Monday, January 18, 2010

Fashionista Goes to Market

Meet Nichole, GSCTX's resident Fashionista and Retail Sales Director. You can use her experiences and expertise to launch your career in the exciting world of fashion.

Q. What education did you need to have a job in fashion?
Growing up I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do for a living but had always been interested in fashion and the world of retail so when I found out they had a degree in fashion I was hooked! I received my bachelor’s degree from Texas State University in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in business administration. Fashion merchandising is the buying, promoting and selling of fashion items.

Q. Which experience made the biggest difference in your life?
During college I studied abroad in one of the fashion capitols of the world: Italy! While there, I visited major fashion houses of designers like Gucci, Ferragamo and Pucci. I saw high end fabrics, like silk, be transformed into the beautiful pieces you see on the runway and visit some amazing textile houses. I also got to visit many of the retail stores to learn how to run a successful business in the fashion industry. The trip completely changed the way I looked at fashion and inspired me to pursue a career in fashion.

Q. Other than your job, what do you think is the coolest fashion job and why?
Product Developer- This person gets to see major runway shows and basically “copies” the design they see and turn them into ready to wear clothing. For example, they see a dress that was designed by Dolce&Gabbana that is selling for $2,200, they then slightly change the design and use much lower quality fabric and next thing you know the “same” dress is for sell at Forever 21 for $34. I think that job is cool because they get to bring high end fashion at affordable prices to people like you and me. Everything you see in a department store, specialty store and bargain store has been influenced by high end fashion and was on a runway at some point!

Q. What’s “going to market”? What will you do there?
Market is like a convention where I  meet with vendors and preview all of the products and apparel they have to offer that season. While there, I selected merchandise for GSCTX shops! (Market was just last week, January 14 & 15.)

Q. What look do you want to give GSCTX clothing and merchandise?
I want the look to be fashion-forward and trendy while still being age appropriate. Every girl should feel confident and beautiful about themselves and I want to pick merchandise that will reflect this.

Q. Other than current trends, what do you have to consider when selecting and ordering merchandise? Geographic location and socioeconomic status is very important when buying merchandise. You want to make sure your customer not only loves the product but also can afford the product!

Q. For a high school student who is interested in a fashion career, what should they do to prepare themselves?
If possible, they should get a part-time job at a retail store they are interested in. In order to understand the fashion industry you first have to understand the customer because without the customer there would be no fashion industry. I also encourage students to read books and magazines about famous designers and to stay current on trends. The fashion industry is always changing so it is important to be up to date on designers and trends. Learning about clothing construction is also a very help skill. The more you can learn about the different parts of the fashion world, the more successful you will be.

Also, they should start looking into colleges that have fashion degrees. There are many great universities in and out of state that offer fashion programs. You should find a program that includes an internship and study abroad opportunities in order to get real world experience during college. Lastly, never turn down an opportunity to learn because you never know where that door could lead.

-Nichole Stowe

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