By CHELSEA THOMAS.
After 10 years in the corporate world and a new baby on my hip, I decided to take the leap into getting a job in the fashion industry. I actually tripped into it. Wearing flat shoes and an oversized t-shirt. I was a new Mum with a passion to start a blog about gorgeous fashion bargains, under $100. I didn’t need a degree. And I definitely didn’t require a background in fashion. I mean, it might have helped but it wasn’t a pre-requisite.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Tailors Mark. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
Getting a job in the fashion industry looks quite hard to break into from the outside but there are a few things you can do to get your fashionable feet through the door. Even if you’ve never even worked in retail before, getting a job in the fashion industry can be done.
Here are 6 tips to getting a job in the fashion industry:
1. Share your passion for fashion with the world: Begin a Pinterest board full of your favourite fashion images and styles, start a blog and show off your purchases via wordpress.com or blogger.com, start an Instagram account and interact with your favourite brands. This is an excellent way to connect with prospective employers. Anyone can share their love of fashion. The more genuine your opinion, the more followers you’ll attract.
2. Consider working in a retail store: Think about a brand where you love to shop. Could you approach them about a weekend shift? If you’re a fan of the store and the product, chances are you already have a relationship with the staff. If it’s a boutique, you’ll get a wealth of experience because you may be the sole staff member. Working in a customer-facing retail environment can also expose you to real women and their fashion challenges. Making them feel great about themselves can be a very rewarding career.
3. Dress the part: Literally. The outfits we put together say a lot about us. If you want a job in fashion, you need to be confident in your appearance and present your personal style to the best of your ability. When you’re meeting with prospective employers or fashion contacts overdress, rather than underdress. If you’re a little unsure, ask a friend that’s in the industry for some advice.
4. Cold call for coffee: Make a list of brands, fashion organisations and online retailers you aspire to. Then make a list of the people you know (even those vague Facebook connections) that have a link with your list. Your ideal scenario is to grab a 20 minute coffee with the decision maker or at least strike up a conversation with them and share your passions (which you’ve been busy working on from point 1)! You’d be surprised at the number of people that don’t bother to introduce themselves to their dream workplace. I’ve done this several times throughout my working career and it works a treat. At a recent fashion event in Sydney a student walked right up to Peter Morrissey and asked him for a job. She was so passionate about his brand he offered her an internship on the spot. Seize these types of opportunities and offer to work for free if it means having access to the skills you’ll need to work in fashion.