How to get ahead in fashion

Pointers from some industry pros who started from the bottom now they're here...

Making it in fashion is no easy feat, it takes a huge amount of drive and relentless creativity.

Daunting, fast-paced, all-consuming and demanding: it is all of these things, it is everything. So how do you make a career out of your passion… for fashion? (Sometimes you need a rhyme).

What are the need-to-knows that will get you that all important “in”? How and where do you meet the right people?

On our count it’s things like being 100% yourself, asking interesting questions, being loyal, persistent, different. And when you do get to the stage when you’re darting to and from fashion shows, never fanning yourself front row with an invite  – unless Natalie Massenet is doing it.


Inspired by i-D Magazine’s 35-point run down on what it takes to get ahead in this industry, we caught up with some people in the business of fashion to get their pointers. The kind of pointers you definitely want to get down.

1. “Self motivate don’t just do what is asked, pitch ideas, show what you’re made of – what more can you bring to the team? What are the skills, talents and attitude that make you stand out?

“Have an opinion and give diplomatic/constructive feedback at the right time. Always give a solution too, no one wants to be given more problems.”

Emma Hart, Founder & Creative Director of Push PR.

2. “If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to be passionate about what you do because life will be a roller-coaster. You need to love what you do to keep the focus and energy to fight for success.

“The best piece of career advice I’ve ever been given was to be surrounded by talents. Success is always a collaborative story. ”

Fanny Moizant, Co-founder & Marketing Director of Vestiaire Collective.


3. “Go into every internship with three ideas – whether they’re around social media, content, design and styling – and make yourself pitch them to the right people at the right time. People with genuinely original ideas and insight are who everyone wants to hire.

“Also, go for Friday night drinks and make friends with your colleagues. Fashion is small and pays to have a network.”

Sara McCorquodale, Senior Editor, Special Projects at WGSN.

Sara McCorquodale

4. “Get to work early, stay late if you have to. Everyone notices the clock-watchers and those first out of the door. Always be humble and accept any task you’re given, within reason of course! Be passionate, respectful, unpretentious and never over-familiar.

“Persevere and be patient. I thought my days of interning and assisting would never end but it paid off eventually and I met brilliant, inspiring people along the way.”

Alice Casely-Hayford, Online Fashion Features Editor at HungerTV.


5. “Assist someone first, then focus on something you really like. Keep focusing on that thing, and work hard to make it happen.”

Emanuele D’Angelo, Photographer & Founder of LivinCool.


6. “Success doesn’t come over night; you have to be patient. Don’t shy away from hard work, make sure you know your brand inside out and think about its point of difference. It can be a tough market out there but there’s always room for fresh, new ideas.”

Lulu Guinness, British Accessories Designer.


7. “The best and most invaluable way to get a break in the fashion industry is work experience. Be proactive and target specifically. Fashion agencies, bloggers, journalists, magazines, stores – get in touch with whoever it is that you aspire to work for or who you’d like to emulate.

“Work hard, be prepared for long hours, show a willingness to learn, greet everyone with a smile and be happy to muck in and make tea.”

Erica Davies, Fashion Editor at The Edited.


8. “Read everything and see as much as you can, from fashion spreads to art exhibitions to my favourite fashion columnist Robin Givhan.

“It will give your work an informed context, set you up to pronounce designers names correctly and help you constantly see the beauty in your field, which when coupled with long, hard working days will be a necessary reminder.”

Carlene Thomas-Bailey, Commissioning Editor of Men’s Health.


Push PR x

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