Young Aspiring Fashion Professionals: How to Get Ahead
It’s New York Fashion Week so what better time to discuss breaking into the industry?
• Pay attention to what’s going on in the fashion world. Keep bookmarks on Women’s Wear Daily and Style.com It may be possible to succeed while living in your own little world but I don’t think it’s smart to try.
• Subscribe to newsletters from fashion schools, websites, etc. I’m serious. If I wasn’t on the email list for FIDM (a school which I respect but have no intention of applying to) I NEVER would have found out about auditions for Project Runway: Threads.
• Start young. I mean really young. If you’re ten years old and are interested in fashion design, Google sewing classes in your area. Art classes. If you want to be a writer, start a fashion blog. There’s no time like the present.
• Don’t spend your teen years sewing and sketching in your room. Get out there. Fashion is a tough business and you need to be ambitious, not just technically proficient. Seek out opportunities, don’t wait for them to come to you because they probably won’t. Even if you don’t live in a big city, I don’t, there is still a lot you can do.
– If you’re in high school, you can apply to the BP Fashion Board at Nordstrom on the 19th of February. You’ll learn about the ins-and-outs of fashion as well as get to meet people around your age with like-interests.
– I believe Teen Vogue Fashion University applications have already closed (I could be wrong!) but you can always try next year! TVFU is a three day seminar where leaders of the fashion industry like Zac Posen and Rebecca Minkoff speak about breaking into the industry.
– There are summer programs at FIT, SAIC, SCAD, even Cornell! All the top fashion schools offer them- some of them offer college credit. If cost is an issue, you can look for grants offered by local organizations, try to get a scholarship/financial aid, or start a GoFundMe page.
– Start a FIDM Fashion Club at your school. Or join the school newspaper and write about style. Or make costumes for the school plays.
– Try to land an internship. I interned with a designer in the city when I was in 8th grade. It’s hard to be taken seriously if you’re not in college but it’s certainly not impossible. Similarly, look for volunteer opportunities during New York Fashion Week if you’re in the area.
So, there it is. My advice specifically for teens and/or tweens interested in fashion. If you have anything to add: leave a comment!