First Jobs of Fashion Icons

  • Career
    First Jobs of Fashion Icons


In our world of instant gratification and stories of overnight sensations, it can be easy to forget that career success is often a slow-burn that requires patience and perseverance. Ahead, we look at the formative first roles of some of today’s fashion icons.

Rick Owens
After studying fashion design at Otis College of Art and Design, and pattern-making and draping at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, Owens worked as a pattern-maker for designer dupes.

Kelly Cutrone
Before making her mark on LA and launching People’s Revolution in 1996, Cutrone started her career as an assistant to renowned New York publicist Susan Blond.

Grace Coddington
While the stylist and former creative director has spent much of her career producing some of the fashion industry’s most recognisable imagery, Coddington began her fashion journey in front of the lens, winning the ‘Young Model’ category of a Vogue model competition in her late teens.

Marc Jacobs
Jacobs’ worked as a stockhand at the age of 15, replenishing shelves at Charivari, an avant-garde clothing store in New York City

Kate Spade
After returning from a post-graduation sojourn in Europe, Spade sought employment through an agency and landed a job at Condé Nast, staying on as an assistant to a senior fashion editor before moving her way up the ranks at Mademoiselle magazine.

Eva Chen
After graduating from John Hopkins University in 2001, Chen worked in the credits department of Lucky magazine, tasked wth cataloguing the prices and sellers for products featured in the magazine.

Emilia Wickstead
Before launching her eponymous label at the tender age of 24, New Zealand-born designer Emilia Wickstead cut her teeth interning at Provenza Schouler, Narciso Rodriguez and Vogue.

Joseph Altuzarra

After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2004 with a BA in Art and Art History, Altuzarra interned at Marc Jacobs, worked as a freelance designer for Proenza Schouler, honed his technical construction skills as an apprentice for pattern-maker Nicolas Caïto (former head of the Rochas atelier), and worked in Paris as first assistant to Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy.

Bryan Grey Yambao
Before his namesake fashion blog Bryanboy took off, Yambao worked as a web developer to pay the bills.

Image Sources:


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