From High School to High Fashion
- BY: SARAH SWIFT
- Apr. 17, 2017
While high school might leave you feeling like you’re in your own little bubble, it’s never too early to start laying the foundations for a budding fashion career. Whether you want to work in design, write for a fashion magazine or are still exploring your interests, here are some ways in which you can set yourself up for a successful start in the fashion industry.
If you have an idea of what you’d like to pursue post-graduation, start researching different pathways that focus on your interests. Gauging the different tertiary options available to you will allow you to start shaping up what your schedule will look like in the future. Do you want to study design full-time? Are you interested in the business side of things? Do you want a flexible course that takes a wholistic approach to fashion? Being informed about the different pathways available - traditional universities, private colleges, TAFE and vocational courses - is the best place to start. Research and understand your options, see which ones align best with your lifestyle, interests and budget, and you can reach out from there.
If you’re not sure what area of the industry you’re interested in, don’t stress! Knowing what options are available can give you a little insight into careers you might not have considered, or areas of study that cover a broader range of topics pertinent to the industry.
It’s not simply enough to say you love “fashion” - it’s such a broad concept after all! Figuring out what exactly it is you love about the industry help set the tone for everything you do post-graduation. Consume as much as you can - read magazines, interviews and blogs, watch fashion documentaries and films, and pore over photography and design books. The more you consume fashion, the more you’ll understand what you love about it. Is it the creativity? Is it the hustle? The universality? A combination of all these, or something else entirely? Hone in on these interests, as they’ll likely influence what you decide to pursue in the future.
Hands-on experience is one of the best ways to learn and grow within the industry. Finding ways to get involved while working around your high school study schedule can be tricky, but it’s possible. If you’re in a position to choose elective subjects, areas like textiles, design and computing are a great way to build vital skills while still at school. Plenty of fashion events happen on the weekends, and putting your hand up to volunteer lets you get a behind-the-scenes look at different areas of the industry, and boost your CV in the process.
If you know anyone who’s already involved in the industry - be it an older sibling or friend studying fashion, a local designer or career mentor - don’t be afraid to reach out. Hearing about someone else’s experiences and having the opportunity to ask them questions can help clarify your own ideas or develop new ones. It can also be a great way to clear up any misconceptions about the industry before you dive in (yes, we like to eat; no, we’re not mean and scary!). Find as many ways to get involved as you can - the earlier you start, the smoother your transition into the fashion industry will be.