Now, the title of this post might be a little misleading because in no way have I “made it” in the fashion industry quite yet (give me a few more years). But being a blogger for a huge company such as Nordstrom has given me a taste of what the fashion industry is actually like and what it takes to succeed in it. You guys loved my more personal post, and I thought this would be a great sequel to that. If you’re interested in a career in the fashion world, keep reading because I have some tips and tricks for you!
Tip #1: Be Unique, Be Yourself.
To put it quite bluntly, no one likes a copycat. It’s perfectly OK to take inspiration from other people, but at the end of the day, whether you’re a blogger or aspiring designer, people will be drawn to you because they haven’t seen your style anywhere else. Bloggers like Leandra Medine and Tavi Gevinson are awesome, but the world doesn’t need a million versions of them. Now’s your chance to shine, so make your mark! Be unapologetically yourself.
Tip #2: Be friendly, Get Involved.
I’m a firm believer in karma, and I believe your good deeds will come back to you in some way, shape or form. Be polite, be courteous, offer to help out in the fashion community near you. To quote the great philosopher Drake, everyone has “started from the bottom” and you can’t be successful unless you’ve done some work. I feel like “be nice” is just a life rule in general, but I think it’s especially important to remember when talking about success in the fashion industry. Movies and TV shows often portray members of the fashion community as catty and snobby, but luckily I’ve found that’s not the case at all.
Tip #3: Network, Network, Network!
I can’t stress to you all how important networking is, even as a teen. Everyone you meet could be a potential employer or coworker. I find myself handing out my blogger business cards all the time. People are interested in what I do, because let’s be real: being a blogger for Nordstrom is not your typical teen job. When you’re meeting someone, make eye contact, give firm handshakes and tell them your full name so that they remember you if they’re ever looking to hire. Attending fashion events, store openings or launch parties are super important if you’re looking to meet people who already work in the industry. If you have a blog, don’t be shy to make business cards with your URL, name and email.
Tip #4: Put Yourself Out There.
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one, but something I’ve had to learn through being a blogger is that it’s key to be fearless. Introduce yourself! Strike up conversations with stylish strangers! If you’ve got a blog with a good enough following, approach smaller companies and offer to feature their product on your blog, if they in turn promote you. Promote your blog on social media, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Be shameless about marketing yourself, because it won’t happen unless you do it.
Tip #5: Educate Yourself.
I saved the best for last because this, in my opinion, is the most important tip out of all of these. It is absolutely crucial to educate yourself. I started learning about the fashion industry through reading magazines. I would read each issue over and over until I could identify designers, brands, writers and photographers. Books are also great, I have a whole bookshelf of fashion-related books that I read because the advice and stories are so valuable. If you look up to someone in the industry, learn everything you can about them. I’m a fan of fashion documentaries, too, as well as YouTube videos and podcasts. Learning is awesome!
I know this was a wordy post, but I hope at least some of my advice was helpful. Work hard, dolls.