Though from the outside it may look like working in fashion is all glamour, the truth is that it’s hard work. Just like any other job, careers in fashion have their ups and downs. And considering the fast pace at which the industry operates, this often means that professionals in the field are constantly working hard, staying up late at night to finish projects, and always striving for improvement.
Among the many hardworking women and men dedicating their lives to fashion, one name to note is the director behind the online retailer, Order of Style: Lana Coppel. To get a deeper understanding of what a career in fashion looks like, we sat down with Coppel to discuss all aspects of her career, from what she wore at her first interview to the qualities she looks at when hiring. Keep reading to learn more about Coppel’s path to success (also, her go-to IG accounts when she's lacking inspo).
I’m the owner and fashion curator for online retail site—Order Of Style.
How much time I spend offline! As the director of an e-commerce site you would imagine that I am always plugged in and switched on. However, fashion needs to be felt as much as it needs to be seen. I spend a lot of my work days meeting with brands, suppliers and styling products for our site. It’s more hands on than you can imagine.
All I know for sure was that it was black! At least 70 percent of my wardrobe is black.
I recently listed to a Business Of Fashion Podcast with Marco Bizzarri, CEO of Gucci. I found what he was saying about creating a “Culture of Empowerment” within the the staff at Gucci so interesting. How he managed to change the attitude within the business by fostering creativity and happiness is quite remarkable. He wanted staff to take responsibility for their happiness—put up your hand if something isn’t working and suggest a way to make it better. As a result of these attitudinal changes, he helped to revitalise the brand. I would love to have a meeting with him.
BOF is fantastic and I read online fashion sites for some of-the-minute news. Refinery29 is great and reminds me of my time in New York and Who What Wear Australia of course! I am part of a few online high-end fashion communities too, which is great for general shopping chatter and of course getting the dirt on industry scandal from the likes of Diet Prada.
Staying in a toxic work environment because I thought leaving would be bad for my career.
1. Initiative: This is my number one thing! I don’t just want to hear about a problem, I want to hear about potential solutions and then how we can improve so we don’t have these same issues in the future.
2. Creativity: We don’t have a cookie-cutter business, so think outside the box to bring great ideas to life
3. Follow through: End to end. Always finish what you started, one of the most important lessons my mother taught me.
4. Communication: At Order of Style our business is customer service driven. Communication is paramount—thinking about what, when, why, where, who and how are all key elements in keeping the ship sailing smoothly.
5. Likability: We spend a lot of time at work. You’ve got to like you colleagues! Some of my dearest friends are people who I met through work. This also helps with the free flow of communication and fostering a sense of belonging.
Heels. There's nothing quite like an amazing pair of shoes to make you feel like a queen.
I think they would say I’m committed, easy to talk too, open minded, and not afraid to get dirty. I don’t believe in role exclusivity within a work space— we are a team—we share in this experience. While we do have our top level tasks, we also need to muck in and help out. I unpack trucks, I fix the printer, I make bad jokes! Whatever it takes. I’ve never been afraid of hard work.
Yoga. Everyone needs break, and yoga is a great way to reset the brain and switch off your conscious mind for awhile. I feel refreshed, and it gives me an opportunity to reflect on where I am.
With honesty and respect. Becoming a business owner has given me a whole new perspective on what it actually takes to be in charge. Everyone is trying to be successful, working hard and balancing their lives with their jobs. Sometimes you have to realise that not every workplace is going to be the right place for you, and that’s okay.
I'm addicted to this amazing Grilled Chicken Salad from Fonda Mexican, so either that or a poke bowl and maybe a sneaky burger every now and then.
What they say about assumptions is true. My advice is watch, listen and learn. I think it takes a good three months to really learn a new role. Once you’ve got all the information, you can start making an impact in the office.
Show me to the coffee! I’d love to be one of those people that has a great routine and starts each day with purpose, but honestly, please don’t talk to me until after that first sip has been drunk. I am much more of a night person, and I find a quite sleepy house to be a very inspired space for working on projects, dreaming up new ones and getting things done.
“It’s better to have tried and failed to have never tried at all.”
Our new website. It’s been a long process and we are almost ready to launch. We’ve got some amazing new features launching and I’m really excited about bringing and even better shopping experience to your customers.
Feeling inspired to start your career now? Kickstart your wardrobe with stylish pieces from Order of Style.
Opening Image Credits: Getty Images