How To Make Money in Fashion

In this industry, it is not hard to find a job, but it’s pretty difficult to find a paying job let alone a job that will eventually make you rich. To do that you have to really love what you do, so you can put your heart into it even you don’t see results immediately.

Below I’ll share a few tricks I’ve picked up that you can apply tailored to the stage you are at in your (future) career.

Post High School: Many people enter college with a fashion design major when they are fresh out of high school. You’ve probably seen Project Runway or read a glamorous article in Vogue about the lavish lifestyles of designers. You should try to replace those ideas with real-world experience as soon as possible. Look into interning for a fashion company before applying to college for Fashion Design. This can be as simple as interning with a local wedding dress designer or volunteering with a school theatre troupe to work on costumes. Design courses can get expensive, and it’s important to know if you want to do the work before investing your time and money in that major. “Time is money” is a phrase I’m sure you’ve heard before, but it is especially true in the fashion industry when missing a deadline by a day can mean not making a sale for an entire season. Intern first so you don’t end up wasting $50,000 and a few years of your life to work in retail!

During College: If you are in college for Fashion Design right now and you’re not happy with what are you doing, you need to stop, think carefully what you really want to do, then act on it. I understand that you love fashion in some manifestation, but it may not be the career for you. Understand that design is not the only job available in the fashion industry. All successful companies have Production Teams, Sales Teams, Buyers, Research and Development teams and countless other positions. So be more specific, ask yourself: “Do I like making clothes? Wearing them? Looking at the newest trends?”. Maybe you’ll realize you’d actually prefer modeling, working with PR, or developing yourself into a YouTube trendsetter. Trust me, some of you will disagree with me and say “Victoria Beckham doesn’t sew but she’s a fashion designer!” Yes, because she’s rich and can afford to have other people do it for her, and those people really love what they do. It’s important not to compare yourself with people who already have money, power, and image when you are trying to break into the industry.

Post College: A lot of my friends (including myself) had to work retail getting paid $8-11/hr. To me, retail has not thing to do working in fashion industry. Not to say retail isn’t important, it’s where the money comes from the support this crazy industry and you will learn human shopping habits and behaviors and how to care for a store but not much else that’s related to the field of design. So if you are working retail right now, I suggest you focus on what you can learn about running a business and less on gossiping with your co-workers and waiting for your paycheck.

If you ask me: “How can I make a lot of money in fashion industry?” All I can tell you is ” Save and wait”. To make money, you need money. Skill and talents are just the bonus to make your dream come true but they cannot make your dream happen. Do you know that: “Millionaires build their empire with their brain and money”. The same principle applies in the fashion industry, you have to come up with an idea and have some money to make that ideas come to life. The competition is very high now, and make sure you are on top. In the next article, I’ll focus more on generating income in the fashion industry for people who have already graduated or are currently working in their field but still would like to make more.

Josh Gleyfano

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