Johnson & Wales Fashion Lab Event and My #1 Piece of Advice on Breaking Into the Fashion Industry

Last week, I had the honor of being invited to Johnson & Wales to participate in a panel on fashion careers, the industry and fall ’14 fashion trends. Five students were selected to compete in a style-off, and I was honored to be on the judging panel with some amazing fellow fashionistas, Kelly Saks of Kelly’s Kloset, Kristin Clark of Living in Color Print, and Miami Herald business reporter, Ina Cordle. I was really excited to see all of the exciting things they’re doing as part of the program over there; Miami has long needed a merchandising program! I felt really good about sharing some of my experiences with the students there and seeing how excited they are about fashion, interning, and the future.

There was something that I really wanted to share with the students that I didn’t have an opportunity to. If  you really want to work in fashion, the most important piece of advice I have is this:

Intern. Intern. Intern. INTERN. I cannot stress enough how important internships are! I wish I knew in college how important they were. I would have gotten started a lot earlier and done a lot more of them. Internships not only make you more desirable to hiring managers after college, but they really help YOU decide if the career path you’re interested in is really for you. Sometimes, you think you know what something is like and you don’t until you actually do it… through internships, you really discover your strengths and weaknesses and learn what you love and what you don’t. It’s a great way to experiment with different options. The second thing I would say would be— have a great attitude. Be humble, work hard, always go above and beyond, become indispensable to your boss. Never complain. Never refuse to do something. Always do everything to the best of your ability. Every job I’ve had in the industry was something that was meant to be temporary- a week, a month, and then I became indispensable to my bosses and they would create opportunities to keep me. Be a superstar.

So, I thought I’d share some pictures from the event! Check them out!

I’m wearing: Peter Pilotto for Target

 

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