CAPE TOWN Stylist & Clothing Designer: Louise Park-Ross

Portrait by Nick Aldridge

Portrait by Nick Aldridge

TP: Hi Louise, thanks for joining us today! Tell me, how would you describe your role to someone outside the industry?

LPR: Wardrobe Stylist and Clothing Designer

TP: What do your parents think you do?

LPR: I think they have a pretty accurate idea of what I do. I think they can't really keep up with what is happening and when, but they're incredibly supportive and understand the ups and downs of freelance life.

TP: That's so lovely to hear! How did you get your start in styling?

LPR: I was born in Durban but moved to Cape Town when I was 7. I always knew I wanted to be a clothing designer. I've always been obsessed with textiles and clothes. My mum used to cut me squares of fabric that I would cuddle like a teddy bear and rub on my face! I studied clothing design at Cape Tech and wardrobe styling was a natural progression.

TP: Tell me about your first shoot?

LPR: Holy shit, I honestly can't even remember! They all blur into one after a while 


TP: What have you learned from this industry?  

LPR: What being in this world has taught me. is that the only way to be happy and successful is to have a "can do" attitude. Anything is possible. It's actually a fab philosophy for life in general!

TP: What do you think makes your work unique or stand out from others?

LPR: I like breaking the rules. All this "she's got an Autumn skin tone so can't wear blah, blah, blah colours rubbish". I put pale skin in nudes with red lips and I go dilly for a clashing print.

the only way to be happy and successful is to have a “can do” attitude

TP: What’s an average day like for you?

LPR: Average day? There is no such thing in my life!


TP: What do you like the most about your work?

LPR: It's always changing, every day is different. You can't really get bored!

TP: What’s the most challenging part of your work?

LPR: Getting model sizes at 10pm when you have to be on set at 6am the next day…


I think the most rewarding thing in this industry is having return clients.

TP: What was a memorable assignment from the past year?

LPR: I am passionate about local fashion and I love styling for my sister’s store, Mungo and Jemima and for her brand Good Clothing. It's definitely the most fun I ever have on set!


TP: Do you have any goals or dreams for your styling career?

LPR: I think the most rewarding thing in this industry is having return clients. Building relationships and friendships over time - that’s the most rewarding.


TP: Speak a little bit on the idea of "being your own boss." How do you manage that elusive work / life balance?

LPR: It's hard! That said, I'd never go back [to a day job]I see a business coach and it's the best money I spend every month. When you're working independently, it's good to feel like you have someone supporting you. The pros are: it's made me SUPER organized and I now know how to use Excel to track my earnings. The cons are: work is seasonal and Winter can be slow and tough.


TP: What is the biggest challenge of working alone or independently?

LPR: It can be lonely. So, I rent a desk in a gorgeous heritage building on Shortmarket Street with some other like-minded design friends. It's good to keep work at work and then relax at home.


TP: Have you ever considered getting representation?

LPR: Yes I have and I will


TP: How do you normally land new projects?

LPR: Word of mouth!


TP: Through which channels do you promote yourself?

LPR: I don't really, but I must start! I have so many projects on the go, so when things are quiet on one thing, I work on the other and I'm constantly juggling amongst them.


TP: When you have an assistant working for you, what do you look for in someone that you would hire?

LPR: Must have a "can do" attitude and be super energetic!  They know what you need before you even know what you need.


TP: What would your advice be to an aspiring stylist?

LPR: Assist, assist, assist! It's the best way to learn. I still assist on big jobs and I keep learning!


TP: Alright, last parting words - What's the best advice you've been given?

LPR: Don't let other people’s egos get to you!


Thank you for sharing your story, Louise!

Connect with Louise on IG @louiseparkross

or via email


Interview by Annika Howe

Portrait by Nick Aldridge  

Stay tuned for more Creative Industry Cape Town portraits & interviews!