So you’ve decided you want to work in fashion. Now what? It’s a tricky path to navigate—so many career options (stylist, editor, buyer, the list goes on) and so many different ways to get there. Whether you’re just finishing school or university and looking at what’s next, or you’re in search of a career change, we can help. The Fashion Institute in Sydney’ Surry Hills is an industry go-to for a step in the right direction, so we sat down with the school’s founder for her tips on getting a job in the fashion industry.
Keep scrolling to see what she had to say, find out a little more about the course and see the beautiful space.
Tell us a bit about The Fashion Institute?
We’re in our fifth year now and we are a fashion business college. So, we focus on the business side of fashion, not the design side. It’s a diploma of business mixed in with industry subjects, taught by people that currently work in the industry and with guest speakers. We’ve had Edwina McCann from Vogue Australia, Kirstie Clements and Margaret Zhang. Our industry experts cover everything ranging from styling, buying, branding, creative project management and journalism. The course is all supplemented with work experience that we organise. So if you want to intern at a magazine, or a PR agency or whatever it may be, we make it happen for you. It’s basically a one-stop-shop if you want to work in fashion.
What makes The Fashion Institute different to other fashion schools?
So many things! Number one, the actual course material. We’ve had our course material specifically designed for our college so it’s a diploma of business, but it’s been re-written. All of the case studies and assessments are fashion based (with bits of beauty and lifestyle).
Number two, our internship program. No one else offers anything like it it. We have girls from around the world come and interview with us so they can have that experience. Most places have a focus on education, but with fashion, that’s not necessarily the way you get a job, you need the internship—you need to get your hands dirty.
And number three, our approach to learning. Our course is updated frequently to keep up with changing trends and different things happening in the market. We need to have a course that keeps up with what our students are interested in to ensure we stay ahead. We adapt and give people work place training.
How do you advise students on the best way to get a job in the fashion industry?
Intern! Put yourself out there. Networking, be happy to make coffees, and just do everything! Being enthusiastic is infectious and being proactive gets you noticed. If you intern and throw yourself into the role, you can learn everything. Take notes, listen to conversations and put your hand up for everything—you never know what experience you’re going to get or the people you’ll meet. When you’re interning, you’re not just another resume—the company gets to know you and know your personality.
What jobs in the fashion industry do you think are and aren’t safe?
Anything in the digital sphere is very safe—e-commerce world, digital publications like Who What Wear and social media managers.
What’s not safe? Print Magazines. And I also think PR is a bit unsafe if agencies don't adapt to the digital world - unless you’re a full service agency (PR, social, activations, brand strategy), you won’t survive just being 'reactive’.
Have you thought about a career in the fashion industry? How would you approach it? Let us know in the comments below.