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Thursday, April 22, 2010

….and you’ll never have to work again.

Maybe it’s due to recent TV reality shows or general public interest, but can you believe it, fashion has become a topic of conversation among the general populace.  Specifically many of the college-aged have become interested in the fashion industry more then ever.  I say this out of personal experience.  I’m hearing directly from this group, kids seeking advice and guidance about fashion as a career.

Despite my hectic schedule, I believe it is important to help young hopefuls seeking direction.  If I can help, I’m happy to oblige.  My most important lesson to them is to take the honest approach.

If you’re interested in making a fast buck, go into finance, not fashion. But Fashion, like most creative endeavors, requires real talent; without talent you can’t create, be it art, literature, music, or any other calling.  If you think you qualify, go to school and expose yourself to the industry through apprenticeships and internships.  You’ll know when you’re ready to take the next step, an entry-level job.  You’ll make mistakes, but that’s how you learn.  Of course, in the interim, you should be reading and studying your chosen subject.  If you haven’t had the urge to read/study this subject matter, it may be because fashion isn’t really in your blood…you merely like it because it looks ‘glamorous’.  So if this is the reason, don’t bother pursuing it, you will never succeed.  I can’t stress enough, you have to want this for the right reasons and you really need to want it. 

But if you’ve honed in on a subject of interest, then consider yourself lucky; you’re one of the chosen few; someone who’s really interested in something.  That’s how I got into this business.  I knew what I wanted to do at an early age and took the vital ‘second step.’  Too many of us never take that second step.  I stopped dreaming and started a business.  That’s what I mean by the second step.  Stop dreaming and start doing.  

Like all vibrant industries, fashion is in a state of flux - like a stream, it’s constantly changing.  How can you keep up?  Well, start by reading the trade papers and mags.  Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) is the best place to start.  It’s the so-called bible of fashion; it covers both the creative and business sectors of our industry.  Articles I find interesting, I clip and file.  My morning starts with coffee and WWD.  How to make the best use of your limited amount of time?  Make every second count.  Read the headlines and the first sentence of an article you deem of interest.  A quick, fast read is all that is necessary, unless you think the article is really important; then read it through to the end.  Sooner then you think, you’ll know what’s vitally important, what’s important but not vital, and what’s interesting but not that important.  

Do you have to subscribe to WWD?  I think so. It’s not a free publication, but getting daily e-mail alerts with headlines is free.  So if you can’t afford to subscribe to the full publication, get daily headlines alerts. 

Just because you love fashion don’t limit your reading to only WWD or Vogue, do stay on top of the rest of the world…the easiest way to do this by reading the New York Times.

For me, fashion is exciting, intoxicating, and all-consuming.  But if instead, you find it toxic, then you’re in the wrong business.  When that happens, get out immediately.  Too many go through life unhappy in their jobs because they meandered into the wrong field and never took the second step. 

Find out what you really want to do and you’ll never have to work again


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