By Joelle Theresa Ngo
At the tender age of three, Hillary Lee already dreamed of becoming a fashion stylist—and she never thought that this dream would actually come true, until she was tapped by a photographer to style a contestant from Asia's Next Top Model. From there, she just fell more in love with styling and immediately envisioned herself doing it in the long-run.
Since then, she has also taken up a short course in Fashion Designing at Style Design Academy and later on landed an internship at Zalora Philippines as a fashion stylist. During her internship, she experienced working on catalogs and photo shoots (with hundreds of layouts), teaching her that the profession isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. But, her dream to be a fashion stylist remains despite all the hardships. In fact, the challenges just reaffirmed her calling and love for it.
As a 4th year Advertising student at the University of Santo Tomas, you'd assume that her schedule will be filled with thesis- and academic-related stuff, but Hillary is not your average senior college student. She still manages to spare some time to pursue her passion (and slaying in it by winning almost every fashion show that she joins in) despite the pressure and demands that come with being a working student.
Aside from working as a fashion stylist at Zalora Philippines and assisting for a celebrity stylist, Hillary also knows how to do dress painting—and she’s really good at it, too!
Hillary’s fashion icon is Dion Lee, an Australian fashion designer. She loves his minimalist aesthetic and body sculpting design which she considers classy and elegant—perfect for Hillary's taste. After she graduates, she wants to become a well-known stylist like Liz Uy, who happens to graduate from the same high school she went to. If she were to be a designer, she aspires to be Francis Libiran.
When asked what her advice is to other aspiring fashion stylists, she said, “As a fashion stylist, it's very important to be earlier before your call time. Bring your closet! It's better to look funny with your big luggage than to miss a perfect shot at any shoot. Pullouts and returns are also important; be responsible for your own pullouts and returns on the said date to avoid issues with brands.”
Hillary’s life is a great picture of the pay off that comes with hard work and perseverance. She always tells people that anything is possible when you dream and strive hard, but she also believes she wouldn’t be where she is right now if it weren’t for God, her family, and her friends who continue to support and motivate her ever since day one.
If you want to take a peek at Hillary’s masterpieces, you can check out her website (http://hillz27.tumblr.com) and Instagram @hi_hieellz.
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Banner photograph from Hillary Lee