It’s been nearly 2 years since I started working in fashion and every so often I find myself being asked things like ‘Do you feel like you have to dress up at work’ or ‘Is everyone full on Devil Wears Prada in your office?’. So I thought I would just share a few thoughts about the things I’ve learnt and realised since working in Fashion. Here are some of the realities of working in fashion…
1. Everything is very last minute
It’s a well known fact that everything in the fashion industry is really last minute. Everything from fashion show invites to even finding out which products will be going on sale tomorrow. This makes life pretty difficult when you’re an obsessive planner like me, you have to learn to think on your feet. Working at awkward times to meet deadlines because you only found out what you were doing 5 hours ago is a common occurrence.
2. You can wear whatever you want
In fashion, anything goes! So if I wanted to turn up to work in my tracksuit bottoms, I could easily throw on a shirt and earrings and 100% get away with it. The catwalk is full of all sorts of weird and wonderful trends and everyone embraces them in their own ways, so if you want to experiment with your looks, no one is going to judge you. One thing you do find working in fashion is that everyone is a lot more creative with their outfits because at the end of the day that is what fashion is all about. It’s a reflection of your personality and creativity.
3. Spending £1000 on a bag is normal
I would say about 75% of the people in my office have at least one designer bag. And you’ll probably find about 50% of those bags cost more than £1000. To some that is completely shocking and you’d never dream of spending that sort of money on a bag. But over time, it sort of becomes normal, which is terrible! At the moment I’m in the 25% that don’t have a designer bag and to be completely honest, since I started working in fashion it’s all I’ve wanted to buy. I don’t think I could ever bring myself to spend £1000 on a bag, but with staff discount and a yearly bonus it’s something I would definitely look into doing when I can afford it. Sorry Mum!
4. You start liking the weirdest things
A lot of people say money can’t buy you taste, and trust me, some of the things designer brands sell are pretty horrific. However, when you work in fashion you’ll find you end up liking the strangest things, just because they’re trendy. Who would have thought Spice Girls flared track pants, Pat Butcher earrings and a Gucci bum bag would be on my current wishlist?!
5. Vintage is cool
As a child I would probably have turned my nose up to a charity shop or vintage buy. But since working in fashion, I’ve found a new appreciation for vintage clothes, and you’ll find everyone else you work with will also share that appreciation. Whether it’s a classic Chanel bag or even your mums coat from the 80’s, real fashion lovers are more than happy to wear and embrace vintage.
6. Not everyone is a diva
Thanks to films and TV shows like Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty, it’s easy to assume everyone who works in fashion are self absorbed divas. However, the majority of the people in my office are actually pretty normal. Yes you get the occasional diva who is getting paid way too much money for not really doing a lot but they come and go (normally in heels they can’t walk in), and the majority of the people you work with are completely normal and lovely.
7. Your shopping list will never end
It’s no secret that people who work in fashion love shopping. You should see our post room, there’s Zara and Farfetch parcels practically spewing out the door! When you’re exposed to new product and street style images all day everyday it’s easy to end up wanting to buy every new product and trend you see. I have about 6 shopping lists on my phone with so much random stuff on it, half of it I’ve never even bought, but it’s still on the list to buy (even if the list is a year and a half old!).
8. You get Fashion Week FOMO
I’ve only had a small glimpse into fashion week but I always seem to experience huge fomo every time the dates come around. It’s one of the busiest months of the year for people who work in fashion so it’s easy to get pulled into the buzz and excitement around it. Whether it’s New York, London or Paris, if you see other people there you know its easy to get jealous when in actual fact the reality of it is spending a whole week cold because your coat doesn’t match your outfit and your feet ache from the ridiculous shoes you have to charge around the city on.
9. You’re great at spotting brands
When you’re exposed to hundreds of different brands every single day, its easy to fall into the ‘spot the designer’ game at the weekend. Some people are good at naming types of cars, some people are good at naming types of dogs, if you work in fashion however, be prepared to start naming a whole ton of brands you didn’t even know existed before. You even become a pro at spotting dupes and fakes!
10. Everything is pronounced differently
Be prepared to unlearn every brand name you’ve ever known because most of the time a brand name is never pronounced the way it’s spelled. Hermes, Loewe, Givenchy, even Net a Porter are all pronounced differently to how they look on paper, and you really start to notice this when you work with people who pronounce them correctly everyday. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll probably sound like a complete snob when you start saying ‘Loh-wev-eh’ to the average Joe on the street, but thats just fashion for you!
11. Not everyone is on a diet
Gone are the days where ‘fashion girls’ would all be on crazy diets where they can only eat a cube of cheese a day. Yes there’s a lot of avocado on toast floating around our office but just as many people eat street food and pizza’s as there are eating salads. Everyone knows you can’t do great work without great food so any time there’s free grub in the office it’s gone within seconds!