I have been in the fashion industry more years then I want to admit (I also don’t want to tell you how old I am). Through the years people have asked me many questions about the business since they hear all kinds of things. Some crazy things like when a guy from a small town asked me if everyone in New York needs to carry a gun (seriously!?!). Or minor things like does everyone go out every night. Well, who has the energy for that. The following 10 are common misconceptions.
The fashion industry is glamorous. You should ask me that when I am carrying heavy bags of samples through the city streets to show a buyer (and I was the president of the company). No, it isn’t glamorous which is what I tell every new assistant I interview.
You can’t get into the business if you don’t know someone. So not true, especially in my case. I not only knew no one in the fashion business but pretty much any business.
You have to be very creative to be a fashion designer. Most designers get ideas through researching stores, magazines, and the runway. In fact a lot of designers copy other designs and just add some changes
You need to be able to sketch to be a designer. That may have been true once but now with computers you can get design programs to develop a sketch.
The industry is cut throat. There is the occasional bad apple. However, I have had the good fortune of working with some very lovely people who are happy to help each other reach success. Some of them are friends of mine to this day.
We dress in designer clothes everyday. Some do, but most can’t afford it. Some aren’t even stylish at all. We don’t all look like Rachel Zoe day to day.
We have huge expense accounts and travel all around the world. Budgets are tight and you will find yourself flying coach to Arkansas more then you might be going to Paris. And trust me you are working 12 hour days when your in Paris so it’s not a much fun as you may think.
Everyone is skinny. As one who is definitely not skinny I can personally attest to the falseness of that.
It takes millions of dollars to start a business. While it is important to have some money to invest, the advent of on line buying has made it possible for people with small budgets to get started.
We spend all day shopping. Personally I hate shopping so if that was the gig, I’d be out.
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Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!