The fashion industry is notorious for being extremely difficult to break into. Whether you want to become a fashion influencer or work in a more business-oriented capacity, fashion is fiercely competitive, and if you don’t bring your A-game to every part of your career, you’ll quickly find yourself outpaced. However, if you’re an absolute beginner, try not to get discouraged; it’s still very possible to start working in fashion in 2021, but you’ll likely need to adapt some of your strategies to match a changing world. Here’s how you can get started in fashion as a total beginner.
The first and most important thing to have when you’re looking to get into the fashion industry is knowledge. You should know everything from your iconic designers to the most famous pieces and the most significant fashion events on the calendar. Perhaps one of the most important events is Fashion Week. There are four major cities in which Fashion Week takes place, and it’s important to know which is which, as well as which designers got their start at these weeks. To get started, why not have a look at this infographic researched from Betway? It’s a great way to start learning about the fashion industry and get a headstart over your competitors.
Seek out internships
You’re extremely unlikely to walk straight into a prestigious fashion job. This is true of all industries, but especially in the cutthroat world of fashion. Seeking out internships, apprenticeships, and entry-level positions is a great way to start at the ground floor. To do so, you should tune up every aspect of your CV to make sure it appeals to employers. This involves not only expounding on your passion for fashion (pardon the rhyme), but also explaining why you’d be a good fit for any fashion-based position. Previous experience and volunteer work helps, so if you can find a volunteer position first, that would be ideal.
Be prepared to wait
Covid-19 has ravaged the fashion industry, perhaps more so than any other industry. Because of the damage Covid has done to the stability and consistency of fashion, you may have to be prepared to wait for an appropriate position to arise. On the upside, you may notice a sea change in the industry, which could open up a lot of new potential positions and welcome new faces. However, it could also be the case that many businesses within the fashion industry close their doors, batten down their hatches, and refrain from hiring for a while before the economy stabilises and the industry feels a little more secure.
Have bold ideas
The fashion industry thrives on progressive, forward-thinking individuals who can bring something genuinely new to proceedings. If your ideas are staid or outdated, you’re going to find it very hard to get a foothold in fashion, more so than any other industry or art form. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in the design sphere; if you have a way to revolutionise the business end of fashion, that’s going to look attractive to employers. However you decide to approach fashion innovation, be aware that it’s important to come into the world of fashion with new ideas.
Put the work in
You may have to work in a lower position than you perhaps feel you’re qualified for if you want to make it to the upper echelons of the fashion world. That’s the same in every industry; you’re always going to feel underqualified, especially if you’re doing work that you feel is beneath you. In the fashion industry especially, however, you may need to labour for a while and look for that perfect opportunity to showcase what you can really do. The important thing is to keep at it and make sure you’re consistently working, because fashionistas are just like any other manager; they notice hard workers.
Don’t give up
The fashion industry is incredibly competitive, as we’ve established, and so it can sometimes feel like you’re slamming your head against a brick wall over and over again. The important thing, however, is not to immediately give up when things get tough. Anyone who’s established in any kind of competitive industry will tell you that rejection and setbacks are not only commonplace but perhaps more common than success. In fact, it’s important to be rejected or to come up against a wall a few times so that you can better understand how to overcome obstacles in your way.
Even though it’s important to keep working at your dream, you should also not hesitate to take risks when they present themselves. Are you being offered the opportunity to go above and beyond? Take that opportunity; it could lead to an important career moment for you. Whatever the risk looks like, it’s almost always worth it, because if you don’t take the risk, you’ll simply spend the rest of your career wishing you had. At worst, a risk will result in failure, and as we’ve established, failure is an important step on the road to success. That’s why you should always take risks in the fashion industry, which is a world known for its risk-taking.
These are just some of our tips for succeeding within the fashion industry. With dedication, hard work, and just a little luck, you’ll hopefully start making headway in this notoriously difficult industry. Are you planning to start a career in fashion? What steps are you taking?