One World Trade Center in New York City is about 2,409 miles away from my current home in Phoenix, but distance didn’t stop me from making connections there.
I’m one month away from finishing my junior year of college, and I’ve racked up way more fashion experience than my freshman self imagined. Writing, social media, blogging (obvi), styling, graphic design, being a style ambassador-you name it, I’ve tried it. I started small with a fashion-writing club at my school and made my way to New York City this Spring Break to partner with Express during Teen Vogue Fashion U. And it wasn’t easy. My journalism school doesn’t offer any fashion journalism education or internships. I had to do most everything on my own and I couldn’t be more proud of that fact.
I’m not saying my school hasn’t taught me anything about journalism or professional development and career prep-it most certainly has. In fact, I couldn’t have made the connections I have or been successful at internships if I hadn’t been taught how to be bold, confident, creative, smart and unique by the top journos in the biz. But there’s no guide telling you how to get into fashion journalism. You just have to jump into the industry and let the people you meet guide you. That’s how I got to where I am today. It’s easier said than done, but I did it! So I want to share some tips on how to get your very fashionable foot into the door. Once you open it-you won’t believe who will come knocking! Hello, Teen Vogue and Express!
8 Tips to Make it in Fashion
- Start small-My freshman year of college I wrote for my journalism school’s fashion blog called The Chic Daily. The next year, I was vice president of the club and covered Phoenix Fashion Week. I met girls who had similar interests as myself and they have been a great support system and source of networking to this day.
- Reach out to everyone-I can’t tell you how many random emails I’ve sent to local publications, news stations or fashion designers and bloggers. Simply by emailing that you’re interested in what they’re producing is a way to get an internship or small position that may not have existed unless you asked for it. P.S.-you’ll get opportunities when you least expect it. One time I attended a local market, clicked with the designer behind a luxury children’s line called Henny and Coco and interned with her for a few months.
- No internships offered? No problem-I created my own fashion features internship at a local online publication in Phoenix just by sending an email. A good way to get your foot in the door is to say, (if applicable) “I noticed your insert magazine/project section name here hasn’t been updated and I would be interested in producing content for that section…”
- Work for free-I’ve had my fair share of unpaid positions and internships. But you can’t make the big bucks until you’ve proved you’re capable of handling small jobs free of pay. Intern at a publication and they just might ask for paid freelance help after your internship ends-that’s what happened to me!
- Then fork up some money-Attending Teen Vogue Fashion U took a hefty toll on my wallet. But my career path is on its way, I had the time of my life and I’ve made priceless connections with huge fashion insiders. Besides, New York is always a good idea.
- Instagram like its your Resume-That’s how I promote my blog. And that’s how I was chosen to be a style ambassador for Express. The company literally went through every student’s social media accounts and chose me because of the content I put on the ‘Gram. Amy Astley, editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, even said she treats it as part of your resume. She proved that to be true when she commented and liked quite a few of my photos! You never know who will double tap your photos.
- Comment and tag retailers + fashion editors on social media-Since I started my blog, I always make sure to tag as many people and companies I can that are in my photo. Most likely, they’ll at least like and comment-and many times follow you back. If you’re really lucky, they’ll repost your photo. The online retailer Ruche re-posted one of my photos, and I gained a handful of followers. Hello national exposure!
- Don’t be catty, but put your game face on-Thanks to the media, it seems like in order to be successful in fashion, you have to be aggressive and rude. Yes, there are people like that, but what will actually get you hired is a positive and fun “I’ll file papers and grab coffee” attitude! Being nice, making small talk and going above your call of duty will get you places. #networking
I know I’ll have more tips to add as my college days come to a close. In the meantime, do you have any tips on how to make it in fashion? Let me know below!