How to make it in the fashion industry


If you’re a fashion student, summer is the perfect time to do a bit of interning with your mag/stylist/design house of choice. Except it’s not always that easy is it? Factor in the competition, the fact that places get booked up months in advance and that fashion people never reply to emails and getting that placement is as hard as getting your name on the masthead at W.

UK Elle has another idea. To tap into the wealth of fashion talent stalking the shop floor of every high street in the country. No not the shoppers but the staff. Elle’s Shopgirl to Stylist competition was launched with much fanfare last LFW and consists of shop staff putting themselves forward as super-stylists to be judged online and in an X-factor-like ‘pick me!’ challenge. (Check Susie Bubble’s report for the full low-down.) When I first heard about Shopgirl to Stylist, I was dubious how much input Elle really was going to have. Mentoring by senior staff? Really Elle? But it seems they are as good as their word. The next stage is whittling down the contestants to ten and then they really will get advised and mentored by the Elle team before the winner is picked. Phew, nailbiting stuff, no?

But seriously, the challenge of getting that first foot on the ladder is harder than ever. If you’re determined to break into the uber-competititive and (sorry but) not actually that glamorous world of fashion shoots, press days and crying in the fashion cupboard, then dip into the DRG archive. One of my oldest posts on How To Become A Fashion Editor is still getting comments and the advice is still valid.

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7 Responses to How to make it in the fashion industry

  1. Make Do Style says:

    Ha! I just posted about intern work following a Guardian article yesterday and linked you because of your previous 'how to' post and spookily you've done one too, albeit from a completely different angle.

  2. Looking Fab in your forties says:

    The Elle competition is great for those that want to become a Stylist but not everyone wants that particular career within the Fashion Industry and also it is restricted to Shopgirls, which seems a bit silly.

  3. Ruby Woo says:

    I just thought I would leave a comment to say how right you are about breaking into the fashion industry. Im a fashion design student going into my final year in october. Ive had so many rejections. After sending what feels like hundreds of emails, to every contact I could get hold of and recieving about 5 emails back, it does kick you in the teeth. Some designers are so rude. I had an interview 3 weeks ago with some one (I shall name no names) who wanted me to do a trail day. So I travelled from my home in Cumbria there and back in the day, which was a LOT of travelling. She left at 3.30, didnt return and never got back in touch to tell me if I had or hadn't got the placement. HOW RUDE! we are people with feelings not just thier slaves. All has worked out as I now have a placement with henry holland but I had to fight for that. You just have to learn to take knock backs. What Elle are doing sounds really good at least there is another way to get yourself through the doors.

  4. Dreams That Glitter says:

    I can really relate to this post. Everyone always says, 'ahhh summer…get an internship' and it's never that simple! But it's all about getting that one lucky break.

    xoxo

  5. Pink Julep Abroad says:

    Thanks for the advice!

  6. Just Another Londoner says:

    I saved that post in my favourites-hopefully I will be able to utilise it in the future!
    I gave you a blog award, you can see it at my blog if you want to pass it on :)

  7. Zoë (ROMEO AND THE LONELY GIRL) says:

    This is really helpful – I've been trying for my first kind of work experience/placement at ASOS but it's proving arduous to say the least! Thanks for writing this :)

    Zoe
    romeoandthelonelygirl.blogspot.com">
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