How To Get Your First Job In UK’s Fashion Industry

As a magazine it is one of the questions we are asked most often. It is super tricky to get into the industry and as our editor has worked in the industry for a decade, she knows a thing or too about the illusive world of fashion. It is also really important to remember that fashion as a sector is huge! And there are loads of different routes to be involved in the industry. It isn’t all just about designing or modelling. These jobs are supported by lots of staff from photography, styling, pr, pattern cutting, tech etc so don’t think you have to be photogenic or able to draw to be involved, there is even a specialist fashion law course in the US!

So, are you looking to work in the UK fashion industry? If you are, and have no idea where to begin or how to begin this journey, we can help. So where do you begin? Well a good starting point is to identify your dream fashion job or career path. Since there are so many different professions within the fashion industry, it is important to figure out which specific direction is best for you. The fashion industry requires designers, writers, business developers and photographers, as well as of course, models. So before starting any sort of applications, make sure that you’ve thoroughly researched the possible routes and that the one you’ve picked is right for you. There is a tonne of opportunities on the business side of fashion, because as fun and arty as fashion is, it still needs to make money. The best fashion designers need to be part of a dynamic duo of creative talent and business flare to make their dreams come alive.

Build Up Your Online Presence

The place to be is online. Regularly update your profiles on social media sites and regularly check for the latest fashion news and trends through for example, magazines, websites, blogs or social media. Be sure to search within your local area for any job opportunities. You also need to act quickly if you see a job posted online, but be careful in the wording of your cover letter and make sure to be precise. You want to appear as if you are applying for that one dream job. Considering London’s current status as one of the World’s Fashion capitals, and the enormous competition in the industry’s job market, it might be a good idea to look for opportunities in other UK cities. Manchester, for example, has had a consistent rise in revenues from the fashion industry over the past several years, and a job there might provide you with more space for self-development and progress. Jobrapido is a fantastic online resource you can use to find jobs anywhere within the UK, including Manchester. It’s a good idea to check this site regularly as new jobs are added all the time, so keep up to date with the latest job opportunities in the fashion industry. I know it seems like London is where it is at, but there are a lot of your favourite high street brands – including plus size brands that operate out of Manchester – so actually, there are great opportunities to be had and a lower cost of living.

The Importance of Fashion Internships

Fashion internships are incredibly important as they allow you to gain experience within your chosen fashion sector as well as improving your chances of acquiring a permanent job. Doing an internship is one of the best ways to start your life in the fashion industry. Many who already have a fashion-related degree believe that they do not need an internship programme, but they are wrong. Many employers in the fashion world would prefer candidates that have had some real fashion work experience. It would also help you put what you have learned on paper and in theory into practice, as well as gain that much needed (and expected) experience. It is also well known that many interns end up staying with the company and gaining full time paid positions.

Our Editor has done her fair share of interning too. It is a great way to make connections in the industry and get to know people, because the people you intern for may move on to more senior roles at your dream company too. Don’t forget to work hard whilst you’re there too. Go above and beyond and strive to impress, remember how many people would love to be in your position!

Take the Initiative

If you really wish to work within the fashion industry then you need to use your initiative and to seize every single opportunity that is presented to you – with both hands. It is very important to keep up to date with current trends and to stay informed. One great way of doing so could be by blogging about what you read or see within the fashion world, and continuing to grow your online presence. Read the latest blogs, go to the latest fashion shows, and follow the big name fashion designers and houses on twitter. Be creative, enthusiastic and work your socks off!

It is a lot of work, but keeping abreast of the latest fashion news – use websites like Fashion United, Diary Directory and Fashion Monitor also means you will be able to join and start informative conversations about who is doing what. The old saying goes about having a ‘Passion for Fashion’ but this is an industry where passion is key and shines through every time.

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-- Editor-in-Chief SLiNK Magazine