The fashion industry isn’t all slender models and stilettos. Breaking into the industry is hard; making a name for yourself is even harder. Be prepared for some long days of labour and be willing to go that extra mile because Media portrayals of fashion careers can be summed up in one word: glamorous. You’ve seen Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. Who wouldn’t want that life? Isn’t it!?
Opt For a Stream That Coaches You for Your Preferred Career Path
The way into fashion design isn’t a cake walk – that is, it’s far from simple. There are a large number of choices to choose from, from merchandiser to designer, so it’s of prime significance to have an idea of which one you’d like to pursue before you wander too far in a state of confusion.
The next step is to choose a degree that directly links to your field of passion. Fashion courses can be very definitive. If you want to design footwear, there’s a degree for it. If you prefer jewellery, there’s a degree for it. Make sure you give it a lot of thought before you make your final call..!
Practice makes Perfect
A career in fashion requires pursued art. This can range from making illustrations to actually bringing designs to the Ready to Wear garments. While being naturally talented comes naturally to a few, there is always scope for improvement.
Use your spare time to practice. Whether it is sketching or sewing, the more you practice, the more you’ll hone your skills. And always remember that patience is a virtue. The time & effort that you’ve invested will radiate through in the quality of it; employers will be sure to notice!
Make Sure Your Portfolio Screams Talent
If you are a keen learner of art and design and illustration, you need to put together a portfolio of all your good work. It is time to let the employers know what you are! The portfolio must have sketches, materials, project ideas – you name it and it should be in there! Just make sure that it’s expressive of your skills and strengths whilst being a sample of creativity! How you portray your work on a page is also a measure of how good your assembling and creative skills are, so make sure the portfolio speaks volumes of your artistic and imaginative thoughts.
Take your Work to Interviews, Always!
Even when it’s not mandatory or even when it is not asked for, as a design student it shows your focus and seriousness towards your career, so make sure that you take your portfolio to every single interview – even when the interviewer doesn’t ask you to! It’ll show initiative and suggest to the person sitting on the opposite side of the table that you’re well prepared for a career in fashion.
Don’t be a Sheep
The fashion industry is a valley full of with creativity and your personality should be a symbol of the same creativity if you want to succeed. Don’t follow the herd mentality when it comes down to your own work; be a lone wolf! Take a plunge, be the fashion creator – not merely a fashion follower! Fashion is all about innovation and experimentation, so don’t hesitate to outside the box.
Most importantly, don’t be someone who clones or forges others’ ideas and names them his/her own idea by making few changes in it! Of course you’re expected to find inspiration somewhere, but there’s a fine line between being inspired by Vs copying someone else’s work. Be careful not to cross it that line ever in your career.
A bit of Competition is Healthy
As a fashion student there are loads of competitions that you can enter your work into! Your college or course administrator might make these known to you, but don’t be afraid to search for them and enter yourself into a few.
If you win, or are even a runner up in one of these competitions, employers will acknowledge that your work has been given special attention and that you’re a valuable candidate. On many occasions there’s a prize to be won and even a chance to further your fashion career! For example, the winner of the H&M Design Award is offered a six month internship!
All Work Experience is Good Work Experience
You may not have envisioned that your career in fashion would begin with a small brand, but don’t be dismayed. Everyone has to start somewhere, and any relevant work experience will get you brownie points.
Use your summers away from college to expand your hands-on experience. Even if the brand isn’t exactly up your street or the pay is non-existent, showing that you’re willing to get stuck in will move your aspirations closer to reality.
Network Network Network!
Get networking! Attend events where you can meet those who work in the field of fashion. Networking is necessary if you want to get your name out there and learn from the experts. Your university or college will probably post information about networking events online for you to get involved in, but don’t forget to look out for them yourself!
Networking events are the ultimate opportunity to meet people who really know what they’re talking about, get some careers advice and find out about potential job opportunities. If employers like you, they’ll remember your name!
Be Open to Adventure
While you’ll find a fair few fashion jobs in the major cities across the country, working abroad at some point in your life is something that you should seriously consider. There’s a huge demand for fashion candidates on a global scale. Make the most of it.
Exposure to the fashion industry on an international level will boost your knowledge of the fashion world, introduce you to new trends and fill your head with new ideas. Experience working abroad will also tell employers that you don’t mind being pushed out of your comfort zone.
If you have got the fashion feeling, then be single-minded, pursue your goal and there’s nothing stopping you…!