Insider: Breaking into the Fashion Industry – Elite Panelists

Insider: Breaking into the Fashion Industry – Elite Panelists

Hi Loves,

Finally spring is here! What do you think will trend this spring?  You can check out some of our must-haves, here.  In this post our writer Debbie living in Toronto contributes professional advice from experts in the industry.  When you see who the panelist are you’re going to wish you were there!!

Fashion for many is simply a hobby, but for others it’s a competitive industry that takes blood, sweat and tears to get into. It’s multifaceted and fast paced in all aspects.

So what about the business side of fashion? As someone who is interested in fashion, I wanted to learn more about the economic side of things and while it might seem tedious at first, knowing the inner-workings of the fashion industry could help with breaking into the world of style and runway shows.

I stumbled on this Elite Panel Discussion event purely by accident and thought it would be interesting. Take a look at this list and tell me you’d dare to miss it!

The Panelists


Noreen Flanagan – Editor in Chief of FASHION Magazine | Rohan Kanani | Zadeh – AGM MerchandisingSaks Fifth Avenue | Lori Stein – Fashion Buyer at Holt Renfrew | Corban Hu – Founder and Publisher of Pure Luxury Magazine | Jodi Goodfellow – Founder of Toronto Startup Fashion Week

Fashion Magazine

Here are 3 favorite panel Q&A’s:

1. What are your views of the fashion industry in North America today? And what role does your business play from a high-level perspective?

Today it’s all about the instant gratification of digital and reacting to that. This might not seem like an issue, but for businesses it means having to constantly adapt and change their strategies to meet sales. Rohan Kanani Zadeh of Saks Fifth Avenue said, “Traffic in stores keeps declining; digital space is the future for fashion. It’s really about integrating … digital and retail.” He nodded to the Burberry Fashion Show in Beijing as an example since it was entirely digital and allowed enthusiasts and buyers to view it online.

Social media allows people to explore and discover the next trend before brands even release their new line. Because of this, Corban Hu asked if brands are actually ahead or if they’re falling behind. Social media has changed the structure of the fashion world for both retail stores and publishing companies. It amazes me that before the panelists actually stated this fact, I never realized how Instagram stylists, bloggers, and YouTubers have redefined how we access fashion. 


2. Can you give us some insight into what roles and responsibilities are involved in your position and what does your daily routine looks like?

Looking at these acclaimed panelists, it’s easy to think of their jobs as glamorous, but in the discussion all of them described their roles as being stressful with constant flights and delays at airports, a constant lack of sleep, and hours spent in front of a laptop furiously typing away in order to meet deadlines. Lori Stein described her day as being ambiguous, and full of unexpected surprises – you may start out expecting to accomplish one thing but end up doing a multitude of other things.


3. What are the characteristics and skill sets that you would look for when hiring? For those of us interested in fashion, check out these 10 tips from the panelists:

  1. Ready – Be someone who is well organized
  2. Be analytical – at the end of the day, it’s still a business
  3. Have insight – you need to understand what the industry wants
  4. Know what you want – narrow it down to a specific job or role so you know what you’re getting yourself into
  5. Be ad savvy – product exposure is important, and with digital media giving customers the same knowledge about brands and products, you need to go beyond that
  6. Be innovative – if you don’t have ideas or stories then you can never really get anywhere
  7. Know your business and technology – Fashion itself is not the be all, end all
  8. Go network – reaching out is the most important thing
  9. Have passion – a love for fashion will let you be a tenacious individual who never gives up
  10. Search opportunities – volunteering, blogging, and social media networks will open new doors and create relations

What opportunities do you search for in the fashion industry? Did you find this helpful?  Share your thoughts and don’t forget you can find DGal via FB/Instagram: @districtgalista!!

Writer: Debbie

Editors: DGal Team – There are no affiliate links in this post. 

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