In honor of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s upcoming book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($17), we’re kicking off an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honor of the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the fashion industry. So far, we’ve tapped Rebecca Minkoff, Emily & Meritt, Rachel Zoe, and more. Up next? Candice Lake.
It’s not every day you get the chance to interview someone who’s both modeled and photographed for some of the biggest fashion houses in the world (think Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Jimmy Choo). So you can imagine our excitement when we got the Australian-born blogger, model, photographer—you’ll soon read about how the list goes on—to share her secrets to managing life as a triple threat, how she started out in the fashion field, what she wore to her first job interview, and more.
Scroll through to read about how she got to doing it all, and her amazing advice for anyone trying to follow in her footsteps.
“I am a photographer who shoots for brands like Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton on collaborations as well as for magazines like Vogue and Glamour. I also act as an ambassador for brands which have included Tressemé and Swarovski and design a fashion line that is in its ninth season, called Candidate by Candice Lake.”
“I don’t think people realize the insane amount of work that goes into being your own brand—I didn’t just wake up one day and suddenly shoot for luxury brands. I hustled, I worked for free for a LONG time, I carried sandbags up and down sand dunes for photographers, and learned to not take no for an answer.”
“My first job interview was actually as a model when I was a teenager at fashion week. My agent told me to look cool and stand out. Having no idea really what she meant, I went out and bought the highest pin-heel stilettos I could find in bright pink; a very puffy, SUPER-SHORT white bubble parachute skirt, and paired it with a cropped denim jacket. I wore that outfit every day for about a month of fashion week castings and then to all the shows. Luckily there were no street style photographers back then!”
“Angela Ahrendts is incredibly inspiring. I love that she was a pioneer of embracing the digital world, and against all odds, she turned Burberry around from an aging British icon into one of the fastest-growing global luxury brands in the world.”
“I read BoF, Fashionista, and WWD.”
“I don’t really have any major regrets. I really believe that if you do not step forward and try, you will always be in the same place. Even if you fail one, two, or 100 times, you are still moving forward. I believe in learning from all mistakes you make along the way, to create more opportunities. If you always act with integrity, you should have no regrets.”
- “Someone who is not afraid to get his or her hands dirty.
- “Passionate about what they are doing.
- “Someone who is following their dreams.
- “An independent thinker who pitches big ideas.
- “Above all I look for someone with drive and motivation to create amazing things.”
“Leather pants, a crisp white shirt, and a blazer. This is my go-to for any meeting.”
“Determined and (hopefully) encouraging. I expect a lot from the people I work with, although I never ask of them anything I would not be happy to do myself. I think it is important to inspire and encourage the people you work with.”
“I go for a walk or swim laps. Clearing your head is key, and then if all else fails, I have a pot of tea. If I’ve learned anything living in England, tea fixes everything!”
“Don’t stay if your heart is not in it. There is no benefit in that for anyone. The main thing is to part ways with integrity. This world is very small, and many people forget this when leaving a job. My advice is to maintain good relationships with everyone you work with, even after you’ve left.”
“I love a great salad. I change it up all the time, although at the moment I’m obsessed with this one. Rocket with homemade chickpea falafel, cherry tomatoes, grilled halloumi cheese sprinkled with sesame seeds, and the secret ingredient of Polish sauerkraut. Sounds bizarre, although it is my best salad to date—try it!”
“Expecting too much too soon, and not putting the work in to get it.”
“Humans of New York—who isn’t obsessed with HONY?—Vogue, Juergen Teller Page, Deliciously Ella—for food inspiration—and General Pants for updates on my collection Candidate by Candice Lake, which is stocked there.”
“I do ‘yoga’ with my almost 2-year-old son when we wake up (which is more like rolling around on the floor together!). It’s a great way to connect with him and center myself and get ready for the day. I make sure that I turn my phone off in meetings and also once the day is finished. Once I started doing this, I realized my productivity levels were infinitely better and I was truly present.”
“Always do what you’re afraid to do. If something seems easy, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. The advice I give to everyone: Listen to your gut instinct, take risks, don’t take no for an answer, and work your butt off doing something you love.”
“I’m growing a little human! I’m also working a couple of collaborations, which I am madly trying to complete before my secnd baby arrives!”
Ready to be the CEO of your career? Preorder The Career Code ($13) today.