Hard Talk: Starting A Business In Fashion

In our hard talk section, we usually profile individuals, companies and give you tips on how you can make it professionally in this very competitive world we live in.

Today, our focus is on the business of fashion and how young budding individuals who aspire to go into this sector can make a career and actual living from this. Most times, people find themselves in the fashion industry while playing dress-up, you probably spent hours in your mom’s closet trying on her dresses, slipping your foot into her pumps and strutting in front of the mirror. Then you got hold of magazines, mom’s tired dresses were no match for the dresses and shoes featured in the pages of Vogue, Tatler, Harpers Bazaar, Ebony, Essence and so many more glossy fashion spreads.

If you were born a fashionista and somewhere along the line you lost track of your passion and ended up on an entirely different path and you remain unfulfilled, then this feature could help you re-trace your footsteps. It’s never too late to do what you always knew was right and to get you started, here are a few tips to help you start a business in fashion.


Research is a fundamental part of establishing your budding fashion or any career for that matter. You need to know as much as possible; trends, terminology and history. No one expects you to know everything as a newbie but looking like a buffoon once you get your foot in the door is not the ideal first impression. As a beginner employers in the fashion industry look for passion in addition to talent. The depth of your research will prove that you genuinely care about fashion and aren’t just trying to live the glamorous life.


Those in the fashion industry need to be creative, be able to solve problems and have a thick skin in this overly competitive market.

Pick an area to specialise

Breaking into such a competitive market, will require you to be a Jill of all trades and a master of at least one or two. In other words, be knowledgeable and well versed about all aspects of the business so that you could do any but pay special attention to a specific area so you can be the go-to-girl.

Speak to someone in the field

Connecting with a live person can be more valuable than your research. A real person with experience in fashion will be able to share their personal experiences and other advice. Prepare your questions before the visit or encounter and get contact information for any follow up questions that will arise after you leave.


The fashion industry is a bit elusive but that doesn’t mean you have to hide your aspirations from anyone, be open with people about your intentions to forge a career in fashion. You never know what type of bizarre connections people have. Take a short practical intenship- paid or unpaid, this could go a long way in helping you as you may get to attend social events where you can get your name out there.

Have a portfolio and CV handy

Whether you want to be a fashion designer, editor, or photographer eventually your work will have to speak for you. Your portfolio is your mouthpiece. Showcase work that details all of your capabilities while simultaneously expressing your personality. Google or borrow someone else’s portfolio to make sure yours meets industry standards.

Be humble

Your breakthrough may not come in the form you expected it. Be careful not to pass up a wonderful opportunity because you think it’s beneath you. Don’t just take anything, but if an internship, volunteer experience, or an entry level position presents itself and it has the potential to lead you somewhere, seriously consider it.

Work Hard
Anything worth having takes hard work. In your quest to reach your dreams you’ll definitely get tired along the way. During those times take a break to remind yourself of your end goal. Visualize yourself where you want to be and if you’re not there yet, it’s time to go at it again.


Good Luck 

We wish you all the luck because you will be needing plenty of it!

Picture/Article Credit

Veronica Wells of Madamenoire.com

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