BAZAAR Career: How to Get Your First Job in Fashion

Photography: Erica Cohen

Photography: Erica Cohen

 

Fashion is one of those industries that can seem near impossible to enter—whether your dream is to become an editor, stylist, designer, photographer, creative director, buyer, publicist… (okay, so there are a lot of options). Even here, we get emails every day asking about potential internships, opportunities to freelance and possible jobs. And we get it; we’ve been there. Getting your foot in the door is the ultimate challenge, which will lead (fingers crossed) to the ultimate reward: your dream job. So we started asking around because everyone has to start somewhere. Herein, how people who work at some of our favourite companies in fashion, from Net-A-Porter and Moda Operandi to Teen Vogue and Paper Magazine, talk about how they got in the door and what they look for when they’re hiring. Prepare your resumés accordingly, friends!

 

Photography: Nikki Erwin

Photography: Nikki Erwin

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Sophie Quy, Fine Jewellery Buyer, Net-a-Porter

Image: The Covetuer

 

“My first proper internship in fashion was working for Adam Lippes in the summer of 2007 in New York City. It was an invigorating experience and Adam was hugely inspiring. I got a glimpse of how a brand truly operates at all levels, and most importantly, saw the sales team in action. I was able to watch the sales team interact with all of the buyers who came to the showroom. Watching them in action made me realize I absolutely had to become a buyer. As soon as I got back to London, I got a job at Harrods as a personal shopper, which I loved. After a year of working in personal shopping, I got a job as a buyer’s clerk for jewellery and accessories. I worked my way up the rungs (it took five years), and moved to Net-A-Porter three and a half years ago as the jewellery and fine jewellery buyer.

 

Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom. It gives you the most amazing perspective, and understanding—you get to learn the ins and outs of every process, and, more importantly, you get to know everyone in the business. Learn from everyone you meet, and take the time to get to know them. You never know who you might need to call a favour from or ask for help at some point. Don’t give up, don’t lose sight of where you want to get to and have fun. It helps you work the crazy hours you might need to along the way.

 

I look for someone who is interested and excited about the industry and prospective job. Passion and drive is the essential groundwork to your career, the rest you can learn as you go.”

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