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The Assistant

Interview: The Assistant

The Assistant

The Assistant is the new kid on the block when it comes to representative agencies. Based in Cape Town and exclusively representing assistant stylists, The Assistant is a much needed addition to the fashion styling industry. The founder, Faye Dowding, first made her mark representing Cape Tech at the CTFC Graduate Show by receiving a top graduate award for her final year collection. She now works as an up and coming stylist in Cape Town. We caught up with her to find out more about The Assistant;

Between 10and5: You’re a stylist yourself, how did you start out?

Faye Dowding: I studied Fashion Design at CPUT but always knew I wanted to go into styling as opposed to design. I had a lucky break getting into the industry towards the end of my third year and started assisting on tv commercials. Since then I’ve worked on various projects – stills and commercials, local and international.

Between 10and5: What gave you the idea for The Assistant?

Faye Dowding: There are many representative agencies around but not one that solely represents assistants. I saw an opportunity that would benefit the industry as well as young stylists trying to get work.

Between 10and5: Does your agency work like a traditional talent agency?

Faye Dowding: Pretty much. A stylist/production company looking for an assistant will contact me with a brief for the job. I’ll then put forward the job including details such as dates and rates to the available assistants on my books and one of the assistants will take on the job.

Between 10and5: Do you provide any training for the stylists joining your agency?

Faye Dowding: I plan to keep a very high standard throughout the agency. The assistants I currently represent all have sufficient experience and have been working for a couple of years. However, I do provide training for those who are completely inexperienced and want to break into the industry. I found gaining experience and finding a way in one of the toughest parts of starting out.

Between 10and5: What are your future plans for the agency?

Faye Dowding: I’m currently working on connecting assistants from other fields such as photography, lighting, make-up with the assistants I represent to collaborate on test shoots for their mutual benefit and to build their portfolios. Hopefully in the future The Assistant will expand to represent assistants across the board.

You can get into contact with Faye on 084 513 6765 or at

The assistant

Between 10 and 5