A stylist is a key member of a tribute's team along with their mentor and escort. Although they do not join the team until the tributes arrive in the Capitol, stylists play a key role in preparing the tributes for the Hunger Games as they are responsible for their public image.
They create the entire wardrobe of the tributes during their stay in the Capitol prior to the Games. This makes a stylist the most publicly known and visible member of the tribute's team and many of them are familiar to the viewers as they have worked with multiple tributes. They work closely with and supervise a prep team of three.
At the time of the 10th Hunger Games, there were no stylists, as few people in either the districts or the Capitol cared to watch the Hunger Games. Tributes were simply thrown into the Capitol Arena with whatever clothing they were wearing when they were reaped, which had likely become rather dirty and soiled. The exception was Lucy Gray Baird, whose colorful dress had been repaired and cleaned up by Tigris prior to her entering the arena. It is possible that things changed at some point not long after these games, as the 10th Hunger Games introduced a number of renovations which would be carried over to future installments.
Stylists come up with a number of different outfits and looks for the tribute before the actual commencement of the Hunger Games. They determine a certain look for the tribute depending on the situations in which they will appear and design their wardrobe based on those themes, which can change. The stylists do their best to make their tributes look good so that they both can gain sponsors as well as play to the Capitol crowd. This can generate a lot of buzz and anticipation for the tribute before the Hunger Games actually start.
Stylists can also reflect a tributes personality. For instance, Finnick Odair's stylist notably had him wear a revealing outfit to reflect his flirty personality.
The final outfit used for the chariot rides in the City Circle usually relates to the industry corresponding to the tribute's district. Cinna and Portia, Katniss, and Peeta Mellark's respective stylists, created an outfit for both of them that represented District 12. Cinna created luscious black outfits for them but created parts of their costumes to catch fire and dazzle the audience.
The stylists also design outfits for their tribute's interview prior to the start of the Games and again if they emerge as a victor. In the latter case they are also responsible for designing their tribute's outfits during their Victory Tour.
Stylists are the only members of the tribute's team to accompany them right up to the start of the Games. They ride with them to the arena and keep them company in their Launch Rooms until the tributes enter the arena via the Tribute Tubes.
The stylists have no say in what the tributes wear when they go into the arena and they can only give opinions to their tributes on what the material may be useful for.
Katniss Everdeen notes that "some have been around my whole life". Newer stylists are typically given the least desirable districts such as 12, although for the 74th Hunger Games, Cinna specifically requested this assignment.
- Cinna— Stylist for Katniss Everdeen.
- Portia— Stylist for Peeta Mellark.
- Tigris— Stylist for an unknown district.
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
- The Hunger Games, Chapter 5