How to Break Into the Fashion Industry
The fashion industry is changing rapidly, thanks to the rise of Instagram and influencers who are having a huge impact on the way brands are born. Many of the younger generation who are hoping to break into the fashion industry are faced with a choice of how to do it, whether it’s the in the area of men’s clothing, womenswear or accessories.
Those hoping to get their foot in the door often have two choices; study fashion and gain a degree to gain access to opportunities, or get stuck into work experience and begin building relationships. It’s important to note that there is no right or wrong path. So, if one’s hoping for some advice or tips on breaking into the fashion industry and building yourself a career, here is a little helping hand.
Do one need a degree to work in fashion?
This is possibly one of the most asked questions when it comes to working in the fashion industry. Many young people feel pressured into going to university, but feel overwhelmed at the thought of being in debt after graduation. Due to university fees rising, it has now become a much more carefully considered thought, instead of an assumption.
One may be surprised to hear that many big names in fashion never went to university, or dropped out. Coco Chanel left school at 18, while Jean Paul Gaultier made his break by selling sketches. British Vogue’s Edward Enniful went straight into employment, while Jonathan Anderson dropped out before graduation.
With that in mind, it’s worth considering that university isn’t one’s only option. However, it can be incredibly helpful. Studying fashion can give one that time to experience and experiment with fashion, with dedicated and accountable time to expand one’s knowledge and grow in confidence. Studying fashion as a degree may also put one in an environment with like-minded people, which can be handy no matter what industry one’s aiming for.
Advice for making it in fashion
Whether one decide to go to university or not, there will come a time when one’s looking for experience or a full-time job. It can feel daunting, but luckily one isn’t the first to do it; which means there’s a plethora of advice and tips out there.
It’s important to stand out by finding one’s niche and learn real skills.
Many of the future’s budding designers will have come from an Instagram generation; it may be worth breaking free from the digital world and develop some real knowledge about the fashion industry. Learn sewing, drawing or cutting patterns; after all, fashion works through one’s eyes, not one’s phone screen.
Work experience is invaluable, and it’s key to embed oneself where possible in the form of relationships with those around one. Internship schemes in particular can be a helpful step in the right direction, and have a chance of turning into a full time job. Learn as much as one can from one’s peers, and read as much as one can around one’s field of interest! Don’t be in a hurry to move up too fast; the work one produce will speak louder than the position one currently hold.
The fashion industry can be fast-paced and powerful; pay attention to the details, and don’t be afraid to knock on doors if one have an idea. It’s important to follow one’s instincts and remember that the fashion industry isn’t always about pleasing everyone; sometimes boundaries have to be tested!