An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Working in Fashion

An entrepreneur’s guide to working in fashion

Eva Chen on working in the fashion industry

Fashion is arguably one of the oldest and most dynamic professions; possessing the ability to not only withstand the changing times, but change with the times. We have been able to witness trends come and go, while elegant classics never fade.  Make no mistake; such achievements are no mean feat. In order to make your mark in the fashion world as an entrepreneur, there are steps that must be followed.  Going in blind is a rookie mistake.

Fortunately, those who have made it as successful fashion entrepreneurs have been so kind as to share their words of wisdom and harsh truths about the industry. One of the most important things to remember as an up-and-comer is to not reinvent the wheel. There are a plethora of resources waiting to be tapped into in order to help you grow as an entrepreneur in the fashion world. Here we have helped you skip a few steps by rounding up a few of the most important points. So begins your fashion forward journey.

1. Have a support team in place.

No man is an island.  Taking on the fashion world with the hopes of becoming self-made (ironically) cannot be done alone. It is imperative that you have a solid team in place. This is commonly mistaken with a business team. Please do not misunderstand. A solid business team is highly important. However, when the business is finished for the day, there must be someone whom you can confide in from time to time. There must be those who are not only willing to hear your ideas and aspirations, but also your fears and angst of what’s to come.  Keeping such things bottled up can be toxic to any businessman or woman trying to make their way in the fashion world.

2. Have a solid business plan.

Usually, it isn’t the fashion that the fashion entrepreneur has an issue with wrapping their head around. The aspiring fashion entrepreneur has the passion and vision necessary to make the dreams a reality. Unfortunately it takes more than passion and vision to fund the dream. The dream needs finances. The dream needs investors. In order to gain investors, the dream needs a logical and flexible business plan. Financial investors have to be reassured by the business plan. Asking them to simply fund your ideas and hope for the best simply will not do. The business plan must be able to show where investments are going, how your business is going to succeed (i.e. make money), and when they as investors can expect repayment. The business plan must be a testament to your dedication to your future as a fashion entrepreneur.

3. Promote your brand.

The work ethic and business plan are all for naught if you are incapable of bringing attention to the work you are doing. Publicity can be one of the most powerful allies one could have in the fashion world. Knowing your way around advertising and monopolizing exposure of your brand is key. The World Wide Web had done a great deal of the work. The online communities necessary for quality fashion brand exposure can be easily found without much issue. It is your job as the entrepreneur to make noticeable and memorable impressions. Communicate with bloggers, vloggers, and writers alike to help put your brand’s name on the map. Stay consistent in your communication with these communities. Keep them abreast of your work and what’s to come in the future.

This is just the start of your journey, but it is a quality start. You are well on your way to making you mark in the fashion industry. These steps are fundamental to the start and growth of your business and brand. So many simply have the talent and vision to be the next fashion forward superstar, but in this day and age it takes so much more than that. You will need a mind for business, branding, and PR. With such, you will be an unstoppable force in the making. Here’s to a fashionable future!

Jalen Carpenter

Jalen Carpenter is a current Master in Science of Global Health candidate at the University of Notre Dame in the United States. Jalen received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Saint Mary of-the-Woods College in the United States, also, Writing is one of her passions aside from her academic studies. Lifestyle, fashion and photography journalism are also things she aspires to do one in the future. Jalen currently curates the Phoenix Rise Tumblr blog as well as contributes to Your Coffee Break. When she isn’t studying or writing, she is re-reading English literature novels and listening to music with family and friends.