Those trying to break into the fashion industry – especially the fashion graduates of 2020 – are currently left in a difficult go-between. The most coveted jobs are extremely scarce and come with great cost attached. The financial implications of trying to make it in the fashion industry can be overwhelming and prohibitive, even more so given the pandemic climate. How is it possible to break into the fashion industry and what do we need from the latest batch of graduates?
There is a long-standing argument that fashion itself is insular because it continues to favour those who already have their foot in the door. Equipment, resources and production fees don’t often come cheap, often constrained by small budgets and modest payslips. The good news is that creatives no longer need to go through the process of finding an agency and getting signed in order to make their mark, there are plenty of cheap or free tools at your disposal. Social media in particular has enabled many creative careers because they have an immediate public platform – if your images have never been displayed or shared anywhere else, it’s all the better. Draw on the existing range of existing cultural references in order to reach out to possible collaborators. Having a tight-knit team is essential to making high-quality work you’re passionate about, acting as a calling card for new projects later on. This personal work allows you to make without the restrictions a commercial brief might bring along with it, establishing that all-important ‘personal voice’. As much as you should continue to look to the future, keep the hunger to create, alongside a DIY mentality and an ability to look to what is immediate accessible.
Graduates are already taking these ideas and running with them, unable to immediately take part in the physical act of a fashion show. Modelling their wares in back gardens rather than studios, there is an opportunity for graduates hired to tap into a new wealth of knowledge and broader post-pandemic skills. Stuck in a period of uncertainty, many have the advantage of being more technologically capable than those before them, fulfilling the needs for the new kinds of analysts, designers and marketers we want now. There is also the chance to capitalise on the sustainable side, expected to gain increasing traction post-crisis. Bridging the gap between the personal and professional could prove to be a huge asset for anyone starting out – keeping the fire, utilising what’s there can help to keep all doors open.
Photo source: https://www.pexels.com/@pixabay