one of their marketing managers. At that point, I started styling Arlie, which is one of my favorite bands.
I styled all six of Arlie's band members for their concert in New York City at the Mercury Lounge. They were so much fun to work with and I became friends with them. They've asked me to style them in October for their New York concert, which I'm really excited about.
When I'm styling someone, I like to hop on FaceTime and talk to them about their style, what they're going for, and how they want to be perceived as an artist right now, since they're always evolving. We'll create a mood board together: they'll send me 3 or 4 images then I'll expand on that and send the mood board back to them.
If they okay it, I'll find brands that mimic the mood board and reach out to all those brands to pull some pieces. I just borrow the pieces and then return them after they wear them. Most of the time, the artists will post photos in the clothes on their Instagram and tag the brand.
I create the looks by myself — I mix and match pieces from different brands to create an original look, which is what most stylists do. Once you have it all together, you steam it and you bring it to the artist.
You dress the person. You'll have a fitting where you ensure that everything fits perfectly. Live performance work is harder because everything has to fit perfectly. They're moving around on stage, so you can't really cheat the fit like you could in a photo shoot. When they're jumping and smashing guitars and stuff, there's no way to cover up mistakes.
I hope to expand my styling business to include social media more often
In addition to styling the band, I also made TikTok videos with them. I brainstormed content, created something like a pitch deck to show them, and then created the content with them all in one day. We made about six different pieces of content.
I've started offering record labels TikTok content in addition to styling for live performances, cover art, music videos, and outings. I sit down with their artists and brainstorm ideas that feel authentic to their brand so they can post on their platforms. I also make content for me to post as well, so that we can boost their TikTok plays — TikTok plays a huge role in what music becomes popular these days.
Freelance work can sometimes be scattered, but I have goals for my business
Work as a freelance social media creator and stylist is very sporadic. Sometimes I do little one off jobs and other times I'll style a campaign or film a video where I'll make over a grand in a day.
I charge about $175 per outfit I style on a freelance job. I'll usually have a lot of random jobs pop up where people will ask me to help with things. For example, I have another friend's fashion week that I'm helping with.
It's difficult being freelance and it's kind of scary and overwhelming, but there's an excitement that comes with it too, because you know that you have the freedom to do whatever you want to do.
My goal is to connect styling and influencing a little bit more. I feel like I'm either in stylist mode or influencer mode. I also want to make more long-form content for YouTube and show exactly what I do when I'm styling.
Before I became a freelance stylist, I really wanted to see what it was like for stylists behind the scenes. Those things can seem so secretive — and I like to be able to break down that fourth wall.
Putting myself out there on social media is definitely helpful. TikTok has helped me a lot. It's important to have intention behind the content that you make, because it puts you into a niche, where people can discover you. You can grow your own community of people that you want to surround yourself with.
If you work in Hollywood and would like to share your story, email Eboni Boykin-Patterson at email@example.com.
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