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Christian Siriano: 6 Things No One Tells You About Working in Fashion

Backstage at Christian Siriano Fall 2015; image: Imaxtree

Backstage at Christian Siriano Fall 2015; image: Imaxtree

2016 fashion interns, take note: The fashion industry is fast-paced and can be a lot to take on. Here are a few secrets to working in the industry that nobody tells you.

1. Working for a small brand is more beneficial. 

A lot of young people that are interested in the fashion industry aspire to intern or work at popular or large companies, however, I think it is actually best to get your training with smaller brands. It is with a small company that you get the true hands-on experience and knowledge. Since you are working with a smaller team, they are able to teach you more and actually involve you in their process. There is a big difference between being on a team of 10 to 20 people rather than being on a team of 50 or more. 

stylists prepping red Christian Siriano gown

image: Christian Siriano

2. Does everybody in fashion wear heels?

Despite the stereotypical idea that everyone who works in fashion dresses to the nines every day and women are never seen wearing flats, most people who work in fashion are running around 80 percent of the day and need to be comfortable. Most of the girls in my office are seen most of the time in flats to be the most efficient when getting work done. I am around clothes all the time, so when getting dressed in the morning, I look for my favorite pair of comfortable jeans. 

leopard flats

image: Christian Siriano

3. Creating clothing is a craft. 

It’s important for those who are aspiring designers to understand the craft of making clothes. To love the idea of creating and designing is not enough to survive as a designer. Who your fabric vendors are, where you get your clothes made and the construction of your patterns are some of the questions that go into every single piece and what a huge part of this industry is about. The actual process of creating a single garment is intense. If you’re someone who loves clothes and loves fashion, but isn’t committed to this craft and this process, it might be more beneficial to explore other options in the fashion industry, such as PR, styling, production, sales or product development to name a few. 

seamstresses at christian siriano studio

image: Christian Siriano

4. Do fashion people eat? 

Yes! During the most stressful times in our office, you will most likely find the following: 

  • a box of Entenmann’s chocolate frosted vanilla cake 
  • chips 
  • cookies 
  • lots of coffee
  • and late night pizza parties at the office

Fashion Week is the most stressful time of the year, which brings me to my next secret…

Christian Siriano studio

image: Christian Siriano


5. Is Fashion Week one big fabulous party? 

If you are working for a brand and want to be part of the Fashion Week team, it is important to be efficient! From late nights at the office to countless fittings, alterations and minor tweaks at the last minute, the preparation for Fashion Week is rather intense. If you are volunteering at a show, it is important to not worry about snapping selfies backstage, but staying on your toes, being quick and always being alert. It takes a village to put on a successful show and it doesn’t come without hard work! 

model backstage at Christian Siriano

image: Christian Siriano

6. While working for a brand, you have the chance to show your skills.

Working for a designer, in particular, is a lot about independence. It is where you are able to exhibit your skill set and prove what you can do. Don’t take anything personally. Criticism is a good thing and it helps you grow. You learn from your mistakes.

There are many facets of the fashion industry and it is easy to become overwhelmed. Stay true to yourself, be humble and do what you love. 

Backstage at Christian Siriano Spring 2015

Backstage at Christian Siriano Spring 2015; image: Imaxtree