Style guru Shannon Meddings: on clients, discovering brands & fashion industry challenges
HI SHANNON! TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AND YOUR BACKGROUND…
I am a Stylist on a mission to educate and empower women to understand fashion, their shape, colours and style. I work with real people, giving everyone access to the same styling advice as the celebrities and models. Fashion can be tricky to navigate so I take the hard-work and confusion out of the process – leaving my clients with a look and wardrobe that is stylish, easy to wear and looks great!
I started out wanting to be a photographer and was lucky enough to travel parts of the world in that industry for many years until I fell into Styling while in London. This was 12 years ago. When I returned to Australia I worked with News Limited as a fashion editor and was also working as a stylist for Sunrise and X factor. At this time I also began working with Westfield as a senior stylist for their customers. This is where I saw a major disconnect with personal styling and commercial styling. Most of my Westfield clients were upset because they didn’t look like the models in the magazines or they wanted to buy certain pieces straight from magazines that I knew wouldn’t work for their body shape. This is why I knew that when I started my own personal styling business, I needed to focus on education – passing on all the knowledge I’d gained dressing thousands of people over the past decade.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY?
I’m not sure I’ve ever had a typical day! Every client I see has a different story, a different shape, style and colouring. On top of that, they’ll have particular lifestyle requirements including work, home life, social life and budget that I have to take into consideration while making sure they look their best. I am also the Australian correspondent for an international trend reporting company, so while I am on the lookout for options for my clients – I am also thinking about the latest pieces and looks that I can send to them.
Part of my day is now dedicated to a new service offering personalised style guides for those who may not be able to get face-to-face styling. This service is at a much lower price point, although every style and look is curated especially for them. Now the client can shop at their own convenience, with the knowledge they are purchasing the right pieces!
CLEARLY YOU DON’T JUST HELP CUSTOMERS – YOU ALSO GIVE BRANDS LOTS OF EXPOSURE!
Having an understanding of the current retail sector, it is hard for most brands to have a voice in such flooded market run by massive internationals. I love working with closely with brands to get their pieces directly into the hands of a customer. I also love introducing my clients to pieces they wouldn’t have otherwise known about or considered wearing, without my assistance. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard, “I would never have picked that up” I would be lying on a beach right now with a cocktail in my hand!
I think the biggest misconception held by both brands and customers, is who can wear their clothing. For instance, I’ve worked with women ranging from 25 to 65 and can style both spectrums in the same piece and have them both looking amazing. I think people need to get beyond age, especially in Australia. When I work I rarely talk about age, it isn’t important to me – body shape, colour and style are king.
“I think people need to get beyond age, especially in Australia. When I work I rarely talk about age, it isn’t important to me – body shape, colour and style are king.”
WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER FLAUNTER?
I discovered Flaunter when I started writing fashion pages for different magazines and blogs. When it came to finding images, this was the easiest process I’d come across. Previously, I had to individually hunt down a brand contact or the brand’s PR to get images and product details. PR’s are fantastic, however, they work so hard on a myriad of tasks and (like everyone) are time poor – so sometimes getting a response to a price request or additional images took far too long. I found that having access to brands images on demand meant that I could work efficiently and more effectively! I still LOVE the site for that!
SO WHAT DO YOU MAINLY USE FLAUNTER FOR TODAY?
Using Flaunter these days for my Personal Styling clients means I am able to browse brands and know what’s available and what’s coming in. This means I can suggest that my client wait for a particular piece or send them an image so they can shop the product there and then! All my clients want to look great and of course, none of them want to waste money. A bad purchase can actually put a person off that brand for life, but when styles are personally selected for them, they know it is worth the investment. We all have our go to’s, my jobs is to create wardrobes for my clients that are stocked with go to’s, not bad decisions.
HOW DO YOU THINK FLAUNTER HELPS STYLISTS IN PARTICULAR COMPARED TO HOW JOURNALISTS AND BLOGGERS WOULD USE THE PLATFORM?
As a Stylist, having access to a brands collection is vital. If I am not across what each brand is up to then I may miss the perfect dress or top or pants that would suit my client or photoshoot story. Knowing what is out there is the lifeline of my business. If I miss a collection, that will result in missed sales for brands and great outfits for my clients.
Having Flaunter at my fingertips means less time waiting. I can discover the latest or pre-release collections and new brands AND get all the information I need in seconds. I love anything that makes my time efficient. I am also a very impatient person and not having to wait for what I need to do my job is literally everything!! The team at Flaunter are also always helpful and willing to show me styles I may have missed.
YOUR ONE WISH THAT WOULD MAKE LIFE EVEN EASIER?
More brands. It’s like a library. All PR and brands should get on board! It will free everyone up to focus on more important daily tasks, rather than finding images to send to people. Having access to even more collections in real time and in one place would be a blessing!
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES ON THE HORIZON FOR THE INDUSTRY?
The biggest challenges I see are brands not having their clothes brought, and the need to combat fast fashion. The waste of money, time and resources is a make or break situation. The landscape has changed. Fast fashion is rife, Instagram is daily communication. People want new clothes for every post but they can’t afford to waste money on clothes they won’t wear. People also don’t particularly want clothes that will fall apart after one wash! Trends come and go like the weather and saying people are confused about them is an understatement. Having real fashion advice about what to buy is more important than ever.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE…
Launching my new website is my major focus at the moment. Having a beautiful platform where my clients can access the right information in the most efficient and cost-effective way, is everything my company stands for. We love fashion, we love helping and we love having our clients look amazing.