Miss FQ - - Contents - @the_twen­ties_­club thetwen­ti­esclub.co.nz

Fash­ion in­dus­try in­sid­ers’ big breaks

“I started my blog kather­inei­sawe­some.com just over seven years ago. It be­gan as a joke but it quickly turned into a real thing, and by real thing I mean it was be­ing read by peo­ple other than my mum and flat­mates. Be­cause I was al­ways tak­ing pho­tos of mod­els I de­vel­oped good re­la­tion­ships with a few book­ers at dif­fer­ent agen­cies – one be­ing Clyne, where I soon started work­ing part­time, do­ing so­cial me­dia and ad­min­is­tra­tion. Nowa­days, I man­age com­mer­cial book­ings and the de­vel­op­ment board of new-face fash­ion mod­els, which in­volves scout­ing, walk­ing prac­tice and do­ing photo shoots to de­velop their port­fo­lios. It’s a full-on job that of­ten runs out­side of work hours, so it’s im­por­tant to have good or­gan­i­sa­tional skills and to be avail­able and con­tactable at all times. The fash­ion in­dus­try is par­tic­u­larly cliquey and who you know goes a long way, but peo­ple talk: whether it’s be­cause you did a great job as­sist­ing or you were an in­ef­fi­cient per­son to have on set. The key is to make sure you are good at your job and that oth­ers want to be around you.”


“A few years ago I started do­ing small pho­tog­ra­phy jobs for my friends who were also in the early stages of their cre­ative ca­reers. Then, in 2014, I was given the op­por­tu­nity to shoot at New Zealand Fash­ion Week as part of a pho­tog­ra­phy com­pe­ti­tion. This en­abled me to con­nect with peo­ple in the fash­ion in­dus­try, and my hard work in build­ing and main­tain­ing those re­la­tion­ships since then has opened so many doors for me. Re­la­tion­ships are so im­por­tant in fash­ion and if you are look­ing to en­ter this in­dus­try, es­pe­cially as a freelancer, you need to put your­self out there and in­tro­duce your­self to as many key fig­ures as pos­si­ble. The hus­tle never stops, and nei­ther should you. I love that work and play aren’t sep­a­rate for me and I ap­pre­ci­ate that even the chal­lenges I face in this line of work are the times when I truly grow as a photographer.”


“At univer­sity I stud­ied ar­chi­tec­ture – a great dis­ci­pline on both a tech­ni­cal and cre­ative level. Fash­ion was al­ways my guilty plea­sure, how­ever, and af­ter I met Show­room 22 direc­tor Mur­ray Be­van dur­ing a high school in­tern­ship, the fash­ion PR show­room be­came my dream fu­ture work­place. A job there opened up when I was a week out from fin­ish­ing my de­gree. I had never stud­ied fash­ion or com­mu­ni­ca­tions but I had done my re­search. I am now show­room man­ager. With over forty brands in our sta­ble it’s a huge role that in­volves over­see­ing the move­ment of client news and gar­ment sam­ples, as well as work­ing across events and cre­at­ing en­gage­ment. Our clients are some of the best cre­ative minds here and glob­ally, and it’s so re­ward­ing tak­ing their work to the world.”

Madeleine Walker from The Twen­ties Club asks fash­ion in­dus­try in­sid­ers how they got their big breaks KATHER­INE LOWE | @the­do­wn­lowe BLOG­GER, COM­MER­CIAL AND DE­VEL­OP­MENT BOOKER AT CLYNE MOD­ELS


“Straight af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Otago Univer­sity I moved to Shang­hai, where I worked at an e-com­merce firm help­ing Western fash­ion brands sell on­line. I was in over my head – try­ing to cope with a for­eign cul­ture on top of work­ing in the big­gest e-com­merce mar­ket in the world – but the ex­pe­ri­ence made me think, ‘if I can do this, I can do any­thing’, and the ‘any­thing’ I wanted to do was to open my own store in Welling­ton. Back in New Zealand, I read as many books as I could about women in busi­ness. I then wrote a busi­ness plan and be­gan hus­tling to find the right lo­ca­tion and raise funds. The best part of my job is con­nect­ing with cus­tomers and show­ing them that it is an act of self-love to walk out the door every day feel­ing great about them­selves. The hard­est part (but ar­guably the most im­por­tant) has been learn­ing how to say no and not feel­ing guilty about it.”



“When I was 18 I spent four months in Lon­don as an in­tern for New Zealand-born de­signer Emilia Wick­stead – an ex­pe­ri­ence that gave me the hunger to come home and en­rol at Auck­land Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy as a fash­ion stu­dent. Af­ter univer­sity I moved to New York and nabbed a job as as­sis­tant to the de­sign direc­tor at US Vogue. I im­mersed my­self in pho­to­shoots and started styling in my spare time. It was in­deed a hus­tle. Now based in Auck­land as a free­lance stylist, my days are spent meet­ing clients and pho­tog­ra­phers to brain­storm ideas, as well as sourc­ing the lat­est ranges from PR show­rooms. I also have an on­line bou­tique, The Mer­can­tile Store, which I started with my best friend, Ge­or­gia Cher­rie. Now we have our own la­bel, Paris Ge­or­gia Ba­sics, which was re­cently picked up by a New York show­room. Through­out this jour­ney I’ve been con­sis­tently sur­prised at how will­ing peo­ple are to teach and give. I’m mind­ful of re­turn­ing this favour to those try­ing to get their foot in the door of the in­dus­try.”


“It’s very rare to land your dream job straight out of study­ing. You have to be open and will­ing to start in a place you may have never con­sid­ered. Af­ter I grad­u­ated with a BA Hons in fash­ion de­sign I knew I wanted to be a de­signer, but fol­low­ing an in­tern­ship at Karen Walker I was of­fered a job in pro­duc­tion. I didn’t re­ally know what that was but it turned out to be the most valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence – I’m for sure a bet­ter de­signer to­day be­cause I un­der­stand how jew­ellery and ac­ces­sories are pro­duced and what the ca­pa­bil­i­ties are. As for how I got my cur­rent role, it came down to me send­ing Karen a very pas­sion­ate email ask­ing if there was any­thing cre­ative I could get in­volved with. She started giv­ing me the same briefs as the de­sign team and I worked late every night coming up with new ideas. When a de­sign as­sis­tant role even­tu­ally came up, I got it, and things have pro­gressed from there. My ad­vice to any­one want­ing to do what I did is to treat any in­tern­ship or work ex­pe­ri­ence like it’s a job in­ter­view. You never know who is watch­ing.”

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