When people think of the fashion industry, they automatically imagine Vogue or the office in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada; a very glamourous setting with high fashion individuals that may or may not come off as snobby. While that’s the stereotypical perception of the industry, that is incredibly far from the truth - trust me.
While the fashion industry is crazy, fast-paced, and ever-changing, most people's perception of it is really just what they see and hear though social media. But does anyone really know anything about working at a fashion start-up? Much like working at any start-up company, it takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Here are a few things you may or may not know about working in the fashion industry in the start-up world:
1-Be ready to put on more than one hat: Start-ups require you to put on more than one hat at once. One day you might be handling PR, the next, you’ll be knee-deep in the trenches of customer service. Fashion start-ups require a lot of different hats on each individual, so you need to be ready to have the flexibility to shift your focus from time to time.
2-It’s definitely not photoshoots and roses all the time: Working in fashion does require a lot of photoshoots from time to time. Whether it be more styled shoots or product shoots, there is a lot of work that goes into coordinating them. Most often, the photoshoots are the ‘fun’ part of it all. The majority of the time is spent with our heads down coordinating models, photographers, makeup artists, fittings, etc. About two-three weeks worth of emails goes down into making sure that everything is ready for an eight-hour shoot day.
3-More than 40+ hours of work: Truthfully when you work for a (fashion) start-up there really isn’t a strict 9-5 timeline. For me, it’s when I’m online and when I’m offline. It honestly takes a lot of dedication to really be in the start-up world. It’s about how much time and dedication that you put in that really shows you what your outcome can be.
4-Your laptop & Wifi will be your best friend: A perk of working at a start-up is that you have the opportunity to work remotely. This means that your laptop and Wifi are your lifelines. Seriously though, a café with outlets, Wifi, and a variety of ways to drown myself in caffeine is considered a bonus!
5-You need to be ahead and fully aware of fashion trends: The fashion industry is always a season or two ahead of the world in terms of trends -and pretty much everything else. This means that you need to be fully aware of what trends are popping up in your respective industry. For example, since I work in the wedding industry, tulle has been a big trend this past year and will continue to be so. It’s good to integrate that into future designs and marketing campaigns to really ride on the tulle trend wave.
6-It’s not as glamourous as you think it might be: While fashion is fun and a great way to express yourself, that comes only as the end result of hard work! Working at a fashion start-up means that most of the time you’re working hard on your laptop and not really walking around parading your outfit. It’s not always hitting up events every night, it’s being strategic with which events you’re attending and ensuring that you’re always on brand when you go out there on behalf of the company.
7-Learning experience is next to none: Even though working at a fashion start-up does take a toll on you, the learning experience is next to none. Every member of your team is always learning things –whether it be individually or as a team; something new and exciting is happening during all parts of the day. It’s pretty fast-paced and always changing so you really need to stay on top of your game.
Start-ups are not for the feint of heart. They require hard work, dedication, and the chops to really take one heck of a risk. It’s always a chance but it’s one that has big rewards in the end.