What It’s Like To Work In Fashion
Working in the fashion industry has fantastic appeal for many young women and men, and their daydreams tend naturally to modelling in exotic locations and designing fabulous expensive and successful ranges. However, like any industry, the reality of fashion is the bottom line, and this means that everyone in the industry from the highest paid model to the lowliest floor sweeper has to work her or his butt off to make it to the top.
Fashion has its ups and downs. There really are glamorous aspects; fashion and trade shows, networking, parties, red carpets. When you get the chance, plaster Snapchat with the photos! It will help you through the grinding hard work that will make up the rest of your time, and not just 9 to 5. The fashion industry never sleeps, and nor do the busy little worker bees that keep it running.
If you still feel the call of fashion then remember, it is more than just models and designers. In fact the list of trades and professions involved is endless. From ‘front line’ workers like photographers and stylists, machinists and cutters, there is a huge sales infrastructure requiring everything from shop floor sales staff and window dressers, to retail managers, marketing and advertising experts, and buyers.
Everyone needs to eat so caterers are a must, and someone has to arrange things, so PA and secretarial staff are needed. Likewise for transport, and designers need their materials so again buying and procurement feature, as well as some kind of workshop or studio, complete with maintenance and admin staff. Accountants. Solicitors. Cleaners. If you are lucky and hardworking you may get an internship, and then you will do any or all of the above tasks, and many more.
It is an unfortunate fact that many workers in the fashion industry are reporting less job satisfaction than in the past, often citing poor work life balance, and many are actively looking for other jobs (Daily Mail). The exception is amongst freelancers who rejoice in a more satisfying work life balance and are seeing their rates increase, with fashion executives stating they would be inclined to use more freelancers.
If you want in, look through your local college or uni prospectus, go online and google your area of interest. It is highly competitive and a great deal of business is carried out through networking; build up your list of contacts as you go. Sites such as uk.jobrapido.com list jobs, and will provide you with any job offers relevant to your search. Unless you have an existing skill set, and often even if you have, you might need to start as a gopher doing unpaid work, until you prove your value.
Working in fashion is a mix – moments of glamour versus long hours, hard work, tears, late nights. You will work with some of the most fun, creative people you will ever meet, and when you do finally get to sleep, know that you have chosen a fantastic career.
Written by: Mary Davis. Mary is a freelance journalist who loves exploring the world and most of all getting to know different cultures, languages, habits and of course food. She is also very passionate about literature and spends hours in book stores.