If your only exposure to the fashion industry is from movies and TV shows, you might be a little surprised what it is actually like when you get in there. You’ll find that it is a place where you have to constantly move and change in order to succeed – and it is difficult. A career in fashion is at once magical and harrowing. You have to build yourself up so that you can succeed but also so that you can weather any moments of fear or trouble.
Take for example the advice of Ella Moss, PR Manager at Ashley Goldstein:
Let’s break that down even more:
You aren’t always going to get along with everyone, that’s just the reality of it. There are going to be people in any industry, especially the fashion industry, that you just don’t click with. Still, many fashion businesses have fewer than 20 employees, making it a requirement that you get along with people. It is vital for the success of the team. Get a reputation for being too difficult to work with, and you might have some trouble getting another job.
Keep your attitude at the door, especially if it has nothing to do with your work. Be nice to everyone, even the people who clean the office, as they will impact your performance. Work consistently with a good attitude, and you could be one of the first people mentioned for a special project or a way to stand out.
Even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, networking with people as you work is key. When you are actively looking for a job, get to know who’s who. In the fashion industry, a lot of nepotism does happen – a lot of jobs aren’t even advertised. Get yourself known by doing great work, attending events, meeting people, and going above and beyond in what you do.
People are going to be the key to your success or failure within the fashion industry.
Ambition is another key in any industry, but in the fashion industry it might be all you have for some time. You’ll have to work harder and dig deeper to get where you want to go, and sometimes you will need all of your inner strength to get there.
Be ready to get your hands dirty and do the “little” jobs before you can get to where you want to be. Get into every room and make your name known. Go above and beyond when you do something, even if that something is getting coffee. No matter what opportunity you have, you have to make the best of it.
Until you get a full time job, volunteer your time. This could be at charity events, official fashion events, or even with other companies that have a connection to the work you want to get into. You’ll never know where the doors will open.
Most importantly, ambition means knowing that you can do the work while still remaining humble. Do everything you can with a smile on your face.
No matter how old you are, you can start preparing for a career in the fashion industry. Start working at your local mall at a retail store, where you can learn more about ready to wear styles. Being able to actually sell product is such an important skill to have, especially if you are interested in starting your own brand. Look at different opportunities you have to learn what it is really like to be at the bottom of the food chain in the fashion industry.
But don’t think that you should only focus on fashion – you have to know other skills as well. E-commerce is huge, so you have to know about HTML, digital marketing, and building a website. You’ll also have to know about email and office skills.
Finally, know the industry. Preparation is everything – know names, know faces, know vocabulary terms, know trends, and know issues that the industry is facing. The fashion industry has tons of publications out there in all forms that can keep you up to date.