What's it Really Like Working in the Fashion Industry?
Throughout my fashion career, I’ve been asked many questions about what’s it really like to work in my industry. Do you work with lots of snobby people? Are you constantly running around and stressed out? Do you get to meet super models?
I’m here to shed some light on the fashion industry for those who are curious. I’ve worked in this industry for almost four years and am bi-costal as I started out in LA and am now in NYC as a technical designer for Ralph Lauren. I’ve experienced both ends of the industry from fast fashion to the luxury market. Let me just say, no matter which market in fashion you work in, you will constantly be kept on your toes.
Now let’s dive into all the juicy details you’ve all been waiting for.
The Devil Wears Prada Stereotype
The movie definitely takes fashion to the extreme, but it is very relatable and has some truth to it. Working in fashion is very fast paced and those 9-5 hours hardly exist. We have critical deadlines to meet and work on multiple seasons at a time. Not only do we focus on the current season and getting clothes into stores, but we also plan over a year ahead. Coffee is our best friend and essential throughout the day. Thank goodness I work across the street from Starbucks.
Now as for Miranda’s character in real life, we have the upmost respect for fashion leaders and veterans. Yes, we straighten our backs, get up from our seat immediately to answer their questions, etc. Why? Fashion is such a challenging and dynamic industry that it really takes years, full passion, and dedication to conquer. They have been through it all, seen tough times, and have left their footprints in the industry. We learn tremendously from them and nothing is handed to us on a silver platter because it has to be earned. So, all respect to them. They’ve earned it and set a path for us to learn and do better.
Behind All the Glitz and Glam
It takes a huge team and months of hard work to create a collection. We have the creative team such as concept designers, trend forecasters, fabric and trim researchers, and illustrators to start the development process. We then have the technical team which I like to call the brain of it all such as pattern makers, technical designers, product developers and sewers who make the sketches and ideas come to life. In order to get all the garments into stores, we have the production team, marker, and graders who work with factories and ensure we hit all those timelines for shipment. Lastly, we can’t forget about the stylists, merchandisers, photographers, and fashion show coordinators who share the beauty of clothing to the rest of the world. We are all one team and each of us help create the clothes you see in stores.
A Melting Pot of Personalities
I’ve never worked with such fun, crazy, and talented people in my life. You can name all types of personalities and you’ll find them in my industry. There is never a boring day because each day brings something new. It’s amazing how working with such a diverse group of people teaches you how to navigate through challenges and to never take things personally. Ever. You learn to deal and move on. I’m sure you’ve all heard how you must have thick skin to stay in this industry. Quite frankly, I would have to agree.
Models, Lights, & Catwalk
I’m fortunate enough to get to work with super models, see which outfits they’ll be wearing on the runway, and help out backstage at fashion shows. It is quite the experience and nothing feels more rewarding than seeing that dress or jacket you’ve worked so hard on showcased live on the runway globally. I also work with fit models, where I can see how garments fit and drape on a regular person before manufacturing them into different sizes. This is more of the behind the scenes work to achieve the best fit and quality for our customers. But nevertheless, I get the same feeling of excitement and accomplishment when I see my clothes on the runway or in stores.
The fashion industry is such a fascinating and special place. You get to experience creativity at its raw stage and follow its development throughout the hands of different people. Its amazing how an idea is transformed into a 3d object that defines somebody, sends messages across without words, and captures the attentions of others unintentionally or intentionally. The details in clothing that people overlook or hardly notice are examined under a magnifying glass at fashion headquarters.
Clothing is much more than the brand name - its everything that goes into it and how the rest of the world reacts towards it.
Still curious and have more questions? Please comment below or reach out to me on IG @looveebecs