Many people often ask me how I got my first job in the fashion industry?
Apart from gaining professional qualifications from a fashion school and taking up an internship with a fashion company, here are my five tips for finding an opening in the fashion industry and surviving in its circle.
Hobby or career?
The first important question to ask yourself is: how seriously do you want to work in the fashion industry? Do you see yourself as a hobbyist, a fashionista or dedicate your whole life to your fashion career? Your goals and intentions will determine your path.
The fashion industry, with its fast-paced atmosphere and no time to rest mantra, is highly competitive. It’s not always glamorous. I have seen too many quit because the reality is different than what they dreamed of.
For those inspired by ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, I’m 99 percent sure you’ll be disappointed. Unless you meet clients every day, cozy sweaters and sweatpants are the norm in the office. Even at major trade events, fashion insiders are rarely seen under the spotlight – it’s all strictly backstage.
So don’t imagine a lot of fancy events. Most time off from the constant deadlines is spent getting as much rest as possible. If you like instagrammable event photos and wearing trendy fashion items, I would suggest you choose a career in technology and finance.
Don’t pay lip service
Visuals speak louder than words. Don’t just say I like fashion. Show it!
Start your own project to show your passion for it – and stick with it. Whether you are involved in design, styling or another field, choose the right social media platforms to showcase your work professionally – and with personality. Tell your story and your concept to the audience.
For professional exposure, submit your curation—for example, a fashion shoot—to an online magazine. Wedding Sparrow and Magnolia & Rouge are the famous online platforms we want to be named by in my wedding field.
Networking made easy
The influence of social media has been enormous. When I started my fashion career 10 years ago, the lines on Instagram and LinkedIn had not yet fully blossomed. Today, they are an essential tool for tracking direct contacts. It’s so easy to DM someone you admire as an artist or mentor – especially in Denmark.
I have met a lot of talented artists through Instagram and it has enabled me to offer lots of different curated photoshoots to a wide range of potential collaborators.
In Denmark, it is common to have a coffee meeting with someone in the industry, either via a referral, community networking or a direct inquiry via Instagram or Linkedin. You can get the chance to visit their workplace and also talk to their colleagues.
I met my current production assistant through a Facebook community and quickly arranged for her to visit my studio after an online meeting. After all, geographical complications are no longer a problem if you want to meet someone.
Know the ecosystem
When we are drawn in by a mannequin dressed in flattering clothes in the window display, or a model in a commercial or on the catwalk, it is all part of a much bigger picture involving so many different industries. So which departments are involved in the ecosystem? And which area appeals to you the most?
Although I have always been a fashion designer at heart, my role has never been limited to just designing. I have explored many different areas – especially those with strong connections to my own expertise.
For example, production, sampling and styling are closely related, so having a good understanding of what is involved has been invaluable. This helps you communicate better, minimize conflicts between departments and smooth the workflow.
After all, I have contact with them every day; it is essential for good teamwork. Learn their ‘language’ and consider their perspective. Meanwhile, the all-round skills you acquire will be fruitful when you face challenges.
Go where they go!
If you want to be a designer, you can’t just look up the season’s trends. To be a trendsetter, you have to go where they find inspiration. When you know how to get one step ahead, you get closer to being in the circle.
Visit museums, galleries, fabric fairs and insider exhibitions. Top tip: travel to Premiere Vision in Paris, where you will see what fabric the best international designers have in collections six months ahead.
And plan a visit to CIFF and Revolver during Copenhagen Fashion Week. They are buyer fairs where you get to know how the wholesale market works.
Check if your favorite fashion brands are hosting in-store events. In addition to the salespeople, you will be able to meet the PR manager, designers or even the CEO.
Source: The Nordic Page