It's a dream for many to land a job at one of the major fashion houses, but the industry is often considered difficult to break into and perhaps even harder to stay and remain relevant in.
We asked our Managing Consultant, Alison, how important a fashion degree is to reach that goal, and what her ultimate advice would be for anyone dreaming of pursuing a career in fashion.
Do you think having a fashion qualification helps you get ahead or is work experience more important?
You need to have a mixture of both. A relevant qualification clearly defines the career path you have chosen to take, however, the more internships and experience you gain the better qualified you are to do a job.
What’s the current job market like?
There are a lot of opportunities out there so once you've figured out which career path is right for you, you need to do your best to stand out among other candidates – your competitors! A lot of people want to work for the top fashion brands so the more boxes you tick, the better.
What are your thoughts on non-paid internships to gain exposure / experience?
If you have the opportunity to do a sandwich year while studying I would definitely advise you to take advantage of it as this is often paid and will give you a year of full-time experience, which is invaluable.
Internships are a fantastic idea, unfortunately many of them pay very little or nothing. If you can afford to do an non-paid internship and get exposure to an established brand it may be worth it in the long run as it will help you enter the market.
Another great alternative is to register with us and do temporary work within luxury retail, which is guaranteed to boost your CV. As well as getting paid well above the London minimum wage, you will get to know the products and the craftsmanship behind them, as well as expanding your network and gaining crucial contacts.
What can one do to make sure they stand out from other candidates?
- Your CV needs to be clear and concise (you can find more detailed CV advice here)
- Ensure you have relevant work experience on your CV
- Choose the field you wish to get into and ensure everything you do is in line with that ambition
- Employers are looking for someone passionate that has a clear ‘path’, not someone that changes direction too often
Some people assume the fashion world is tough world to work in. Is there a high employee turnover in the industry?
Like most industries you have to work hard to be noticed. The hours can be long and expectations in the fashion world are high and that’s not for everyone. However, if you are passionate and driven towards a career in fashion there are lots of opportunities for you to work hard, develop, progress and make a name for yourself.
We’ve seen various fashion brands promote diversity within their campaigns. Is the same reciprocated in their recruitment?
Absolutely! Skills and experience take precedence over anything else when we try and match the right candidate with the right brand.
What final advice would you like to share?
Choose a career path that you are passionate about and try to get as much experience as possible within that field. Anything that can help you stand out in a crowded room is worth doing.
When you have 6-12 months experience, call
Four Seasons Recruitment on 0208 237 8900 and see how we can help.