So You Want to Break into the Real-World Fashion Industry?

I’ve had a lengthy, diverse career in the international fashion & beauty biz — worked as a fashion & beauty editor/writer, an on-camera fashion correspondent, an educator, a teen model, a stylist…you name it…I’ve been-there and done-that. So it’s no coincidence that I get lots of emails from aspiring fashionistas who want to know how to break into the world of fashion? Time doesn’t permit me to respond to everyone. But here’s what I think attributed to my success and perhaps yours too:

  • Education, education, education! (Attending an industry-specific college like my alma mater: Fashion Institute of Technology in New York).

  • Being mentored by leading visionaries who were tough-as-nails.

  • Rising through the ranks on my own talents and reputation – not being dependent on any of the influential people in my life for my success.

Tips to Jumpstart Your Career:

  • Fashion is a fusion of art, history, current events, politics and technology, so it is a must that you develop an appreciation of these topics.

  • Learn about the industry and current designers by reading your favorite fashion magazines — not just looking at the pictures.

  • Also, stay cultured by going to museums, traveling when you can, learning another language and talking to people who are involved with fashion.

  • Take extra art classes to develop a sense of color and proportion.

  • As Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week, states, "I always tell those I mentor, 'Be Nice!'"

Pictured here, Cheryl Ann Wadlington (me), style director, Evoluer Image Consultants/fashion journalist and Patricia Field, stylist/designer and Academy Award nominee (best costume design) for "The Devil Wears Prada."

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