I broke all of the rules in the fashion industry and due to my unorthodox methods ended up landing some of the most amazing opportunities that people who followed the rules only dream about! Having said that, I launched my fashion career on a learning curve which, made me think ofthings I wish I had known when I was just starting out. So, I decided to make a list. This top 5 list will prepare you for the basics:
#1 Dress For The Job You Want
Yes, dress for the company you want to work for. This is VERY important. I cannot stress this enough. Therefore, the traditional corporate suit is not going to cut it, but there are other options. Every company has a culture and during the interview process, your ability to “fit in” with that culture must come across to the interviewer. Following this rule of thumb got me my dream opportunity at LANVIN. I showed up dressed to fit the "brand image" which, the interviewer commented on IMMEDIATELY. I got the job on the spot!
#2 Despite What They Show On TV The Typical Hours Are 9-5
The movies have a way of exaggerating everything, that is why 90% of them are fiction while the other 9.9% are just "based on a true story". Back in a place called "real life", the average workday in fashion is 9am-5pm. I have worked at more than enough brands to tell you that with a straight face. Yes, there are some days where you may have to stay an hour or 3 longer, but usually it is during the months when seasons are going into production like June/July and December/January. On the other hand, it depends on what division you work with. Design is notorious for late hours as well as more commercial departments like Styling or Marketing/PR since they focus more on the commercial end.
#3 Divisions Can Be "Clique-ish"
In a lot of ways fashion is like high school all over again. The cheerleader hangs with the cheerleaders, the jocks with the jocks and everyone else pairs off by default. In many ways it just kinda happens that way,but it is definitely a "comfort" thing. Remember, in high school during lunch how every group had a table? Of course you would see people from a particular table mingling with everyone. Yes, be THAT person, it is to your benefit! I have managed to infiltrate “cliques” by rising above the “politics” through finding common ground. That is the secret ingredient for professional success not just in fashion, but in general. So, don’t be shy introduce yourself!
#4 Exactly How Cutthroat It Can Be
I am not here to sugar coat. My goal first, foremost and always is transparency. Prepare yourself for some haters, backstabbers and double-crossers, but as they say, if you have "haters" you are doing something right! There are people who would sell their soul to the "illuminati", if it meant getting ahead. Be prepared to see people “brown-nosing” while others might try to take credit for your ideas or work to get ahead. Remember, everyone who smiles at you is not your friend but they might be an opportunist!
#5 Your Co-workers Will Become Some Of Your Best Friends!
In spite of all of the “mean girls” drama there, is a silver lining. You are going to meet lots of AWESOME people, I speak from experience! As I speak, one of my closest friendships that I have today happened at my first position at Brooks Brothers. How does this happen so effortlessly? Let's check the equation, 8 hours per day + people with similar interests = friendships. Yes, you will actually meet people you will WANT to hang out with outside of work. How amazing is that?! I spend more time with some of the friends I made from work than my long time friends. It can and will happen believe me because you tend to gravitate towards people who are having similar experiences, trust me, I know.
Well, my “NFF”(New Fashion Friend). There is plenty more where this came from. For exclusive content and to pre-enroll in my free mini-course coming next month called "How To Break Into Fashion, subscribe here. Have questions or comments? Share them below!