So you want to work in fashion but don’t know where to start?
First, you must define what you want to do- there’s styling, design, PR, journalism and so much more. My area of speciality is journalism (see my previous posts for interning tips). However, I have gathered some useful bits of advice from other areas of industry:
Every stylist begins their career assisting. Hunt down your favourite stylists, email them and when they don’t reply, email again! Word of mouth is vital so impress everyone you meet on the way up.
Organise test shoots
Meet up with some up-and-coming photographers or designers and start shooting. Or style your friends before a night out or event. This will give you confidence in your own style and develop your technique.
Raid your own and your friends’ wardrobes and ask senior stylists if you can borrow clothes from them.
Wait for a good agent
They get you jobs, and deal with the whole money side. But you need a body of work before you’ll get one so don’t try too soon or you’ll end up with the wrong one.
Update your website
Adding your most current work and keeping it looking slick is vita- it’s your portfolio. Use Google logistics to improve your SEO.
Don’t feel the uni pressure
You don’t have to have a degree. Get your experience from the shop floor- it gives experience, a wage and avoids student debt.
Practise in your local shopping centre
Ask the centre management if you can do a display or organise a local fashion show. It will help you understand your own creative aesthetic and gives you some experience to chat about in interviews.
Get on the move
You might not get work experience in London as it’s so competitive. Be prepared to travel across the UK- you could be opening new stores nationwide!
Get to know new designers
Communicate with them about up-and-coming trends and styles for future seasons, so you can plan your designs accordingly and sure they’re bang on trend.
Write a six month plan of how you want to progress and know how quickly you want things to happen. It’ll keep you focused and keep you on track.
Choose your course carefully
There are loads of specialist courses from embroidery at Edinburgh to creative directing at London’s Central Saint Martins. Look at tutors as well as course content.
Start a blog
It allows you to create your own online profile while writing about other creatives you like.
Shadow someone you admire and pursue them
Contact your favourite designers and ask if you can shadow them. Interns can fly up to become designers within a year, and it’s a relatively small industry so make sure you’re nice to everyone.
Find a sponsor
Putting on a presentation at London Fashion Week isn’t cheap, so finding a sponsor that will pay helps. Just make sure your sponsor compliments your brand.
Don’t say yes to everything
When things start taking off, you’ll be asked to put your name to lots of projects. Collaborating with the wrong brand can destroy your integrity early so have a good think about who you want to work with and why.
Use Uni to network
The actual degree isn’t essential, but it can be a great place to make connections in the industry- lecturers, tutors and peers!
Make intern applications count
Spend time researching the company you want to join and prepare a well-researched email to the correct person. Check spellings and names over and over!
Immerse yourself in fashion
The more new people you meet, the more doors you’ll open. Sign up to mailing lists and RSVP to as many relevant events as you can. And when out and about…network!
Sell yourself well but know your weaknesses too. You are human and will be hired on a good personality as much as your academic ability and work experience.
Respect client confidentiality
Never disclose private client info to members of the press. Tread carefully when alcohol is involved; informal meetings with client or press can become disastrous quite quickly.