I want to work in Fashion, but how?
It can be a daunting decision to decide you want to work in the Fashion Industry. Growing up in the South and not going to a college dedicated to fashion, I did not have connections. Therefore, I had to be extremely proactive, and forge the way for myself. LinkedIN became my best friend, and go-to source for creating these much needed connections.
Necessary tasks in order to get into the fashion industry:
1 Subscribe to WWD, Business of Fashion, The Impression, Fashionista and magazines (my favorites are: Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Elle)
2 Sign up for your favorite blogger's newsletters
3 Intern in multiple areas within the industry
4 Have a phone call or coffee with people within the industry
It is imperative to stay up-to-date on the industry both when you are trying to land your first job, and all throughout your career. Time is limited, and therefore, subscribing to emails allows me to at least read through the headers to get a sense of what happened that day, and flag what I need to later read through in full. Each publication will give a different viewpoint and insight into what's going on. It's valuable to get a global view, that will allow you to become more knowledgable about what's going on than if you were to only read one.
Interning, even if you aren't paid, is an invaluable experience. I didn't know much about the different roles within the industry other than the ones held by those I had spoken with. Conversing with people is helpful, but you also need to experience it first-hand in order to know if you will like it, or if you would rather try something else. I would recommend having a well-rounded series of internships (for example in buying, publications, planning, etc) to try out multiple roles. It is difficult to switch career paths once you have a job, and you may have to start again at entry-level instead of a lateral move. However, if you begin a position and realize it isn't for you, changing roles may be worth it in order to reach your career goal. It's easy to get pigeonholed into the career path you are currently on, but in today's landscape there are no cookie cutter ways to have the career of your dreams. Communicate to the company you are interested in working for that your experience and skills translate well to the occupation of interest.
The fashion industry is extremely small, and people constantly move around. It is wise to make as many connections as possible, and always treat the people with which you work in a respectable and poised way. They could end up at a company you'd like to work for, and you may need that connection down the road. If the person knew what you were looking for, they could inform you about the position before it was posted (especially since not all roles are posted online). It was helpful to speak with people at multiple companies and fields in order to get a sense of the types of roles out there. I would ask about their day-to-day tasks, pros/cons and career in order to determine if the path they were on would be of interest to me. Regardless if it was for me or not, I gained a better sense of the industry in which I was trying to break into.