Styled By Tanlyn Leigh – A Look Into The Life Of A Stylist

Header Image for HEYBOO

We first bumped into Tanlyn at the Chandre (Lady G) Goosen-Joubert event in Cape Town, while both of us were trying to get into our Radisson Red rooms, the elevator only wanted to take us to the roof over and over again 😅

Later on in the evening, we started chatting, and OH what a cool job it is to be a stylist. I just knew Tanlyn needed to be interviewed for our HEYBOO chats.

In this interview, Tanlyn dives into what it’s like to be a stylist, and who her style icon is…

Tell us more about yourself and how you got into styling?

From a young age, I always loved fashion and the idea of the industry as a whole. I always wished that I had sewing at school, I think it’s such a big part of our everyday life and it means something to everyone. Ultimately it’s how someone expresses themselves, for me at least. 

I moved from Durban to Cape Town and decided to take a ‘gap year’ to figure out how and where I wanted to be in the industry. It ended very quickly when a month later I met an incredible stylist and started assisting him.

That experience was invaluable and where I learnt everything I know today. One, being that it requires many hours which you can’t do without a huge amount of passion! I studied two years later and got my bachelor of consumer science, majoring in small business fashion. The rest is history!

Sun met campaign shot by: Garreth Barclay
Sun met campaign / shot by: Garreth Barclay

What is a day-in-the-life like for a stylist?

It usually depends on the job but usually, the preparation is the most important. This would include meeting with clients, photographers, models,  hair and make-up artists, Production houses, teams etc, to get the brief and what is required from my side. From the brief, I would need to source everything, which will vary depending on the job, but this will include all the clothing items, accessories, shoes and sometimes props. 

Then comes the shoot which is the most exciting for me. Seeing it all come together as planned is very rewarding. 

After the shoot days, I will have post-production where I will sort everything out, return hired clothing, props and accessories to respective hiring companies. From there the process will start again for the next job. 

Behind the scenes of me styling BTS by: Sean Young For Ramzi Mansour
Behind the scenes of me styling
BTS by: Sean Young For Ramzi Mansour

Who is your style icon and why?

My style icon would have to be my mom. She always had a really good eye for fashion. I used to sit with her and watch her get ready all the time. It fascinated me and I believe that’s where my love for fashion came from. 

Duba Plains Shot by Garreth Barclay Model: Jaimie Beth
Duba Plains /
Shot by: Garreth Barclay
Model: Jaimie Beth

You have styled many celebs and shoots, which one was your favourite?

That is a very hard question. Each shoot is so different. I love shooting a project that tells a story, which I have been doing more lately. I was also very blessed to have travelled to Botswana where we shot in the Okavango where the wild elephants were actually in the shot. 

While on the topic of animals, we shot with a snake (no animals were harmed) this was also overcoming a major fear for me but turned out really beautiful. 

Another one that stands out was a TVC for Toyota where we dressed almost 100 extras. That shoot challenged me the most but it was super rewarding. 

Photographer: Ramzi Mansour Model: Getriin Kivi
Photographer: Ramzi Mansour
Model: Getriin Kivi

What advice would you give to young stylists who are trying to enter the industry?

I think my advice would be to never stop learning. Learn from the people that you come across in the industry, they can teach you a lot. Do passion projects that show your creativity. You have to have passion and persistence! In life, I think we all have moments of rejection but just because you weren’t right for one job, it doesn’t mean you won’t get the next one.

As soon as you feel like you are getting comfortable do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. There are really no limits in this industry, and as soon as you think you have done enough, do more! 

Tanlyn @ the Radisson Red


pizza or pasta?
If I could have my cake and eat it too, I would have pasta on pizza. I could live on both but if I had to choose I would probably choose pizza. 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I could easily live on an island and have a simple life but there is also a part of me that could live in a big city where it would complement my work as well. 

What would you sing on karaoke night?
Haha! I have never sung karaoke nor will you ever find me singing karaoke. I will stick to what I am good at 😉

What quote do you live by? 
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.’ – Nelson Mandela

Thank you Tanlyn! Follow her exciting journey below ↯

For more HEYBOO chats, click here…

HEYBOO, Hey Boo, HeyBoo, however you may write it yourself, is a blog centred around inspiring women, inspiring women. Our goal is to celebrate women in all walks of life and in any industry who are making noise and doing the most. Interviews with women about their experiences in business, or other sectors aim to inspire and educate our readers. Whether you want to learn more about how to break into an industry, or just get uplifted by some truly inspiring stories, we’ve got the read for you! While we are focused on spreading the news about awesome women, we branch into brand reviews, and other fun and interesting blog categories to feed your curious soul.