Want to step foot into the fashion industry? Here are some tips from my personal experience!
One of the questions I get asked frequently is what advice do I have for someone that wants to get started in fashion. With a few years of experience, I am going to share my knowledge with you. Fashion has always been a passion of mine ever since I was a little girl. When I decided to pursue a career in this industry, I quickly learned that it is not always as glamorous as it seems on the outside. I had to work intense hours and give up weekends without getting paid. Personally, it was something I didn’t mind because I enjoyed every minute of it.
Just because you love clothes does not mean you will want to work in this field. Before deciding you want to pursue a career in fashion, you should know that it is an extremely competitive field and you are going to have to work hard to get where you want to be. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to get your foot in the door and I am here to help you even if you have no experience.
Do Your Research to Explore Your Options
Read magazines, surf the web, and keep up with the latest trends. Figure out exactly what you want to do. Open your mind to the different options that are available. There are many jobs in this field other than a designer. You can become a magazine editor, public relations manager, stylist, marketer, merchandiser, buyer, photographer etc. Consider your skills and talents to find a job that suits you. After graduating from business school with my Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, I decided to pursue a career in fashion. I stumbled upon fashion marketing and that was my entry into the industry.
Polish Your Resume
Keep in mind that your resume should be visually appealing, relevant to the job you are seeking, and up to date. Even if you have no experience with fashion, you can highlight the abilities you have pertaining to the position you are applying for. Many skills can be transferred from one industry to another such as multitasking, social media management, writing, photoshop, etc. Have someone look over your resume such as your academic advisor or professor. I had very little experience when I applied to my first internship at Fashion Times as an editor, but my social media expertise and writing abilities got me the position.
Spice Up Your LinkedIn Profile
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile then you should make an account right now. Almost every company will look you up on Google before they consider hiring you and the first thing they will land on is your LinkedIn. Use this platform to build your network. It is a very valuable tool to connect with like-minded individuals. Add your portfolio, endorse people and reorder your skills to put the most relevant on top. You can also find job listings and internship opportunities through LinkedIn. Follow brands you potentially want to work for to keep tabs on available positions. Many business professionals have contacted me on LinkedIn for job offers. My profile was noticed by a talent manager, which led to an opportunity where I got to work at a Vogue event during New York Fashion Week and met Anna Wintour.
Reach Out to People Who Inspire You
If you know anyone in the position you desire to be in one day then reach out to them for guidance. There is no better advice than to learn from people that have knowledge in your industry. The people that I have connected with have been super helpful and encouraging throughout my career.
Take on an Internship
The best way to learn is from experience. Interning will help you figure out which path you want to take in your career. Unfortunately, most internships in this industry are not paid but they offer college credit. If no paid internship comes up then take whichever opportunity is available. You need to start somewhere, and you will learn the ins and outs of this industry when you work directly with fashion. When I moved to New York City, I interned at Fashion Times and Faviana. I was not paid at Fashion Times during my first semester but they offered me a paid internship my second semester. Working for these companies had taught me more about fashion than any textbook could. Most importantly, I learned professionalism and time management which are invaluable skills.
Send a Cold E-mail
Some companies don’t post their job listings online. The best way to find out if any position is available is to directly contact the company’s human resources administration or someone in the department you wish to work in. With this method, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. How do you find a contact? Use Google to your advantage, look up LinkedIn profiles, and search through your school’s database. Do not be discouraged if you don’t get a reply. I sent e-mails to over 25 companies to only hear back from 5. On the bright side, I heard back from Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Vera Wang. Unfortunately, the positions that I wanted were filled at the time but they told me to keep in touch for future references.
Take Advantage of Your School’s Career Center Services
They are there to help you! You will find many resources that are available to you. Find an advisor that will guide you in the right direction. Look through the school’s database for job and internship listings. Most schools’ career centers put together a career fair every semester. Make sure you attend this event. Use this opportunity to network with business professionals. I landed my digital marketing internship with Faviana at a career fair.
Most of the time you will not get paid, but you will gain valuable experience and make connections while volunteering at events. Plus, you can add it to your resume. Search for local fashion-related events. If you live in an area that is not big with fashion then you could host an event or start a fashion club at your school. I was fortunate enough to start my career in the fashion capital of New York City. During NYFW, there were many opportunities to assist backstage. I worked at fashion shows for Ashley Graham and Serena Williams.
Start a Blog or YouTube Channel
This is a suitable approach for those who have no experience. You will acquire so many skills through the process of building a blog or a YouTube channel. It is your chance to display what you know about fashion to make your resume stand out. Be sure to mention it when you are going into an interview. Bloggers and YouTubers usually get invited to fashion events, which gives them the chance to meet industry people. Because I showcased my video editing abilities, my YouTube channel landed me an internship with Faviana!
Go to Where the Fashion Is
Okay, I know it is not easy to pack up your life and move to another city, but if you want to work in fashion then there is no better way to learn than to experience it at the fashion capital. I was very fortunate to have the chance to move to New York City for a year and pursue my Master’s degree in Fashion Marketing. Everything I was taught, I could not have learned anywhere else. Apply to fashion school if you can and locate to wherever you get accepted. There are plenty of opportunities in the fashion industry when you are at the heart of it. Starting my career in New York made me feel like it was possible to be successful in this industry if I worked for it. My journey would have been so different if I stayed in the little town I grew up in. So if you ever get the chance to move to Paris, New York, London, or Milan, to pursue a fashion career then do everything in your power to go!
Wishing you the best of luck and success! If you want to share any advice or have any questions then leave a comment below.
“You will never know what you are capable of until you take that first step and go for it.”