Do you concentrate more on choosing an outfit in the morning than your job when you actually get to the office? If so, chances are you’ll have dreamed of working in fashion. We caught up with three people who got their wish, to find out how it’s done.
Beth Maskell, Designer
Beth Maskell, 26, went down the traditional route to get her job. She did a degree in fashion design at the University of Central Lancashire, did a placement at Reebok and then applied for a job at boutique jacket and accessories site I Love 2 Love (il2l.com).
When she’s at work, Maskell can be found researching catwalk trends, sketching designs, looking for inspiration in galleries and sourcing her fabrics. And that’s all before they’re made. She’ll order the pieces from factories and work on samples they send through, sending them back two or three times. It goes to show, designing those threads you’re wearing is a hefty process.
But being creative is what Maskell loves best about the job. “In junior school, if there was anything old in the house that I could chop up and try to attach back together, I would,” she says.
Her top tip? Keeping a portfolio and staying on top of fashion at all times. “When you go to an interview you’ll show that it does interest you. But if it’s something you enjoy, it just comes naturally,” she adds.
Tom Walker, Founder of vintage clothing website
When he finished school, Tom Walker, 20, decided to make a go of his side venture, clothing website Headlock Vintage (headlockvintage.co.uk). Two years on, it’s a full-time gig, with international orders being placed.
“Fashion had always been an interest and I’d always liked buying clothes. I thought I’d give it a go and see what I could do with it,” he says.
“It wasn’t like I’d studied fashion or anything, it was pure interest. Now it’s full time, often every day, working long hours, but I’d rather be doing this than working for someone else. I enjoy it.”
Walker’s days always vary – splitting his time between the wholesaler’s, adding to the website and travelling around the country. Right now, he’s selling his wares on the Freshers’ Week circuit, and, this summer, trading has got him entry to festivals like End of the Road and Kendal Calling.
Nikki Evans, Stylist and editor
Stylist and fashion editor Nikki Evans, 26, has always been into clothes. “When I was a little girl I used to sketch outfits I was going to buy from the shops,” she says.
Her earliest fashion memory is being dressed like a doll by her little sister when she was a child. But now it’s her styling other people for photo shoots for desireclothing.co.uk.
Clothes from the website have even been worn by girls from reality show of the moment The Only Way Is Essex as well as on Britain And Ireland’s Next Top Model.
No day is the same for Evans – sometimes she’s writing a newsletter for the site’s subscribers or fashion pieces for national magazines and other days she’s creating celebrity looks to upload on to the website or working on choosing the clothes and props for their seasonal fashion shoots. And in between that, she’ll be updating all the site’s social media. It’s busy, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love working in fashion. It’s always what I’ve wanted to do. You’re more free to do what you want to do and you’ve got more creative input.”
Evans started off doing a degree in fashion styling and photography in Manchester, aiming to go further down the photography route, but was soon tempted further into styling as there seemed to be more demand.
Her words of advice for anyone wanting a job in fashion? “I think experience means a lot. I don’t necessarily think you need a degree if you can get into a fashion company as a coffee girl and build up from there, I think you can go just as far.”
Other jobs in fashion
Garment technologist Make sure clothes fit properly.
Buyer Travel around sourcing materials and number crunching.
Pattern cutter Spend your days snipping fabrics.
Product tester Try on clothes for a living.
Model Flounce around in lovely clothes. Vomiting and diva fits are optional.
Dresser Be the person who puts models into clothes for catwalk shows. No, really.
Words: Clare Vooght