Here at Fashionista, we get tons of emails asking us how to break into the industry, as well as how to make that crucial leap from intern to employee. The best way to do it? Through networking. If you prove yourself worthy at an internship, someone will take notice. Even if that person doesn't have a job for you, he or she might recommend you to someone else.
The other way is through a staffing agency. Fashion companies really, truly use these agencies to scout talent. While putting your resume into a firm's database may feel like a waste of time, it's not: Respected agencies staff respected companies. We know plenty of people who've scored jobs through these services. Here are three of the best: Staffing by Hall 270 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016 (212) 683-3360 Clients Include: Alexander Wang, Zac Posen
Hall's a bit old-fashioned--the company doesn't even have a Web site--but the firm does recruitment for plenty of top designers, including Alexander Wang (who, we've heard from sources, needs to hire about 12 more people. But don't get too excited yet: The executive team is taking its time to ensure each new employee is right for the job.) Specifically, the agency recruits technical designers, production people, merchandisers, and buyers.
24 Seven 120 Wooster Street 4th Floor New York, NY 10012 (212) 966-4426 (Additional offices in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Orange County, Seattle, and London) www.24seveninc.com Clients: Proenza Schouler, Li & Fung, Avon, Diane Von Furstenberg, American Eagle Outfitters
While Staffing by Hall tends to work with smaller staffs, 24 Seven fills jobs for big corporations, such as Li & Fung. Design jobs are available, but the team also recruits for marketing, retail, creative services (like graphic design, etc.), beauty, and home furnishing. The breadth of clients is incredible, and 24 Seven aims to find the right people for the right spots, so be honest about your interests when you meet with a rep.
Christian Bassett 79 Baker St, Suite 8, London, W1U 6RG +11 44 (0)20 7224 2662 www.christianbassett.com Clients: Louis Vuitton, Prada, Richemont, Selfridges
For those eager to build a career in Europe's luxury industry, Christian Bassett is a great starting point. Of course, since the agency caters to high-end brands, it also offers very specific services, from graphology testing--studying your handwriting to determine strengths and weaknesses--to resume advice.