Thomasina R. Legend
Fashion is an incredible industry with excellent career prospects. It is not just about the glitz, glamour and allure of it all. Before embarking on a career in fashion, there are a few things to consider and to be aware of. Here are a few we believe you should think about before making that life-changing decision.
What do you want to do? Before getting into the industry, explore what you want to do? There are different roles within the fashion industry, from design, public relations, and marketing to fashion media and communication. Figure out what you want to do before you get in. Research and be well versed in the area of fashion you will like to pursue.
Are you capable? Do you have what it takes? The fashion industry is tough, highly competitive and not for the faint-hearted. This is not to scare you but to prepare you for the reality of the world of fashion. In such a cutthroat world, you must know that only the tough survive. Toughness must become your mantra, and confidence must be your armour and a way of life. No matter the challenge you face, you must be able to take it like the proverbial champ, learn from it and keep it moving.
It is not an immediate success: Fashion has been glamorised and made to seem like an easy and immediate success for a long time, but it must be noted that it is not an overnight success. Like everything else in life, success takes time and comes with the daily accumulation of consistency, dedication, passion, knowledge, and never giving up no matter how tough it gets. Believing in your vision is essential, and believing in yourself should be at the top of the list. Don't think of the destination, but embrace the journey, where the real joy and everyday lessons can be found to make you better and help your growth.
Learning is key: With an ever-evolving world around us, fashion is also evolving and working hard to improve in areas where it has been lacking, which means there are new skills, new technologies introduced to make things easier and better. Continuous learning, keeping up to date with the latest skills and tech is essential. Knowing which fashion blogs, magazines, trend guides, and more to follow is very important. Make continuous learning a necessary part of your journey so you are never left behind.
Brutal Hours & Tedious Tasks: Within the fashion industry, regardless of the role you choose to embark on, be it a fashion designer, writer, public relations officer, creative director, photographer, stylist, makeup or hair stylist, producer, videographer or filmmaker, intern, the hours are brutal, and the tasks are just as tedious, but you must never forget why you started and keep your eyes on the price of what you want to achieve. Do everything you are assigned to do with a smile and joy, remembering the lessons you are getting that will take you places in the future. Going into the industry with a bad attitude and character won't get you very far.
A small and well-connected world of creative talents: One of the most wonderful aspects of working within the fashion industry is a well-connected world of creative talents, made even more linked by the growing world of social media. Fashion will always be an interconnected world about whom you know and getting to know people is essential, just as people get to know you. Networking is vital and will serve you well within this industry. Just as networking is critical, your art, work and whatever you do should also be up to par. Like Will Smith said, "If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready". Work on that portfolio, have your work ready so when you start connecting and networking, the right people will see you and know what you do. Also, because the industry is so connected, remember that making a lasting impression on the people that matter is essential. Fix your attitude, fix your character and don't waste opportunities when they come because your attitude and character can make or break you.
Funding: If you are starting your brand, funding is essential. Have you done the research necessary to start your brand? Have you created your business plan? These are fundamental aspects to kick-start your journey and should not be taken likely. How much you need for your business to start is essential information that you need and how much you need to stay in business for the next five years because it is important to note that most businesses do not turn a profit till then. Do your research and get help with your business plan if you need it.
Fashion is art & fashion is business: No matter what you do within the industry, be it designer or creative media, fashion is both art and business. Go into the industry with that mindset so that you can grow both artistically and professionally. If you have figured out the art aspect and are great at your artistic side but don't know how to monetise, you need to learn. Monetising your craft is essential to not only the fashion economy but to you as a person. You need money to pay your bills and to survive. Remember that aspect when going into this industry.
Fashion is passion: Know that in the end, no matter what route you decide to take within the industry, it all boils down to passion and a love for what you want to do within the industry. With passion, a healthy dose of ambition, dedication, consistency and learning and devotion to your craft will help you last and thrive within the industry.
Photo via Fashion brand SIKA’A @sikaapixs