Common Misconceptions about Working in the Fashion Industry

Katarina Kovac, Staff Intern

After receiving many “Congratulations!” texts upon accepting my first fashion internship, people proceeded to ask the question, “So, your life is basically The Devil Wears Prada, right?”

To answer their question, yes and no. It was extremely fast-paced and exciting, but none of my bosses were the devil.

While certain stereotypes can be true, more often than not they’re usually false.  I thought it would be helpful to those who are looking to break into the fashion industry if I debunked six of the biggest myths circulating the fashion world.

Before you believe everything you hear, keep reading.

You must buy all designer clothing

This is super false.  If anyone can appreciate the excitement of a good find at H&M or Zara, it’s fashion people.

Everyone is mean in the fashion industry

Yes, there are mean people, but I would say the industry is still dominated by very nice people overall.  The world of fashion is so small, and everyone is so dependent on each other.  If you’re mean to someone, it’s going to come back to bite you when you need something a few years later, which you will.

The “being mean” thing never gets anyone far.  I have made some of my best friends while interning, and have gained the most incredible mentors within various companies.  There’s an emotional connection to the work people are doing and the passion behind it that becomes a uniting force.

No one eats

False. If anything, you just forget to eat because there is so much going on. You have to set an alarm to remember to get food or have someone else pick it up for you.

You need to go to fashion school to get a job in the industry

While going to a fashion-specific school will help if you maintain the goal of becoming a designer, there are plenty of liberal arts universities that offer majors that will help you get a career in the fashion industry. Those who aspire to work in the fashion industry do not need a bachelor’s degree in fashion to succeed. Designers and publications look for people with diverse backgrounds including English, public relations, marketing, communications.

The days are excruciatingly long

This one is actually true.  People in the fashion industry have insane hours, but more often than not, you don’t hear them complaining about it.  If you are like me and are completely obsessed with what you do while wanting a fashion career so badly it hurts your soul, then you won’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything.

You’ll have to do crazy tasks for your boss

As an intern for various companies, I was definitely sent on many tasks, but truth be told I was never asked to do anything outrageous. In all honesty, I loved running errands that required me to step out of the office. They were always fun and kept my job interesting.

When asked to pick up clothing samples from various locations around the city, I always did it with pride knowing that they were important and would end up in photo shoots.  It’s a magical feeling to see the 40 lbs of clothing samples that you lugged all the way from the financial district to midtown in the collection catalogue.

No, Fashion Week isn’t all endless parties, not every job is straight out of The Devil Wears Prada, and yes, us fashion people definitely eat.