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Quitting my job to work in fashion

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by WoodyStylee, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. WoodyStylee

    WoodyStylee Well-Known Member

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    Philly
    First off, anyone here actually work in fashion?

    I've been doing some soul searching, and for the past 2 years i've fought off the undying urge to throw away a real estate career for the fashion industry. I know the starting pay sucks, but theres definitely a price to be put on happiness.

    I'm 26, and now more than ever i've realized i need to do what i am truly passionate about (after already switching careers once from PR to Real Estate). I'm moving to NYC next week, so the fashion jobs will be more plentiful, but aside from a strong knowledge, i do not have much to show for it on my resume.

    Any thoughts or similar stories?

    Sorry if this is coming across as another painful 'woe is me' post [​IMG]
     
  2. feynmix

    feynmix Well-Known Member

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    What is your ideal "job in fashion"? That phrase can mean a lot of things...
     
  3. WoodyStylee

    WoodyStylee Well-Known Member

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    good question. ideally i'd love to be a designer, but my technical knowledge is shit - so chance of landing anything in that ballpark is slim-to-none. (but Scott Sternberg did it, ya never know)

    I am more creative minded, so i would prefer a job with some element of design/creativity. I think from my little knowledge, i've started to draw towards merchandising, buying, or production.
     
  4. Butter

    Butter Well-Known Member

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    I know the starting pay sucks, but theres definitely a price to be put on happiness.
    The pay in general sucks at all levels if you look at the work effort required pound for pound. If you're really immuned to living a lower income lifestyle for the thrill of being in fashion, more respect to you but you really need to take that into account specially if you're looking to buy a home/raise a family within the next 10 years.
     
  5. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Well-Known Member

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    I did basically the same thing, except it wasn't real estate to fashion. Prepare to live off of ramen and the generosity of others for a long time. And also be prepared to get your ass handed to you on a daily basis. It sucks ass for a LONG time before it is good. There will be a lot of days where you think you made the wrong decision, trust me. You need to be absolutely sure that you're making the right decision BEFORE you make it, otherwise it's too late. The love and passion and hunger has to be what gets you through the shitty days, the inability to find a job or find a job that pays more than peanuts, and all the doubt that you will certainly receive from people in your life. Good luck.
     
  6. cchen

    cchen Well-Known Member

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    My friend full on quit her job at an investment bank to go to FIT with plans to do something in merchandising or buying. It's gonna be a tough road but she has a strong corporate background and companies were already willing to give her internships even before she started school. So I think how much you'll have to struggle will also depend on your previous background and work experience. That said, she's working unpaid so living a much more frugal lifestyle than she did before.

    Another point to think about is what you're really passionate about. When people say they're passionate about fashion, what does that really mean? You like shopping? You like putting together outfits? Frankly, not to be mean, but you say you want to be a designer but are you spending your off hours doing drawings, investigating fabrics, and honing your sewing skills? That's what someone passionate about fashion design will be doing.

    A job is a job and every job will eventually become boring. Even if its in an area you're passionate about. At some point, you might lose the desire and passion that once drove you to get into that job in the first place. Having done a venture that I was very passionate about, I am fully content to have a job that I find interesting and challenging while keeping my passions for my time off. (But I would totally do another venture in this area given the right opportunity)
     
  7. downwithianbrown

    downwithianbrown Well-Known Member

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    Great thread and good luck, what's your plan? Do you have enough saved from real estate to live unemployed in New York?

    How do you plan to get jobs at fashion houses? any particular places you'll try for?

    have you started looking for jobs?

    I'm interested as in the next year I'll have to move and switch jobs and am considering switching industries.
     
  8. CouttsClient

    CouttsClient Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps what you should really be doing is looking for a job in fashion PR since you have a background there. Doing that and learning technical skills in your "time off" might be your best bet....
     
  9. Nouveau Pauvre

    Nouveau Pauvre Well-Known Member

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    Very saturated field that most people barely scrape by in.

    That being said I plan on going back to it as soon as I'm out of school.
     
  10. WoodyStylee

    WoodyStylee Well-Known Member

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    Philly
    Thanks for all the feedback guys.
    When people say they're passionate about fashion, what does that really mean? You like shopping? You like putting together outfits? Frankly, not to be mean, but you say you want to be a designer but are you spending your off hours doing drawings, investigating fabrics, and honing your sewing skills?
    cchen lot of good insight here. While i'm not drawing (they would be stick figures at best), i am fascinated at new and unique clothing construction materials. I'm not sure if an actual clothing designer would be my best fit, but maybe something that has some type of creative role. CouttsClient: I have thought about entering fashion PR. my previous PR gig was in high-tech where i couldn't stand writing about and pitching the type of clients on our roster. I was however, extremely good at it. Anyone have any insight on the difficulty of entering Fashion PR with nothing but a strong knowledge of fashion, and a PR/Marketing degree? The fact i left PR for real estate for 2 years isnt exactly a good resume booster either.
     
  11. CouttsClient

    CouttsClient Well-Known Member

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    The ability to get the job in fashion PR will be based on a number of variables...

