Breaking in the Fashion Industry | What Do You Do?

I thought I’d be fun to kick off the week with a Q&A post about what I do job wise, how I’ve gotten to the position I’m in now, and where I plan on going. Later on this week I’ll be featuring a fellow blogger that I teamed up with so I figured why not start with my own Q&A with some off topic questions about life!

Where did I go to school?

I went to FIDM/ Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in San Francisco. I studied Merchandise Marketing, then I continued to complete my Bachelors in Business Management. I actually applied my junior year of high school, got in, so I pretty much had my life set, so senior year was a breeze. FIDM was the only school I applied to and was my #1 choice.

Why fashion? Why FIDM?

I’m not one of those people who’ve been into fashion their entire lives. If you knew me when I was younger it was actually quite the opposite. I didn’t care about the way I looked or fashion or anything girly really. It wasn’t until high school that I started caring about what I wore or makeup. Since I went to a private Catholic high school, I had to wear a uniform which I hated. So I started experimenting with different ways to be unique, which is when fashion came into my life. This was also a time where I was going through a very difficult point in my life, so fashion and makeup were kind of my “safety place” if you will. So I started doing tons of research to see if I could make this a career, maybe I could be behind the scenes of runway or become a celebrity stylist. Who knows right?!

I chose FIDM because I was one of those fan girls who saw Lauren Conrad go there and I thought if she went there it must be a good school right? After tons of research and visiting the campus, I knew this was the school for me so I applied and got in!

How’d you pick your major?

The woman who I went through the application with actually helped me decide on a major. It’s pretty common for people not to know what major to choose, and may people tend to switch their major once they begin school. I knew I wanted to study the business aspect of fashion because I’ve always loved math and I figured that was the best major for me since I wasn’t 100% sure where my career was going. Luckily I did since I chose to go into the buying industry, which is heavily focused on analytics and analysis.

Why become a buyer?

I chose buying because honestly I love to shop! Buying is shopping for someone else basically (this is a very simplified version of the job), and I’d never turn down a shopping trip. Of course buying includes analysis, lots of calculations, and looking at market research, but it’s also so fun to pick the clothes that your customers are going to buy. The first time I saw my product in a store, I freaked out and took tons of pictures because it a lot of work and seeing it in the store made it all worth it!

Where do you work and what’s your position?

I currently work at Sears Holdings as an assistant buyer. Hoping to get promoted soon 🙂

Any advice in getting in the fashion industry?

First off, get a LinkedIn! You need this in order to get you name and face out there. I also highly suggest you do as many internships, apprenticeships, and jobs as you can so that you can test drive the different career paths your thinking of. I’ve done many fashion shows, retail jobs, internships, and everything in between until I finally landed on buying, but had I not tried out different things I could’ve been stuck in a job I didn’t like verses a career that I love.

Let me know down below if you have any other questions! Hope this helps, I know I could’ve used more advice while I was applying for colleges.

Marah Renee

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