Breaking into the world of fashion can prove to be an extremely difficult task no matter whether you want to design clothes, work for a designer, style celebrities, or write about the newest fashions on the runway. You can expect to work long hours and not make a killing instantly or even ever. Tuesday night Nanette Lepore shared some of her secrets with a group of eager students from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
She provided four points of advice for the students based of her own experience of breaking in the biz.
1. Be prepared to make sacrifices.
Lepore said that after graduating from FIT, her father took out a $100,000 mortgage to help her start her brand and lost it all. In the early years, she said that she work long hours with small pay. Her husband worked tirelessly as a waiter and they put off starting a family together so she could focus on her career. If you are interested in working in the fashion industry, be prepared to give up a lot. It is not an easy task, but it can be done through commitment and perseverance.
2. Don’t pay attention to those who doubt you, but rather focus on the race.
The talented designer said that the best advice she had ever been given was from a fellow designer who told her, “Put your blinders on. You’re in a horse race. Look straight ahead. Don’t pay attention. Who cares about those other people?” I think this is great advice for student pursuing a variety of jobs because it is vital to not let other discourage you, but to run your own race.
3. Don’t forget the customer.
She told Elle that this is something that designers often forget. They get caught up in the runway aspect of the fashion and forget that their customers, their fan base is what keeps their brand running and profitable. She told Elle, “Realize that the ultimate goal is to have the customer; not worry about the fashion show and all those things. Work on a product and hone your product, and really have something valuable to put out there for the public to want.” It is really
4. Love what you do.
I think this point is important for any job you wish to pursue. If you don’t love what you do, you won’t be the best at it. Lepore shared that she is still motivated by the same passion that she had when she first started off. “It’s really rewarding when you see people in your clothing and when the coolest girl you’ve met likes your clothes,” she said.
What do you think of Nanette Lepore’s words of wisdom? Are there any that you would like to share? Tweet @emcblueTags: advice, Fashion Industry, fit, how to, Nanette Lepore