    Are you willing to work 16hr days for free? If so, you might get a job fairly soon. A close friend owns a succesful fashion PR firm and they hire students all the time with no experience. Their success is entirely linked to how willing they are to work when others are crying and ready to leave the office.

    Can you really survive the cruel world of fashion? Everyone is out to get ahead and they will lie, cheat, and steal from you to make themselves look good. If you're on the wrong side of the issue you will be fired.

    Are you financially ready to make $0 for 6-12 months?
     
  12. downwithianbrown

    downwithianbrown Well-Known Member

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    that was my question. Do you have any connections in fashion? or did you quit your job to walk into offices and drop off resumes?
     
  13. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you should work in media. You get free stuff.
     
  14. fredfred

    fredfred Well-Known Member

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    I'm sort of talking outta my derriere here, but I would think success in the PR field would be based upon how much publicity I garner for my client(s). I.e., how may times do I get him mentioned in (vogue, NY times, WSJ, elle, W, etc..).

    When I wanted to get some publicity for myself I came up with a unique story... and (long story short) ended up being talked about by Regis Philban on his morning show. I did it 100% by myself.

    If I wanted to do fashion PR in New York... I'd hang up my own shingle. (start my own shop). You need a rolodex of contacts to pitch your stories to. Then you need client(s). Then you need good stories. They always need material.

    I'd wander the streets of the east village and williamsburg (who was involved in that knock off fasion show there during fashion week?). I'd hit the small boutiques and say, "I have an offer you can't refuse. I'll do some PR for you for absolutely dirt cheap. I'll come up with a strategy, a story, and pitch it to the press for you. That'll I'll all do for you for free... you just cover costs for mailings, press release distribution, etc.. So you get me as a PR employee for free for 3 months. We'll get success, I get success stories. "

    YOUR goal is to use them to get publicity for YOU. When you walk in somewhere 6 months down the road and say "Did you hear about X?" - I ran their campaign. I can do the same for you.

    Then transition these people to a retainer fee per month plus costs situation. Have a plan for them (you can re-use the plan by tweaking for each client). They don't know about advanced scheduling for the "September issue" etc.. You can give them value.

    THEN you pitch a story in the NY area that talks about... the fashion PR King. The man BEHIND the fashion stories. Somebody will eat that story up. Everybody likes "behind the scenes" stories.

    You need outrageous and/or interesting stories for your clients. The press/media needs good material. Give it to them.
     
  15. Da Luis Vuitton Don

    Da Luis Vuitton Don Well-Known Member

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    The rotten apple
    more importantly: it took you this long to come out of the closet [​IMG]
     
  16. WoodyStylee

    WoodyStylee Well-Known Member

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    fredfred: lots of good info here.

    I have a mediocre contact at Gilt, and a couple small designer friends that dont make any money. I did PR for about 1 year after college. Could I assume that 1 year experience and a rockstar reference from my old boss would get me in the door in an entry level position? I'd be living in NYC, so I could probably scrape by on $45k, maybe $40k - is that fairly typical of the salaries for a entry level fashion PR job?

    Also, no I dont have money saved. I'd need to find something what was salary, or at least a paid internship where i can bartend nights.
     
  17. CouttsClient

    CouttsClient Well-Known Member

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    fredfred: lots of good info here.

    I have a mediocre contact at Gilt, and a couple small designer friends that dont make any money. I did PR for about 1 year after college. Could I assume that 1 year experience and a rockstar reference from my old boss would get me in the door in an entry level position? I'd be living in NYC, so I could probably scrape by on $45k, maybe $40k - is that fairly typical of the salaries for a entry level fashion PR job?

    Also, no I dont have money saved. I'd need to find something what was salary, or at least a paid internship where i can bartend nights.



    I don't think you'll get that
     
  18. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    Since I'm trying to do the same thing, it's ALL about connections. I'm currently working retail here in NYC and while the money, especially with season starting makes for a passable living, getting from the sales floor (even with 2 degrees, buying / planning experience, excel / database expertise and ) is very hard... to say nothing of the fact that you have no retail experience or experience with clothing.

    The amount of morons that working in buying and planning where I work is un-fucking-believable. Sr. Assistant shoe buyers that don't know what a Goodyear welt is. Assistant and associate clothing buyers that don't know what a curtained waistband is, etc.. and they don't understand Excel, to say nothing of basic algebra. They aren't even able to pair looks together intradepartmental, to say nothing of cross-departemental. But, they knew someone and got the job.

    And as aforementioned, people will lie, cheat and steal to screw you, so you better be good at escalation, but hopefully if you have intelligence that should help you outmaneuver what comes at you.
     
  19. Flambeur

    Flambeur Well-Known Member

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    more importantly: it took you this long to come out of the closet
    [​IMG]


    This would be much funnier if we were all 15 and semi-retarded. Except we're not.
     
  20. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    This would be much funnier if we were all 15 and semi-retarded. Except we're not.

    This.

    Plus, the poaster's name is 'Da Luis Vuitton Don' [​IMG]
     

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