ADViCE & TiPS

RUNWAY OR THE HIGHWAY

*ONE|  Getting One Step Closer…

First & foremost, when it comes to the fashion industry & getting one step closer, there really is no trick other than to take that next step! Don’t wait around hoping maybe you’ll be recognized, NO sometimes the truth is you won’t.  As you know, the fashion industry is really competitive… did i say ‘really’, I meant — REALLY, really competitive.  There are thousands & hundreds of thousands of people out there fighting to be the next best thing in fashion.  If you want to get into the fashion industry & survive in it, you need to make yourself recognized & you need to make yourself stand out from the rest of the crowd. Remember the world is your runway!

*TWO|  Let’s Get The Show On The Road!

“The will to succeed is important, but the will to prepare is vital.”

No these are not words spoken by Coco Chanel but rather by Vince Lombardi a former professional football coach.  One of my favorite quotes of all time. Words that still hold true meaning not to be underestimated. I mean think about it, one can’t wake up on day expecting to be a famous designer overnight. Coco Chanel had to work to get where she got.  You need to have the will to succeed like it’s do or die (for me its “runway or the highway”), but it’s equally if not more important also to prepare.  When people ask me how I got to be in such&such fashion show for example, now I sometimes get to say I was chosen to be included in it (through recommendation or interview), however other times I still have to say I had to volunteer for it.  Volunteering yourself is not at all a bad thing. Volunteering for events whether to style models, pick out clothes, or even just to help clean up afterwards if that’s all they need, really does help get you recognized because it shows your eagerness & willingness to get yourself out there to gain that experience & knowledge.  On that note, starting out, you have to be open to new ideas people may bring upon you.  You cannot act like you know better & rebel, you need to pay attention & listen to instruction because sometimes the pros really do know what’s best…..howeverrrrr if need be or situation-permitting,  you feel you must say otherwise of what’s being asked of you, or you have an input of your own, sometimes you can speak out & give your input.  Sometimes the pros like the new fresh approach you have to offer, but you must be mindful of the situation & how you present your idea.  You don’t want to sound like a little bratty know-it-all while you’re practically still under the learning process.  In addition to NOT acting like a “prima donna”, it’s best you don’t step on people toes because you never know if you’ll ever need them for something–does “networking” ring a bell? I hope so because…

*THREE| The Wonderful World of Networking

…tip numero tres, is all about the wonderful world of networking.  Networking, networking, networking, I cannot stress that word enough. Facebook definitely has gotten the meaning of it! (:
The way I’ve been informed of fashion show events & the opportunities to be a part of them, if it wasn’t through volunteering myself, it’s been through networking.  My friend who has a friend who’s actually a boutique owner is hosting a fashion event for BMW, my friend tells me about it, I go & I get to know the boutique owner and I volunteer in whatever he/she needs.  Now next time boutique owner is coordinating an event, ahead of time I would’ve already let her know  I can offer my time again if need be, he/she knows & may offer me more work. Also now the boutique owner knows me & will give me the volunteering job without thinking twice.  That boutique owner happened to be friends with the NY Fashion Week director. Owner spreads word about the NY event to me, I’m interested, & now recommends me to the director, now director knows me.  I hope I put that example simply enough…get the picture??  It’s just all about networking. You never know. Half of this example for me was true, unfortunately I didn’t get to go to NY Fashion Week but I did get to volunteer for more events where there have been some same people I’ve met at previous events. Think about it this way, even if it’s just a small gig you’re volunteering for, you’re still gaining more knowledge & experience either way.

*FOUR|  Starting Out Local

The way I began my journey to the runway world was through my university.  I simply signed up for my school’s fashion association/club & that was it. I got to meet a lot of people there (who also know people), and through the club is where a lot of word was spread about local events & opportunities. Like I said before & I’ll say it again, the fashion world is competitive so pretty much every time I hear about something happening, I jump at it.  I try not to put too much on my plate than I can handle too though, I don’t want to end up disappointing people because I’ve made too many commitments because that can later affect your credibility–which of course you don’t want.  The great thing about my university’s fashion association is that it’s growing every semester more & more therefore more & more people on campus are hearing about it & join or come to our fashion shows or events.  We hold fashion shows every semester. Hundreds of people come & watch them so it’s really a fun big event.  We have new emerging designers who design there own clothing lines but we also have stylists who go to local boutiques (that by now all know who we are as well) and grab a few outfits to style their models & send them off for show time.  My fashion club has truly been my favorite part of school & can honestly say I know more now then I did on my first day in the club. School clubs sometimes have a bad rep & aren’t seen as a big deal but when it’s college-status, it’s a whole different ball game.  Getting into your school’s fashion club also plays into the whole volunteering & networking advice I talked about as well so don’t underestimate it.

&&& if you don’t have a fashion association at your school, you should start one!  The secret that’s not so secret was??? Taking that first step YOURSELF (:
Think about it…if not you then who?

** I hope my advice has helped you somewhat understand some basics of getting started in the fashion world!  Come back for more next time & don’t forget to subscribe! **

XOXO. STEFY from RUNWAYORTHEHIGHWAY (ROTH)