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How to get into the Design Industry


Emma Kenyon, Junior Designer at Quiz Clothing shares her top tips and advice for those looking for a successful career in fashion design.

Experience is Key.

During my time at University, we had a placement year where we were responsible for finding our own internships and fulfilling the roles they required. This was an extremely beneficial experience for gaining skills, bulking out my CV and establishing contacts in the industry.

Studying the course at university is not enough in itself and many of my friends who have landed jobs were those who had tried to gain as much experience as possible before looking for full-time employment. It shows the employer that you have put in the leg work and they are not employing someone who has no idea what they are getting into or who will need excessive training.

Be Proactive.

Both of my full-time jobs in the fashion industry were gained by approaching the company I wished to work for.  They were not currently looking for new designers but I expressed my desire to work for them and provided a small design project aimed at their customer. This initial initiative on my part was looked upon favourably in both circumstances and gained me an interview and a role with the company. I have been fortunate in these circumstances and obviously it may not always pay off but I hope to illustrate that it is well worth a go!

Make use of Social Media.

Use your social media accounts to keep an eye out for new roles and vacancies. Social networking is useful as often companies directly advertise for available roles from their accounts.  Personal contacts may also alert you to new roles. One of my Facebook friends left a fashion job and let her friends in the industry know there was a vacancy at her old company.

LinkedIn is very important for making contacts. Another one of my friends got in touch with the Arcadia talent pool via LinkedIn, met them for coffee, secured an interview and was offered a job for Dorothy Perkins.

Know your customer.

Keep on top of current trends by checking and seeing what is popular on many different outlets such as social media, magazines, fashion blogs and competitors websites.  Always keep your customer in mind and make sure current trends are interpreted for your customer. For example, the trend may need to be ‘watered down’ to appeal to a high street customer.

Be familiar with the software.  

It is very important to be able to use adobe illustrator and Photoshop to create CAD drawings. I use adobe illustrator to create detailed CAD drawings for garment designs to be given to manufacturers and I use adobe Photoshop to create realistic CAD drawings of what the finished garment would look like with the chosen fabric.

For more information and to take a look at current vacancies at Quiz Clothing, visit Careers @ Quiz

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