Pursuing a career in the fashion industry can be daunting. What’s the first step? Who do you talk to? What should you list out on your resume? What should you add to your digital portfolio? In an industry that seems almost impossible to penetrate if you don’t live in a major city such as New York or Los Angeles, or aren’t pursuing a fashion-specific major, it can seem almost unattainable. Even though you may be feeling stressed out, I’m here to tell you that it’s 100 percent possible to start a fashion career from absolutely anywhere.
We’re living in the age of the internet, social media, and remote working, which means industries and how they’ve traditionally operated is adapting, too. Plus, there are so many types of fashion jobs to try that exist outside of designing and merchandising. Get your start beginning right now by following these three steps. College Fashionista has you covered as you embark on your fashion career journey.
Where To Start?
Luckily in the digital age, you don’t always need to start in person. With tools like Instagram, Squarespace, Substack, and Canva you can jump-start your fashion portfolio or create a fashion blog to showcase your talents. This way when you’re reaching out to network, you have something to show.
If self-publishing isn’t your jam, see if your school has a fashion or lifestyle magazine you can join. Being surrounded by like-minded peers is not only great for staying in the know, but chances are they’re doing amazing work you can be a part of. Your school doesn’t have an organization you can join? That’s okay too, online communities like College Fashionista, are a great alternative. Additionally, if nothing else, show off your favorite fits and GRWM videos on TikTok to find fellow beauty, skincare, and style lovers. The most important part is getting your name, work, and talent out there where people can see it.
Network. Network. Network! Reach out to anyone and everyone because fashion careers are not only made by what you know, but by who you know. Start in your area/general region and reach out to anyone you could potentially learn from. This includes bloggers, designers, creative directors, style reporters for your local newspaper, boutique owners, etc.
Remember everyone has valuable insight, and everyone’s time is valuable. Make sure that when you contact them you’ve got specific questions on hand or a résumé you can send in. Being prepared will always help you stand out from the crowd. And if they don’t get back to you? Try again, or do some research on your own. NPR has a great podcast called, “How I Built This” that offers insight on how entrepreneurs got their company off the ground. It makes for one inspiring walk to campus. Who doesn’t love a podcast moment?
Be persistent, keep a good attitude, and remember the big picture. Any career worth having won’t come overnight. Keep networking, keep your head up, and keep pushing forward. Your time to shine will come, and when it does you’ll be ready.
What fashion experiences have you had that have helped you get internships and jobs? Let us know!
Opening image by Sarah Kouadio
This article was originally published on February 14, 2019.