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A Triple Threat: Authentic, Ambitious, and Accountable | How to Get into the Fashion Industry

We’ve all been there as we’re scrolling through Instagram, admiring the lives of our favorite influencers, aspiring designers, and stylists, and you may ask yourself, ‘how do I move this from my screen into reality? Well, Istituto Marangoni Miami is a great first step. As fashion students, we have the opportunity to experience our own Andy Sachs moment every day but most of us are lost on how to enter the fashion industry in 2023 without any prior experience.

First off, you may be reading this and wondering, ‘what does this girl know about the fashion industry?’ While I may only be a first-year fashion design student, I have taken advantage of every opportunity that has presented itself to me through Istituto Marangoni and the incredible network I am proud to say I have made.

I have learned two major things within my first year. The first is: Win or Learn. I actually took this advice from the Vice President of Saks in Bal Harbour recently as she attended Marangoni as a guest speaker. I have experienced various ‘Win or Learn’ moments in my new career. The second is that time does not dictate the trajectory of your career, rather, and more importantly, your attitude, morals, and work ethic will guide you in your personal and professional journey at Marangoni as well as in the fashion industry.

While the Miranda Priestlys of our industry may be few and far between, the hungry, ambitious, and willing Andy Sachs, Blair Waldorfs, and Carrie Bradshaws are everywhere. So be true to yourself, work hard, dress well, and have confidence in yourself. Below are three quick and vital tips on how to enter the fashion industry in 2023.

1. Be Authentic

As the most important tip, authenticity in our industry is key. So many people want to be trendy. But have you ever studied fashion icons like Princess Diana, Cher, Bella Hadid, and Alessandro Michele? Have you ever wondered why they are irreplaceable among the billions of people in the world? It’s because they are 100% themselves; they embrace their uniqueness and individuality and use it as a strength. I have learned here at Marangoni that the professors want to see you. What is your unique vision? You will always need a ‘why’ in this industry. While that ‘why’ will always be specific to you and your own authenticity, it is up to you to decide how you interpret and display that ‘why’ to the world. Everything has already been done, so what is it that sets you apart from everyone else? Use your uniqueness and get creative.

2. Accountability & Integrity

Have a win-or-learn mindset. Getting started in this industry can be intimidating and you are bound to make mistakes. Use me as an example: backtracking to Paris Fashion Week SS23, I was an unpaid fashion production intern managing my own team. We had 16 models assigned to 28 different designers. Twenty minutes until showtime. I made a major mistake in double-casting multiple models for different designers. Instead of lying and placing blame, I took full accountability. Integrity is important. Being able to tell someone “Hey, I messed up” may not always be easy but it says a lot about who you are as a person. Whether that is turning in a late assignment, missing a deadline, or almost double casting a runway lineup as I did, accountability is necessary. Especially in an industry like fashion, where anything can go wrong during a show day or shoot day. Take my advice instead of losing your cool, simply set your ego aside and calmly say “I know I made a mistake but how can we fix this? I want to learn the correct way.” Ask questions and don’t be afraid, we are just getting started and we are not expected to know everything. That is why we are here.

3. Build Your Network

Use your resources. Marangoni Miami is an intimate fashion school. We have opportunities that most do not get until years into their career. In the brief time I’ve had in Miami, I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people and build my own professional network that I am beyond grateful for. From attending the workshops hosted by Marangoni, volunteering for runway shows, and attending the QA panels, I have used everything at my disposal. Do not be afraid to introduce yourself to anyone. You are your biggest fan and no one cares about your career more than you do. Step into a room, take up space, believe in your talents, and highlight why you deserve to be in the same room as the ones you admire.

 

Written by: Marissa Mercado, Student Writer

Date: February 28, 2023

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