For better or worse, connections are everything. I don’t think I fully believed that statement until I started seeing it play out at work again and again. Every time a position opens up, we employees are asked if we’d like to recommend someone for the job. I used to think connections made the world so unfair. How are you supposed to break into the fashion industry if no one will even bother to look at your resume? But as a company owner, wouldn’t you rather skip the search process and simply hire someone who comes highly recommended? I know I would. I still believe there should be opportunity for those of us who come from small towns and know no one in the industry, but with the way the world works, a resume alone just won’t cut it. So we need to get out of our comfort zones, stop mourning the fact that our parents don’t know anyone at Conde Nast, and start building our own connections.
Here are my 4 foolproof ways to do that:
Network, network, network.
You’ve heard it before, but I’m just going to reiterate the word NETWORK one more time so you can fully understand its importance.
I went to a Teen Vogue event this past summer, spent the evening hanging out with the team, and I now work with them on multiple PAID collaborations. That’s just one example of the MANY collab opportunities I’ve received due to networking.
Talk to new people.
It doesn’t matter where you are, talk to the people around you. You never know who you’re gonna meet.
My friend invited me to a lunch her cousin was hosting on the rooftop of his apartment building. There were a ton of people there and I could have easily kept to myself and just hung out with my friend. Instead, I struck up a conversation with one of the girls there and to my amusement, I found out that she is one of the main editors at Cosmopolitan.
Talk to people you already know.
Non-fashion people don’t always realize just how connected they are. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve mentioned a company I love to a friend only to find out they know someone who works there.
Utilize social media.
I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone in the fashion industry has some form of social media. Research who the key players are behind your favorite magazine or fashion brand. Follow them, comment on their pictures, and after a couple months, reach out. Depending on their follower size, they’ll probably recognize your name at this point, and be fairly responsive. Voila, you’ve just built a relationship.
If you’re wondering why I chose to discuss the topic of connections in this post, it’s because the dress I’m wearing was made by a blogger friend of mine, Rachelle Yadegar. Rachelle and I have never met in person, but we follow each other on Instagram and I’ve consistently been impressed with her clothing line, RaJu. The ability to take an Instagram friendship and turn it into a collaboration… That’s the power of connections.
Merlot Cara Dress: RaJu (c/o)
Ripped White Jeans: Cotton On (c/o)
Leopard Booties: Coach