Name: Racky Sow
Title: Fashion Stylist
Company Name: Freelance
Study program: Fashion Marketing
Degree obtained in: 2020
Photography credit: Maryam MBaye
Racky is a creative woman whose instincts led her to an amazing career. Since becoming a freelance stylist, she has worked with a variety of artists and brands. With her work published in Vogue Italia, a campaign for Foot Locker, and dressing the famous singer Angèle, she never ceases to impress.
What title do you currently hold and what are your main functions?
My name is Racky Sow – I’m a Montreal-based freelance stylist. My clients include artists and brands.
Describe a typical day in your professional life.
When I’m not on set or at fittings, I’m constantly doing research (online and in-store), exchanging ideas with clients and preparing looks for upcoming events and campaigns. I’m also constantly updating Pinterest boards for the clients I’m styling.
"I was also recognized as a Converse All Star, a steadily growing program, engaging and creating a global community of more than 3,000 creatives from all around the world."
Describe your career path.
I started my career in my second year while studying fashion marketing at LaSalle College. I reached out to Planet Giza and started styling them for their press pictures and music videos as they were coming out with their first album, Added Sugar. From there, I started styling more and more artists, as well as a few ads and campaigns on the side. I was also recognized as a Converse All Star, a steadily growing program, engaging and creating a global community of more than 3,000 creatives from all around the world.
What is your fondest memory while studying at LaSalle College?
My fondest memories are with my fellow classmate Theodore Wong and truthfully, he is one of the most knowledgeable people I know! We used to always debate on the latest fashion news, upcoming drops, emerging designers, special collaborations and fashion trends. We still continuously do it to this day and he has grown to be more than a friend to me - he’s actually one of the very first person I run to for advice and whenever I get an exciting work opportunity.
Do you have any interesting anecdotes to share?
I never wanted to be a stylist at first and actually believed it was an unrealistic choice of career. I initially started LaSalle College thinking I was going to become a fashion buyer for a luxury retailer, until I had my first accounting class! It was during the Job Task Analysis class with Yolande that I discovered the job of a fashion stylist in more depth.
"You need to be perseverant, determined and organized."
What was your general feeling and first impression when you started out at LaSalle College?
Starting at LaSalle I didn’t have that many expectations and simply knew I would become a different person coming out of the school. In fact, coming from Laval and especially from a private school in St-Therese, the city of Montreal was completely foreign to me. I remember when people used to talk about Apt 200 in my class and I did not know what it was. All I knew at the time was SSENSE and the touristy parts of the city.
What surprised you the most when you arrived in the workforce?
The amount of professions within this industry, especially working on campaigns or other projects. From producers, costume designers, set coordinators and artistic directors, there are numerous jobs that should be highlighted - even working in creative agencies. Since High School, we are only presented with traditional jobs and it only gets as creative as becoming an interior designer (not that there’s any shame in becoming an interior designer). I just think that a lot more professions should be put up front.
What advice would you offer to a student currently enrolled in the same program you took or to your younger self?
Don’t be scared to try a certain profession or get into a certain field, even if your teachers and peers tell you it’s an over saturated market. If I had listened to my teachers, I wouldn’t be pursuing this career.
What are the qualities necessary to succeed in your field?
You need to be perseverant, determined and organized. A lot of people think that being a stylist is simply shopping and following trends but it’s actually long days of work, preparation, logistics, and being available 24/7 for your clients’ requests and needs. Being a problem-solver is also very important as you will encounter many impediments from last minute changes, to packages delayed a day before the shoot.
Racky and the signer Zach Zoya
Photography credit: Drowster
Who are your role models and why?
My parents will always be my biggest role models. Coming from Senegal, they have worked hard to provide the best life for my sisters and I, and often put their children’s needs before their own even if they didn’t have the means. Most importantly, they have taught me that there’s no secret to reaching your goals and that hard work and consistency is the key. I am conditioned to always show up and do the work, regardless how hard it might get or even when I feel at my lowest.
Anything you would like to add that would be inspiring to our next generation?
Life is too short to stick to one choice of career. Be curious and don’t be scared to take on new experiences.
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