Just after February half term at college was ‘industry week’, a week dedicated to having speakers in from various professions to talk about their work and journey. The first talk of the week was from the director of Designer Sales UK, Elaine Foster Gandey. Elaine spoke about her personal journey and working her way up in the fashion industry. As someone who eventually wants to pursue a career in the fashion industry myself, her talk was very interesting and relatable. Something that has become more obvious to me in the past year, and will be crucial when I start the London College of Fashion in September, is the importance of networking. Getting your foot in the door in any way possible to any where possible is something so necessary when it come to an industry as competitive as Fashion. I am already looking forward to the 3rd year of my degree, which is a year out in industry where I can intern at one or more footwear design brands, which will be one of the most important parts of my degree… getting those contacts!
Elaine reiterated this in her talk, speaking about times in her early career where she was the tea maker or van driver for a fashion brand. As un-glamorous as it sounds, the second you get your foot in the door and utilize the contacts you know, you never know where it could take you. After her talk she said if any one is ever interested in interning at one of her designer sample sales, then to give her your number. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to get started, so I got in contact with her, and signed up to intern at one of her upcoming sales.
The day itself was hard work, but no less than I expected. It consisted off helping and advising the customers, working on the cloakroom welcoming customers, and leafleting outside the venue. I have to say I think the placement of the sale was perfect as it was right in the middle of Kings Road, Chelsea where there was lots of hustle and bustle of people walking past and popping in. It was interesting to see all the different elements that go into an event like this, from setting up the venue to packing up at the end of the day. As I hope to pursue a career in the fashion industry in the future I think one of the most important things is to get to know the consumer, and what they look for in what they are buying. I did lots of observing on the day of the type of people who attended the sale and what they walked away with. Many of them focused on the high end designer items for example Vivienne Westwood shoes or accessories. I think if I was to help out at one of these sale again in the future it would be a good idea to write out a short questionnaire to ask people why they attended and what they were looking for. By doing this it would just give me an insight into the mind a variety of consumers and what they look for in what they are buying.