Do You Have The Traits Needed For A Career in Fashion?
Expectations Vs. Reality
With a proper education, tremendous love of fashion and devout following of the latest trends, it wouldn’t be too hard to enter this field of occupation. Whether you can survive in the industry is another story.
Many people associate high-end fashion careers with glamour, an attractive income and perhaps opportunities to mingle with celebrities. The reality, nevertheless, is not quite as glitzy for the majority of those employed in the fashion industry. Many have entered their career with high hopes and a huge smile on their face. In actuality, only some succeed and keep on smiling.
Before taking your passion for fashion to the next level, ask yourself this question.
Do I have the traits needed for a successful career in the fashion industry?
Must needed traits include: Creativity, Meticulous Attention to Detail, Self-Motivation, Strong Communication Skills, Thick Skin and Knack for Networking.
If you don’t possess at least three of these characteristics, your chance of excelling in this fast-paced industry could be pretty slim.
Never assume that creativity is only important for those who want to become a designer. If that’s what you think, you don’t have a good grasp of this industry at all. This characteristic is crucial for most fashion jobs. Fashion designers, of course, have to be very creative with their designs. Those in fashion PR must be consistent in coming up with a sizable amount of ideas to promote brands and products. Fashion show producers need to have a great sense of visual aesthetics and a vivid imagination, while fashion journalists must be extremely crafty with their words.
You can’t exclude retail business from this category. Creativity plays a crucial role in the merchandise display design and sales strategies, which also includes problem solving. You must be highly creative with the ability to drive brands forward through innovative visual schemes and concepts.
Meticulous Attention to Detail
A misstep in the production process, no matter how big or small, always leads to a waste of time and budget. Precision in every detail is something the production crew must take to heart. Whether it be on set at a fashion shoot or on the runway, this characteristic is immensely important. Sometimes, backstage crew members literally have just a few seconds to get the models ready for their next walk. Their routine duties usually include preparing the outfits, providing the right accessories, and making sure hair and makeup are good to go. Since time is limited, the pressure is heightened, so those who are not detail-oriented are more prone to blunders. No designer would be happy to see their models on the catwalk with mismatched earrings or a big gash in their skirt.
Visual merchandising is another career path where every detail is strategic and important. You must have a strong sensitivity for the fashion world and new trends, an extraordinary taste and aesthetical sense “an eye trained to appreciate and create beauty” in order to communicate the “tale” of the brand worldly. His/her creativity and perception of what is beauty and new will add an extra value to the product conceived by the Fashion Designer, in order to attract the final consumer and create business.
To succeed in a fashion career, you must be exceptionally self-motivated with the spirit of an entrepreneur. There are various aspects in this industry that have made a lot of people lose their courage and decide to quit. Some fashion jobs have unpredictable hours and could make you feel as though your work is taking over your life. If you’re a new designer, you can never be sure whether your designs will ever be successful. Seeing that something you have worked on for months turn out to be a big failure can really crush your spirit. Plus, since the industry can be awfully hard to break into, so many fashion designers, photographers and stylists simply have to become freelancers. This usually results in a lack of financial security and high stress. Some fashion freelancers may have to accept every job that comes their way even if they have to sacrifice their holiday plans or compromise their creativity to suit their customers’ expectations. That’s why self-motivation isn’t just a good trait to have. It is a must.
On the other side of the industry, some fashion careers, such as retail sales and fashion education, can be pretty repetitive and mundane. Without a constant drive to come up with great sales strategies or fascinating lesson plans, working in these jobs could make a person very, very miserable.
Strong Communication Skills
The fashion industry is not a one-man show. The process of creating one single dress, for example, can involve a large group of people, including a designer, textile specialist, fabric technician, production manager, print designer, pattern maker, material supplier and several tailors. All these crew members must be able to communicate and coordinate with one another effectively, or else endless mistakes may occur during the production process.
Likewise, runway shows, fashion magazines, photo shoots, clothing stores and PR campaigns are all essentially dependent on first-rate teamwork. Even if you want to go solo as a freelance designer or personal stylist, you still have to be able to communicate with your clients, thoroughly understand what they want, and articulate your ideas in a professional and convincing manner.
People are quick to criticize but not so inclined to praise. The typical work atmosphere, especially in high-end companies, can be very cut-throat; oftentimes your colleagues are also your competitors. If you work for a runway production team, PR company or retail business, you may have to deal with difficult clients and bosses who have absurdly unrealistic expectations. No matter how hard you try to accommodate their needs, while going above and beyond the call of duty, they might still petulantly compare your work to a pile of excrement! If you don’t think you can handle harsh criticisms and finicky people, you may want to consider a different field of careers.
Knack for Networking
In the business of fashion it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. No matter where you stand in your career you must always be networking. This requires a natural flair. Not only do you need to be a social butterfly, you must be strategic in building lasting relationships with the industry professionals you encounter. The ability to clearly convey your career goals with someone face to face shows that you are serious about your craft. Despite what you might think, the fashion industry is a rather small world.