“Read. See. Expand“: that’s how you’ll get somewhere in fashion. And no, these aren’t my own words (I’m no fashion career expert, and certainly not the kind of girl to quote herself. Yet). They come from Emily Zak, Vogue’s Retail Editor, during her address at the WEXO-sponsored LSE Fashion Society career event last night.
So in case you’re confused, this week’s blog is a bit of a departure from the norm. Last night our offices at WEXO Towers were inundated with well-dressed hordes of LSE fashionistas eager to learn from five guest speakers. Our stylish and incredibly experienced panel included: Chloe Lonsdale, founder of MiH Jeans; Kinvara Balfour, fashion writer and London Editor of Daily Candy.com; Austique’s co-founder Katie Canvin; and Ruby Dhillon, manager of Gucci fragrances at Procter & Gamble.
Needless to say, we found ourselves in the company of some pretty driven and well-connected women.
When I wasn’t furiously flooding the WEXO twitter account with event tweets, I drew on five different routes to success that our guests highlighted:
- Experience is everything. Put in the work at internships and placements, and you will be rewarded.
- An artistic and culturally-aware approach will get you far. If references to ‘A Love Story’, the history of French couture houses and the difference between raglan and dolman sleeves are lost on you, you need to read more. All the fine details are magnified when it comes to a feel for and knowledge of fashion.
- Starting a fashion company needs a business-savvy approach. Now that sounds almost redundant and obvious, but meticulous planning can hardly be stressed enough.
- An opportunity to get your foot in the door may spring up at any point. Always be prepared, and don’t forget about the importance of nearby, untapped contacts.
- A strong work ethic and passion to succeed in any enterprise will be invaluable in fashion. If you’re resilient, this is the industry for you.
Wow. Fashion and the military seem to have more in common than autumn’s trends of olive-green parkas and utilitarian detailing, huh? Persistence is key to making it in fashion, so we thought we’d help point you in the right direction towards building up your style knowledge. Our panel suggest checking out blogs from the Coolhunter, Jak & Jil, Garance Doré, Nowness, Fifi Lapin and of course Vogue.com. In their view, blogs are a new and exciting platform for fashion, but still can’t quite match the reach and presence of good old-fashioned print magazines.
Got more questions of your own for our panel? We’ll be collating them here in the comments section, or on the wall our Facebook fan page. Here’s your chance to unleash any burning questions of the fashion sort. We’ll also be posting video footage from the night soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
Overall if I learned anything last night it’s that hard work and a refusal to fail will be the perfect ingredients for anyone looking to break into the industry. On that note, forward march!
Photos courtesy of Chu Ting Ng at TheQualified blog.