At 24, stylist Jason Pillay has placed his mark in the Vancouver fashion industry, but much like any teenager graduating high school, he was confused on what career path to take. He’d always had an interest in fashion and, for as long as he could remember, a creative eye for details.
His inspiration came from his surroundings, including his friends and the energy around him. After exploring numerous industries, it became clear that he wanted to make a career out of his passion for fashion. Whether it was his personal style, shopping with friends, or giving fashion advice to others, it all came natural to him.
Pillay to start working in the industry. He volunteered at events, began networking and researching and was so inspired by these experiences that he ended up getting a seat in the John Casablancas Fashion program.
“I remember telling myself that I am taking a year off because I was so overwhelmed in school and convinced myself I need a vacation,” he said of his plans once he’d graduated with a diploma in fashion business and marketing. “I realized after school this was more of a want, and that there is no better time to start then now. My main focus was to work on myself, take opportunities, explore different areas, and stay focused.”
That’s what he did after accomplishing his first goal: completing fashion school. He had the chance to work with some of the most amazing talent in Vancouver and had the confidence to turn his “I wish I can” to “I will.”
Today, Pillay is a stylist in Vancouver, who is passionate about his job. “Styling is fun! It doesn’t seem like work because I have so much fun with it. I get to shop, play with pieces, use my creativity and meet amazing new people. I love having full control of the wardrobe element and challenging myself. I’m still learning more and more everyday, but I really enjoy it.”
There is a lot of hard work involved. Pillay is always on the run: buying clothes for shoots and returning clothes after shoots. And there are the texts he gets from his friends asking him fashion-related questions, which he doesn’t have all the answers to — most of the time.
One of Pillay’s most memorable experiences was a trip to New York and being apart of New York Fashion Week.
“I loved being there, and the whole experience still feels surreal. The people were very welcoming, the food was delicious and the city itself is beautiful,” he said. Pillay stayed at the historic Waldorf and travelled around the city with an Uber driver, who he clammed, was his “best friend.”
The most exciting part of being in the city of dreams was seeing his best friend’s collection live on the runway. Attending fashion shows and fittings, meeting talented people, sitting front row alongside celebrities, viewing fashion and eating pizza slices the size of his face — New York was unforgettable.
Despite that, his day, he says, is far from glamourous.
“Everyday is different. It’s a regular day like anyone else,” he says. “I wake up, snooze my alarm and then check my Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. My sleeping schedule is pretty bad, so I’m lucky if I get eight hours in. I do a lot of running around, so I am always on the go. I love to stay busy and will pack my day with tons of things to complete. On my days off, I love to be lazy, lounge and binge watch television shows.”
fashion sense is eccentric, innovative and versatile.
“I’m always wanting to step out of my comfort zone and switch up my looks,” he says. “I love experimenting with different colours, pieces, and something out of the norm, and then creating it into my ‘OOTD’ (outfit of the day).”
Pillay is obsessed with accessories — rings, necklaces, scarves, and hats — and his look is never complete without them.
“My jewellery collection is pretty intense. I call it love and some call it an addiction,” he says. “One thing I am working on is to have a diverse shoe collection. I’m all about that combat boot life. I literally have them in all the neutral tones and double pairs of the ones I wear everyday.”
He’s obsessed with black so his favourite outfit is anything that is all black. “Black pants, black shirt, black jacket, black socks, black underwear and a black hat. All black everything. I even match with a black bag and black shades. I’m serious.”
Pillay is passionate about what he does and is always willing to take risks to get to where he needs to be.
“The one quote I love is, ‘Outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens.’ I can’t express how real this is.”