All your life, you’ve watched fashion trends come and go. You’ve seen top models rise to the top. You’ve read editorials about Europe’s fashion week. Now, you want to enter the competitive and mesmerizing world of fashion.
How do you make the leap from reading fashion magazines to styling the shoots? Here are top tips to get you into your dream career.
What Do You Want to Do?
“Fashion” is such a vague term, so ask yourself what you want to do in this industry. Do you want to be a writer, designer, hairdresser, publicist, model, makeup artist, photographer, producer, set stylist, or work in PR?
There are so many ways to contribute to this billion-dollar industry. What talents can you bring to the table?
Intern, Intern, and Intern Some More
Swallow your pride and accept unpaid internships. It’s an excellent way to get your foot in the door, make connections and start networking. It gives you an idea of what the industry is like, and helps you discern where you’d fit in. Find your first internship here, here or here.
Sell Your Personality
Since you’re just starting out, you don’t have a lot of job and career experience, but don’t let that stop you. Maximize your personality and sell all the good qualities you have. Are you fluent in other languages? Do you have international experience? Who are your style icons, and why? These are the selling points that help you stand out in the catwalk.
Is there a company or brand you’re obsessed with? Do as much research as you can about them. Go to their events, launches, and campaigns. Introduce yourself, hand in your resume, email them, and then go back and do it all over again. That’s what Katherine Power did, and now, she’s the co-founder and CEO of Who What Wear.
With social media, it’s easy to stay on top of your favorite brands and to connect with as many key players as possible.
So, be bold, persistent and focused. Sure, the fashion industry is full of beauty and inspiration, but it’s also a fierce and competitive business. You’ll need all the gumption you can muster.
Blog About Fashion
Creating your own fashion and lifestyle blog is like creating a live, interactive CV and resume that every potential employer can review. It’s a great way to showcase your style, photography and writing skills, as well as your overall personality.
You can gain followers and become an influencer like, Estee Lalonde, a YouTube sensation, who started out small and now works with big names like, Lancome, Adidas, and Glamour.
With thousands of applicants vying for that one position, it’s not enough to be fashionable and on trend. You’ve got to know your style and honor it, day in and day out. Try not to succumb to what everyone else is doing, as tempting as it may seem.
It’s comfortable to stay with the crowd, but don’t be afraid of standing out. Know what you like and be what you like. That’s because your unique style could be your strongest asset to potential employers.
Reality TV star turned designer, Lauren Conrad says, “the best brands are like no other. The ones that really stand apart are organic and true, so I was never looking to be the next anyone. It's really important to do things your own way and better to be an individual than to model your career after someone else's.”
Be Extra Nice
Movies like The Devil Wears Prada have made us all believe that to be successful in fashion, you have to be cold and distant. But kindness counts, and it does pay to be nice. You don’t have to kiss up or be fake, but thoughtfulness makes a lasting impression.
Cannon Hodge, social media manager for Bergdorf Goodman, advises aspiring fashionistas to write personalized thank you notes to interviewers! Makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge, whose clients include Kate Winslet and Lilly Collins, is known for her lovely and warm personality.
You Don’t Have to Be a Designer to Work in Fashion
You may have a burning desire to work in fashion, but maybe you feel like a misfit because you’re not exactly Dolce and Gabbana.
But think about it. If everyone who worked in the fashion industry was an haute couture designer, who would run the websites, arrange the events and take care of the legal and techy details?
There are many hidden, yet key players in the fashion industry, and that’s where you might fit in, too.
Say Yes, and Then Figure It Out
If you can’t complete the task, guess what? They’ll find someone else who can. So, if you get offered an opportunity, task, internship or even a paying job, just say yes! Then, hustle and research to get the job down.
This is the sort of glamorous grit that separates you from everyone else.
Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
Glamour UK’s Editor, Jo Elvin, survived many apparent “failures” in her career before becoming an editor for Glamour. Several magazines she worked for caved, and she was even fired once.
But all this experience helped to shape her editorial career. So, don’t be devastated when things don’t “turn out”. Unfortunate events are what make us stronger, resilient and lead us to the next best opportunity.
Be Smart with Social Media
Work to create a gorgeous Instagram feed. Be witty and original with each and every tweet. Every platform should represent you and show your genuine style and personality.
But whatever you do, keep your Facebook wall classy. Everything you publish online can be seen by anyone! When you’re smart with social media, you can make your mark in the bustling world of fashion.
The fashion industry is a complex and creative scene, and it takes lots of hard work, determination, and passion to stay afloat. Take the first step and put yourself out there!