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Five top tips for fashion industry success
One of the most ridiculously competitive industries around, you’ll be jostling for a position alongside annoying trust-fund boys, girls who can afford to work for free for years on end, and hundreds of students graduating from fashion-related courses this year. That said, if you follow our tips, you should be in with a shot to help hot models in and out of their clothes, and similarly stimulating work Speak a foreign language
You might find yourself visiting manufacturers in the Far and Middle East and relevant language skills will be a massive draw for potential employers.
Hone your technical skills:
Fashion isn’t just about drawing pretty pictures. You need a whole range of technical skills to turn your vision into reality. Successful designers are proficient at pattern cutting, tailoring, garment construction and fabrication. If you’re asked to make, say, an outfit with a wolf’s head, flippers and fins, you can at least be
sure that it’ll be the best cut wolf-fish monstrosity on the planet.
Save some cash:
With work experience, you’re really looking for a six month minimum placement.
That way, you can really get involved with the company and make your mark, rather than just being ‘this week’s tea maker’. You’ll need some money to live on, so best you start saving now.
Be annoyingly shameless in your career pursuit. Contact anyone who might be able to help you get a foot in the door. If you’ve not got a thick enough skin to deal with people giving you the brush-off, then you should rethink your career.
Fashion is not for the faint-hearted.
Keep up with trends
Devour every fashion magazine (trade and consumer) that you can get your hands on. Stop strangers in the street and ask them where they got their clothes.
Spend hours trawling boutiques while calling it ‘research’. Check out what sells well on eBay.
Set yourself up as a retailer:
Nothing impresses a potential employer more than someone with initiative. Try buying fashion items in bulk and then selling them online or at craft fares, such as handcrafted jewellery from Africa. Even if you make peanuts, it’s a great thing to be able to put on a CV.
Ensure your teachers have a good track record If you choose to study fashion, check out the lecturers’ background. They need to have strong ties to the industry, as opposed to once being employed as a junior
buyer for the Freemans catalogue.
The ultimate training ground in fashion is at the London College of Fashion, which offers a wide portfolio of courses, from design to buying to journalism. If it’s good enough for Jimmy Choo and Patrick Cox, it’s good enough for you.
Postgrads should also seriously consider the similarly excellent Central St
Martins, also in London.
For a year-long, more vocationally-led course, check out the Fashion Retail
Academy which has a high success rate in placing students in post-course
Check out the Insiders Fashion Assistant video: http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=37952957