The fashion industry is as fluid as ever before, with a not-so-linear trajectory to break into fashion.
A career in fashion can seem like an elusive dream. But whether you are drawn to luxury brands steeped in tradition or the creative and edgy side of fashion eCommerce, there are more opportunities than ever for those curious about working in fashion. With the right attitude and work ethic, anyone can break into the fashion industry.
If you’ve ever wondered how to get into the fashion industry, follow these steps for the best chance at breaking into this ever challenging yet glamorous profession.
Learn your trade
Like any creative career, first and foremost you need to learn your trade and be equipped with the right knowledge and skillset. Whether you get an internship with an established fashion house or enroll in a recognized training institution, it can only help to learn the technical skills, theory, and broad understanding that will lay the foundation of your career. It’s true that you can be creative without any proper training, but you’ll find you have more opportunities and more people willing to give you a shot and pay attention to what you do when you truly know your craft.
Place yourself in a fashion environment
These days, anyone can be a ‘fashion-influencer’ anywhere in the world, whether you live in a big city or are based in a small town. But if you really want to witness the daily ongoing within the fashion industry, you must be in the middle of it. Being in the midst of the industry can get you face to face with potential partners or employers, or just inspire your designs and keep you up to date with trends. If you want to break into the fashion industry, the key is to be interested in designers, be interested in the business of fashion, and be interested in how the industry is evolving.
Think about your niche
As with every business, you need to find your place in the marketplace and build on that identity in order to stand out. As you start building your presence and getting better at your trade, you will naturally find your own style. Start by observing the kind of brands and companies out there. What excites you? Is it the high-end looks of couture houses or young Asian designers with unique styles? Or perhaps you’re passionate about sustainable fashion? This will be the foundation of your brand as you start your own label. In fashion, it is better to be recognized if you do a single thing well, rather than try to please all audiences by designing or creating many products.
Listen and network
Collaboration is absolutely key in the fashion industry. These days, anyone can take advantage of the digital sphere to create networks with fashion companies, suppliers, and designers to get their brand names to be more recognized. You get more of a sense for the industry when you’re exchanging ideas and opinions, telling each other stories, listening and leaning from each other. It’s also essential to attend fashion exhibits, gallery openings or other events where you can meet and network with others in the industry. These small steps can help you generate leads and important partnerships that will further your fashion career.
Build an online presence
Create an online portfolio on social media pages where you can share your designs and show off your work. Blogging is also an increasingly popular platform to showcase your creative talent. This gives people a simple way to view your work and determine if you have the skills to succeed. Your portfolio should show off a range of skills, including sketching, sewing, and pattern making abilities and be appealing to both industry professionals and casual fans who might be interested in wearing your clothes. If you can show that there’s already excitement and a demand for your designs by building an online following, you can increase your chances of breaking into a full-time fashion design role.
Fashion is a very competitive industry and more and more people want to work in this field. Breaking into fashion is about standing out and making that extra effort to get noticed among the other industry hopefuls. With the right amount of determination, we hope these steps will help you to break and thrive in the fashion industry.
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