Style Files | A beginner's guide to breaking into the fashion industry

I was 11 years old when I first felt drawn to fashion. I had always been the girl who watched her mother apply a feline flick of eyeliner with awe. I had even strutted all over the living room in her favorite stilettos. With a background like that, an indescribable pull towards fashion was unsurprising. Pages full of clothing sketches slowly led to a keen style eye and further, to a love for the written word.

Dayle Pereira of the blog Style File showcases her personal style in an outfit post of a navy blue Forever 21 bustier, a Forvever 21 rhinestone hairband and a straight long bob

Almost a decade later, breaking into fashion is one of the best decisions I've ever made because I cannot imagine myself in any other place than this. I've been fortunate enough to work in many areas of the industry from the editorial department to digital marketing so my journey is one of exploration and growth. While it is considered the most glamourous field to work in, there's a lot more to it. So if you are looking to find your feet in the fashion industry, whether it be as a stylist, journalist, designer or blogger, read on to know how my insight can help you build your career in fashion.

Do it for the right reasons
Don't get into fashion because it seems like the cool choice. Don't do it because of the freebies and gift bags. Don't do it because it seems glamourous. Do it because you want to. Do it because you're passionate about styling a client, even if it means visiting 20 stores. Do it because you can't wait to write about a collection showcase, even if it's 3am. Do it because you have an original opinion and you want it to be heard on social media. If you make sure you get into fashion for the right reasons, it will bear fruit.

Designer wear brand Pero showcases their collection of lace and flower crowns on the runway at Lakme Fashion Week at St. Regis, Mumbai

Knowledge is power
No matter if you are directly connected to industry developments or are just an observer, ensure that you have a deep understanding of the field. Imagine the irony of talking about your favorite designer when you aren't even sure of what the designer is famed for. It may seem like a minute detail but when you have knowledge of your industry, the possibilities are endless. When a new fashion season occurs, make it a point to browse the new collections, celebrity muses and runway trends. With resources like Google and social media at your fingertips, remember that neither age nor experience is a good enough excuse for being clueless. Be a know-it-all because knowing your field of work is powerful enough to open many doors for you.

Take your interview seriously
Regardless if you've been to heaps of interviews and aced them all, don't take your fashion interview lightly as it could make or break your career. Go the extra mile and indulge in some interview prep with possible questions that you could be faced with. Buff up your resume by taking a short-term course or workshop in your desired field. Use your summers wisely by applying for internships or freelance projects. Thankfully, fashion is a kind industry when it comes to a dress code for the interview so you can experiment with light patterns, sensible skirts and pastel shades without going overboard.

Meryl Streep stars as Miranda Priestly in the Hollywood movie The Devil Wears Prada and gives Andy Sachs who is played by Anne Hathaway, a look after a makeover

It isn't like the movies
While some days in fashion may seem glossy and straight out of The Devil Wears Prada, remember that this is real life and not a movie. No one lets you raid the accessory closet full of Chanel and you (hopefully) won't be sent on a scavenger hunt for an unpublished manuscript. There will be days when you've got a to-do list that could fill a notebook. There will be days where work only ends sometime past 2am. There will even be days where a task needs to redone 4 times until it's done right. It can be maddening and exhausting but somewhere in the midst of it, you will realise that this is exactly where you are meant to be.

Dayle Pereira of the blog Style File showcases her personal style in an outfit of a navy blue Forever 21 bustier, a Forvever 21 rhinestone hairband, Forever 21 floral print maxi skirt, gladiator sandals, crossbody bag and a straight long bob

Have a voice
Along with the right knowledge being crucial to your future career, the ability to have an opinion is just as important, if not more so. Read up on issues that pertain to your industry and put yourself in their shoes. Analyze the latest happenings and build an opinion on it as well as the ability to convey it politely. Turn to twitter to discuss what's making news with other like-minded individuals and opinion makers. It's okay if your opinion isn't the popular one, as long as it's yours. When it comes to finding yourself a voice; remember that herds are for cattle, not you. As personal opinions reveal the independence and confidence of a person, make sure that yours is a reflection of your thoughts and knowledge and you can be sure that the future will be bright.

I do hope my experience helps you build your career so do let me know your thoughts on the post!



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