Happy Monday! My guest contributor, Samantha, writes on how to break into the most elite industry in the world...
At the tender age of 19 going on 20, I have still been on this earth and in this crazy business long enough to know its dirtiest secrets. As a young girl, we grow up wanting to be like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, am I right? Thought so. Well friends, I’m here to break the hard truth to you – the real business in the real world. It ain’t nothin’ like what you see on TV. The fashion business is so extreme and downright crazy that not even the best television directors could ever portray an accurate depiction of what it’s really like. Now that I’ve terrified you into thinking that your future will look more like a scene from American Horror Story and less like a Gossip Girl stroll down Fifth Ave, I will try my best to give you an accurate depiction of what the fashion industry is really like. In doing this, I hope not to scare you away from your hopes and dreams, but to instead better prepare you for the whirlwind of a life you are about to live (that is oh-so worth it!).
1. Overcome Your Fears - Throw every single one of your insecurities out the window and get ready to put yourself out there! There will be many instances in your fashion career that you will feel uncomfortable, whether it’s pretending to care about your boss’s online dating life or working an eight-hour work day on your feet in a pair of brand new heels (both personal experiences). Just remind yourself: fear can be the thing that holds you back, but it can also be the thing that sets you apart. When everyone else is too scared to approach that big-time beauty editor that just-so-happened to walk past you on the sidewalk, be the one person to approach her. Don’t let her miserable scorn, oversized sunglasses, and mile-high heels intimidate you – be brave and stand up for what you want – trust me, people will listen.
2. Move To a City – This is a very useful piece of advice I am simply passing on to you, as it is something I’ve heard from experienced industry employees. The cities, New York City to be exact, is where it’s all happening and the only way to make it happen for yourself is to live in one. Whether you want to be an editor, a model, or an actress, New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston are all booming cities for the industry.
3. Network, Network, Network – The last thing you want to be in the fashion industry is shy. Stand up for what you want, voice your opinions, and make people listen. That thing people say, “it’s all about who you know” is 100% the truth.
There are two types of people in the fashion industry – the nobodies and the somebodies, and it’s up to you who you want to be. *Hint: you want to be a somebody.
4. Learn How to Write a PROPER E-Mail – This is something I come across constantly, and let me tell you, there is nothing more unprofessional than an improperly written e-mail. What is a “proper” e-mail? For starters, it is one without spelling mistakes. If you want anyone in this world to take you seriously, please write using the proper tense of “your.” Also, write politely but also write seriously – no one will take you seriously if you don’t act serious. Period.
5. Never Forget Your Dreams – The saying typically goes, “never give up on your dreams” and that is true, but the point I am trying to make here is to never FORGET your dreams. Sometimes when you set out to do something, and you start taking steps in the direction of achieving your dreams, you can get so wrapped up in the process that you forget what you’re even working towards. Working in any aspect of the fashion industry is hard and often times overwhelming, but never EVER forget what you are working so tirelessly for. Because after the years spent running to get coffee in your 10-inch heels for your bitchy editor, you'll be able to look back and feel pretty damn proud of what you've endured.
Here is a video Alexa made on her tips to breaking into the fashion industry.