How To Got Into the Fashion Industry

Cecely Jennings works as an Office Manager for boutique fashion label, Temperley London. We asked her about her journey to working for one of the coolest labels in the UK.

I've graduated. Now what?
After Graduating from Leeds College of Art in 2010, my lack of knowing any set career path was baffling. It was as alien as the thought of no longer being a student and surviving in the real world without the comfort of my fellow university friends.

How I ended up at Temperley
I tried various positions in a range of high street stores as well as applying for internships in London. I bagged one in the wholesale department at Temperley London in Notting Hill. It was my first insight into how luxury companies ran. It also gave me the opportunity to find out what the staff were like too. That's a really important factor when deciding on where you’d like to work. I loved every minute of it and learnt so much. I ended up staying longer than originally planned as I never wanted to leave!

Failure isn't always a bad thing
Since leaving university, I've had the pleasure of working for some amazing companies, including Twenty8Twelve and Tom Ford. I have learnt so much and have become so much more confident with my ability to work and become successful within the fashion industry.

I consider myself to have a good level of experience. But I've still had 18 unsuccessful interviews, all with the same response; “We want with someone who has slightly more experience”. Soul destroying - especially when all you want to do is work.

Finding a job I love is the most frustrating and emotionally straining thing I have done. But life is a learning curve, and everything I have been taught has been of benefit to me in some way.

Don't give up
My advice would be to gain as much experience as possible. This could even be just shadowing someone for a few weeks. If you do know anyone who’s in a role you’re interested in, why not ask if you can go in for a bit?

In my job I deal with thousands of CV’s and applications, so I do have an idea of what companies are looking for. Don’t be afraid to make yours stand out. If you don’t hear anything, follow up. This shows you have determination and confidence.

My main piece of advice is to never give up. It might take some time but you will get there eventually.

Interested in getting into the world of fashion? Cecely also recommends Retail Choice and Drapers for paid roles, whilst London College of Fashion often advertises interesting internships.

By Dan Bond
Posted on 23 May 2014
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