Many of the world’s foremost designers, including Karl Lagerfeld, Perry Ellis and Michael Kors, have been men. Likewise, several up and coming young designers are male, including Jason Wu, a favourite of former first lady Michelle Obama.
Nonetheless, fashion has traditionally been viewed as a primarily female-oriented career. In recent years, establishing a career in the fashion industry has become more accessible than ever, for both men and women, largely due to the influence and availability of social media.
Gaining Relevant Experience
Entrepreneurial types may find an avenue into the industry by partnering with an established brand or company, either full-time or part-time.
For example, along with obtaining industry knowledge, when direct selling, independent business owners determine their own schedules and develop individual clienteles (essential in the fashion industry). As such, both males and females gain valuable experience in marketing and cultivating a following.
Nonetheless, Amway is not a name that usually comes to mind in association with fashion. Although many people are familiar with their vitamins and supplements, people are often surprised to learn that answering the question “What is Amway?” involves not only listing supplements and sports energy drinks, but also includes high quality
Artistry brand cosmetics and skin care products for both men and women — products that are not available in stores. Learning to promote a product, brand or new style in a new way will be a key takeaway learned here.
Breaking into the Fashion Industry
Back in the day, fashion was largely limited to glamorous runway shows and the pages of thick, glossy magazines. People who aspired toward fashion careers were attractive young women, and to a lesser extent, attractive young men.
Cultural shifts have made careers in fashion viable for many individuals who do not fit the traditional mold, including plus size models, mature models and others who look like everyday people.
Nonetheless, breaking into the fashion industry still presents a challenge that requires persistence and thinking outside the box. Those who aspire to positions in fashion must obtain experience wherever opportunity presents itself, including less-than-glamorous sales positions in sales or jobs in the stockroom.
Social Media Branding in Fashion
Trends such as real-time buying and social media influencers have removed much of the mystique of fashion. In addition, social media allows prospective designers and merchandisers to reach larger audiences than was possible in previous decades.
Platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram allow everyday people to purchase fresh-off-the-runway looks online from their computers, tablets or even their mobile phones.
Even more significant, social media platforms allow tech savvy individuals to market their designs and merchandise directly to the public.
There is simply no rival to social media for reaching an audience of hundreds (if not thousands) of potential buyers with little or no financial expense, through business-related posts or inexpensive social media advertising.
Indirect Social Media Promotion
In addition, social media posts can also accomplish branding through indirect self-promotion. Posts illustrating presence at trendy fashion premiers, trying out new fabrics and skincare products and attending — or better yet, presenting at industry-related trade shows — conveys the message of being knowledgeable and on-trend in the field, without the need for overt advertising.
Cultivating a professional image on business-oriented platforms such as LinkedIn and Slack through thoughtful industry-related posts, comments and engagement with influential figures is invaluable in gaining and nurturing contacts in any field, including fashion and grooming.
Other platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook can be instrumental in promoting an individual’s clothing or jewelry designs, cosmetics and skincare products or other fashion-related merchandise.
This doesn’t mean sticking to stiff, strictly business posed shots. On the contrary, posts that involve engaging in sporting events or artistic endeavors give the impression of approachable, well-rounded individuals.