Ask Chris: Do I Need a Degree in Fashion to Work in Fashion?

Dear Chris Benz, I am sure that every one in New York wants to be a stylist, designer, and everything else that revolves around fashion, and I know that the competition is steep in NY as for many other places. But I believe in my self enough to leave my hometown of Houston, TX, and move to New York in order to further myself in the fashion industry. My question for you Chris is if I want to be a stylist, designer, or even just have a paid position at a top fashion firm, do you believe that a degree is necessary? Or rather hard work and dedication? And if a degree is necessary my top interest for schooling is FIT, what degree would be best for some one who just wants to style beautiful people and further them selves in the fashion industry? I really must say RIP to my life in Houston TX, and birth a new life in NY, your words of advice will be greatly appreciated! Love, FashionsMuse
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Dear Chris Benz, I am sure that every one in New York wants to be a stylist, designer, and everything else that revolves around fashion, and I know that the competition is steep in NY as for many other places. But I believe in my self enough to leave my hometown of Houston, TX, and move to New York in order to further myself in the fashion industry. My question for you Chris is if I want to be a stylist, designer, or even just have a paid position at a top fashion firm, do you believe that a degree is necessary? Or rather hard work and dedication? And if a degree is necessary my top interest for schooling is FIT, what degree would be best for some one who just wants to style beautiful people and further them selves in the fashion industry? I really must say RIP to my life in Houston TX, and birth a new life in NY, your words of advice will be greatly appreciated! Love, FashionsMuse
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Dear Chris Benz, I am sure that every one in New York wants to be a stylist, designer, and everything else that revolves around fashion, and I know that the competition is steep in NY as for many other places. But I believe in my self enough to leave my hometown of Houston, TX, and move to New York in order to further myself in the fashion industry. My question for you Chris is if I want to be a stylist, designer, or even just have a paid position at a top fashion firm, do you believe that a degree is necessary? Or rather hard work and dedication? And if a degree is necessary my top interest for schooling is FIT, what degree would be best for some one who just wants to style beautiful people and further them selves in the fashion industry? I really must say RIP to my life in Houston TX, and birth a new life in NY, your words of advice will be greatly appreciated! Love, FashionsMuse

Dear Fashion Muse - You sound like you are open to many different careers in the fashion industry, which is terrific. Open-mindedness and believing in yourself are both key attributes to have, particularly when you are looking to make such a big leap!

There are so, so many different, unusual and specific paths you could take in fashion, outside of the more well-known positions (stylist, designer, editor), each as individual and integral to the industry as you could imagine. There are fashion show producers, lighting designers, publicists, production people, patternmakers, fabric agents, hairstylists, set designers, print designers, retail architects, merchandisers, buyers, the list is endless. Each and every one is as involved in the fashion business as a designer or stylist, and likewise all work intimately with designers and stylists regularly.

The beauty industry, fashion’s glamorous sister, affords a whole other scintillating world of careers. I worship and adore the PR team at Lancôme, with whom I work with intimately to create beautiful, modern faces for our fashion shows. They very well could be the most glamorous women I know, and they indeed love and are involved with fashion as much as any designer or stylist.

It is very much about dedication and earnest work ethic, and as I said, open-mindedness. Working in any facet of the industry will expose a new and interesting perspective for your future.

xx CB

Got a question for Chris? Email him on askchrisbenz@fashionista.com.