How do you get into the fashion industry through uni?

‘Runway to Success’ was a careers panel event hosted by the Fashion and Beauty Society of UNSW, aka FABSOC, on the 1st of June.  

The event sought to provide an insight into the fashion industry and the possible career paths one could possibly venture into. Aneeqa Khan, Partnerships Director at FABSOC, revealed that the extensive planning of this event began in week 10 of Term 1. A very successful turnout and execution I’d say! With two industry experts and goodies for attendees, it was a win for any fashion, beauty, and even writing enthusiasts. 

It went on as a moderated discussion with the two panelists, Lauren Sams, who is currently a fashion editor at the Financial Review, and Mikey Ayoubi, a seasoned fashion director and stylist. Everything and anything was discussed, from favourite fabrics and clothing to the funniest experiences in their impressive careers. As someone who’s testing the waters of fashion journalism, I’ve put together a couple important pointers that the moderators discussed in terms of making it into the fashion industry: 

  1. Make sure to grab all the internships you can. Every bit of experience counts! 
  1. Networking. Putting yourself out there and making connections with industry specialists puts you in the industry map. 
  1. Finding a mentor. This comes with networking, however, making a connection with an expert who recognises your potential and pushes you to achieve it can make all the difference! 
  1. Persistence is key! 
  1. Starting a business, or being in the creation side of fashion in general, requires a partnership where both individuals complement each other in terms of skills and ideas. 

Lauren also had a lot of media resources such as books, shows, and podcasts to recommend to our fashion enthusiasts. Her top recommendations were Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster – a book by Dana Thomas that details the dark side of luxury brands, Kingdom of Dreams a docuseries covering the evolution of fashion through the decades, and The Battle of Versailles – a book by Robert Givhan that recounts the tensions between French and American designers at a fashion show in 1973, Versailles. 

The event gave me an insight into a potential career in fashion, pointers in terms of writing style in fashion journalism, possible hurdles in the start of a fashion career, and the turning points of fashion through the decades, I feel smarter in this arena now. I was able to pose my own questions to the panelists and learn more about the industry, understanding how to convert interests/hobbies into a viable career path, and how to chase after opportunities. If you feel like you have even an inkling of fashion sense and are not sure how to delve further into this taste?  

I spoke to Aneeqa Khan, FABSOC Publications Director. She feels like this is the space where there’s no judgement, where she can be super into styling and fashion without knowing the deep theoretical aspects to it and still be welcomed.  

“If you are interested in fashion, and you want to start looking into what your style [fashion] is like, then this [FABSOC] is the perfect society for you,” they told us. 

“It’s really catered to anybody, no [prior] knowledge required whatsoever.”