Finding your ideal career path isn’t always easy and there isn’t always one clear-cut route, especially if you’re looking to make a name for yourself in the highly competitive world that is fashion... but there are a few known tips for breaking into the fashion industry. Whether you want to become a stylist, model, designer, journalist or PR mogul there are a few common denominators, all of which have led to the success of your most-loved style stars. These helpful top 10 tips will teach you how to break into the fashion industry.
1 Intern, Intern, Intern
One of the biggest pieces of advice any fashion maven will give you is to land that coveted internship. Internships are your first introduction into a world where you have little or no experience. They are perfect learning opportunities to see what works for you and what doesn’t, what you’re good at and what you need to work on.
2 Be Proactive
Start early! Don’t wait until you need to do an internship for school credit, get out there and volunteer your time as much as you can. This way you’ll be building your resume slowly over time and will gain that much needed experience. The fashion industry is highly competitive and is a dog-eat-dog world. You need to stay in tune and ahead of the game in order to be successful in getting to your ultimate goal or dream career.
3 Perfect Your Resume
Being proactive goes hand in hand with perfecting your resume. We all need money to cover those pesky expenses and finances but when searching and selecting jobs choose ones that will build your resume not hinder it. Your job should fit within your future career goals in some way and remain relevant to your area of focus. This is why retail jobs and experience is key in the fashion industry.
4 Go to School
Although an education or background in fashion isn’t 100% necessary (just look at some of the most well known designers like Yves Saint Laurent or Donna Karan who didn’t finish school), in today’s age it’s very rare for to succeed without a college diploma or university degree. It doesn’t mean you have to go to school for fashion design or merchandising if that isn’t what you want to do, I mean Miuccia Prada has a PhD in political science, but there are other areas that are related to work within the fashion industry like journalism, public relations or graphic design for instance.
The double-edged sword of the industry is that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. This is why interning and volunteering is the best way to get yourself out there. You can meet industry contacts and professionals that can help you down along your career path and their information can even help once you’ve landed that dream job.
6 Know Your Stuff
There is nothing worse than wanting to get into fashion for the assumption that it’s all glitz and glamour. It isn’t. I mean there are perks and definitely glamourous events, but you need to work hard and remain grounded to be successful. With that being said, you should do your research. If you want to work for a magazine actually read the magazine. Be well versed in your areas of interest and be prepared for questions like who is your favourite designer or what’s your favourite collection of all time.
7 Retail Experience
Getting a job in fashion retail is extremely important. Retail hours are flexible so they can often times work within your schedule, which is great if you want to start interning or volunteering. Also, retail work gives you a look into how a fashion business is run and how the logistics of a company work. In retail you also have the opportunity to fine-tune your people skills with customer service, which will also prepare you for the fashion industry where you may encounter some not so nice people.
8 Find Your Specialty
Figure out what you are good at and stick with it. Although it’s great to dabble in a bit of everything, you’ve also heard the saying jack of trades, master of none. Narrowing down what your specialty is will help to refine your goals and dreams when it comes to trying to land that dream job and it will make you that much more appealing to future employers.
9 Determine Your Dreams
Set aside some time to figure out and pin down your dreams. Knowing what you want to do in the future is the first step in getting your career on track. The path everyone takes is different and a unique experience to them but it is the end result that matters. Writing down your dreams, setting a timeline and how you are going to try and achieve them is a concrete way to visually see what you want and the necessary steps needed to get there.
10 Look the Part
This is the moment when you need to walk the walk. You don’t have to own uber expensive couture clothing to make it in the world of fashion. However, you do need to look the part and this is where your research skills come in. What kind of environment am I interviewing in? What is the company’s style? Going fashion forward is always the best way to go for interviews (rather than in a stuffy business suit) but still keep your look polished and sophisticated yet on-trend with the season.
The fashion industry is not for the faint of heart and following these top 10 tips on how to break into the fashion industry will help you figure out if this career path is right for you. Which of these tips will you be following? What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
Top Image Source: fashionologie.com
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