Fashion Jobs: How to Use Fashion Week to Score a Position in the Fashion Industry

fashion jobsJobs in the coveted fashion industry are always as slim as the latest cover models. But during Fashion Week, a door that's almost always closed to the public slides opens a bit to allow a larger audience of fashion hopefuls to take a peek and maybe even get a foot in the door.

Whether it's volunteering to assist models backstage or interning at one of the showcasing design houses, Fashion Week allows more accessibility to the esteemed world of fashion than you'll see at any other time of the year. Jobs in the industry temporarily become more prevalent, and using this opportunity to its full advantage can boost a job candidate into the whirlwind realm of couture and design overnight.

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So, before you sit back and let this mecca of all fashion events pass you by, take advantage of a great career opportunity by sticking to the following tips:

1. Apply for Volunteer Positions Directly at the Source

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week takes résumés and applications directly for a variety of Fashion Week jobs. Typical work includes venue preparation, ushering in guests and assembling and handing out gift bags. It might not sound thrilling it but it all has the potential to get you up close and personal with celebrities, fashion editors and designers.

2. Hit up PR Firms and Flaunt Yourself as a Journalist

One of the major fashion PR firms (and Fashion Week sponsor), IMG World, takes applications for Fashion Week volunteers via email. You can also try to snag a press invite from this firm to cover the shows for your online fashion, blog.

3. Check for Last Minute Open Volunteer Spots

When there's no pay involved, people will frequently bow out of their commitments at the last minute. Knowing this and making sure your schedule is flexible during the week of the event is key. Craigslist is an excellent place to find out about last-minute openings. Performing a search for "fashion week" under the Gigs section will yield a good list of options.

4. Score Invites to Fashion Week After-Parties

Nothing is better for snagging jobs in fashion than networking, networking, networking. Stella Blum once said, "Fashion is a social agreement, the result of a consensus of a large group of people." It's better to proactively join conversation, rather than waiting around for someone to invite you in. There's a short list of Fashion Week events in NY Magazine. Invites are hard to come by, but a good rule of thumb is to shoot for lesser known designers in hopes of a less strict door policy.

Lauren Fairbanks


Lauren Fairbanks is a Brooklyn-based writer hailing originally from that far away land known as the deep South. She has covered lifestyle, small business, personal finance and career topics for various publications including Young Money, Learn Vest, She Knows, Wise Bread, and Eating Well Magazine. She's also the Founder and Editor of LifeStyler  - a comprehensive guide to living in New York City on a Budget.

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