Stylists are more than just cultural-gatekeepers adjudicating on what is and isn’t cool from season to season. They’re creative catalysts for fashion labels and consumers alike. They work alongside designers, editors, photographers and models, producing images that take a number of forms—like shows, campaigns and editorials. The images they engineer shape designers’ creative visions into desirable products; these are the garments that we want to purchase and wear. With images, stylists translate the language of fashion into wearable garments, influencing how the garments created by fashion labels are understood and worn.

Unlike designers who are bound to their own labels, stylists work with a range of designers and brands. This enables them to influence the way different labels interact with and complement each other in images like editorials. Stylists sift through collections and archives to create their own distinct aesthetics, giving character to the labels and garments that they work with.

While it’s not possible to name all the notable stylists who have left a trace on fashion, this article focuses on the work of four influential stylists, who shape the visual culture of fashion and influence what we desire, wear and collect.

Read more from Tristen here.

Tags: helmut-lang, melanie-ward, kiko-kostadinov, stephen-mann, raf-simons, olivier-rizzo, balenciaga, vetements, lotta-volkova