The fashion industry is often idealized as a glamorous world of runways and cocktail parties, attracting bounds of students and young professionals to fashion public relations. But before you’re enticed by its glitzy portrayal, Jennifer Brown, strategic communications consultant and fashion PR insider, offers first-hand experience that dispels the stereotypical lifestyle.
Brown encouraged us to think beyond “sexy” when it comes to the fashion world, and beyond New York City. If you fantasize about a career with Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, or Dilliard’s, you should be open to locating to their headquarters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Arkansas, respectively.
Crises still erupt in the industry, as Brown illustrated by the recent faux pas of Celebboutique.com. In the aftermath of the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting, Celebboutique.com notoriously tweeted that the trending #Aurora hashtag must be due to their new Aurora dress. The mishap echoed around the online world, and demonstrated the need for savvy and informed fashion PR professionals to both manage social media, and to save the company’s image in not-so-glamorous times.
If your passion truly lies in fashion, it should outlive the need for bright lights and red carpets. In this case, dive right in by creating a relationship with the brand you aspire to represent.
Brown motivated us to become an expert in our chosen brand. Buy its products. Wear its products. Blog about its products. Her primary advice: work as a “shop girl/boy” in the store during your college years. We’re all looking to scrape together money, so why not do so in a way that offers you a new perspective on the fashion industry. The insight you gather will put you at a competitive advantage during the job hunt, and showcase your zeal for the fashion world.
Overall, don’t fall for stereotypes. Make sure you feel passionate for the true nature of an industry before you devote yourself to it, for passion ultimately inspires the best work.