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8 different entry points into the fashion industry

WORDS BY MAEVE KERR-CROWLEY

For those who want to work in fashion, but aren’t sure exactly how.

A lot of people consider working in a creative field at some point in their lives, no matter how briefly.

But for those who take those fancies a step further and decide they want to pursue a career in a world like fashion or beauty, indecision and worry can set in pretty quickly. Well-intentioned loved ones might say it’s not a responsible or secure job choice. You yourself might think, “But what do I do now? How do I start? Where will I be in 10 years?”

To counter the idea that careers in the creative industries are scary, difficult or financially unviable, The Masters Institute of Creative Education has launched its School Holiday Summer Program.

Aimed at high school students on the verge of entering The Real World, a four-day Introduction to the Fashion Industry and two-day courses in Makeup & Beauty or Hair cover all the tip-of-the-iceberg basics of each industry. The programs also serve as an opportunity to explore a wide range of career options that students might not have thought about before. 

The Masters’ Katelyn Jenkins explains the initiative’s aim, “A lot of us who are in the creative sector now recall our career advisors would be like, ‘Oh, do you want to be a fashion journalist or do you want to be a designer?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t want to be either of those’. So we’re really trying to give high school students the opportunity to see how broad the industry is.”

Because that variety can be a little overwhelming, here’s a list of different career paths worth considering, and how the School Holiday Summer Programs can serve as a helpful stepping stone. 

Independent Designer

While it’s not the only way to work in fashion, it’s still the path many first think of and that a lot of people choose to take. For those toying with the idea of becoming a designer, the Fashion program is an excellent first step, due to its focus on both design and business. Your four days of instruction start with a crash course in fashion illustration, before you’ll learn to draft patterns and make a garment out of paper – all recyclable, of course. For future designers looking to start a label, there’s also a focus on running your own business. You’ll learn to design professional documents, the basics of marketing, and even how to create and manage your own website.

Creative Director

Those looking to more broadly flex their creative muscle might be most interested in creative direction. For a taste, all three courses will require you to direct and participate in a shoot with a professional photographer featuring your designs, hair or makeup looks. Putting together your own shoot proposal also builds a foundation in concept development and execution. The Fashion program also includes instruction on iPhone photography – a great introduction to skills like composition and lighting – as well as photo editing.

Trend Forecaster

So much of the fashion world takes place behind the scenes, but it’s no less important in shaping the industry. The trends that designers interpret and stylists highlight are all often predicted by highly trained forecasters. A lot more thought and analysis goes into these forecasts than most of us would think. So, a portion of the Fashion course is dedicated to the basics of trend forecasting, introducing students to how trends are born and the effect they have on the rest of the industry.

Stylist

Stylists are a huge part of the industry, whether you choose to work in an editorial or personal capacity. The Fashion course looks at interpreting and capturing trends, giving students the chance to put together photoshoot proposals and bring them to life with a professional photographer.

The Holiday Program is designed to be heavily collaborative, too, so Fashion, Makeup & Beauty and Hair students will meet up for daily lunches. Editorial stylists, in particular, work closely with these other sectors and will really benefit from this introduction to networking.

Producer

While some people want to design, model or take photographs, others are drawn to the idea of effectively running the whole show. This is where the collaborative nature of the three courses comes in handy. Networking with future designers, stylists and makeup artists is the first step to being able to put together a creative production like a fashion show and keep all the cogs involved running smoothly. You might also be interested in related paths like PR, marketing or talent management, which will benefit from a lot of the same skills.

Salon Owner

Like the Fashion program, the two-day Hair course focuses on business, as well as hair styling. The class begins with an introduction to the industry and its many intersecting jobs. Students then cover practical skills like curling, washing and blow-drying, before spending the second day of lessons trying out braiding and styling techniques. Throughout the course, you’ll also learn about the different products and ingredients on the market, as well as how to recognise and follow industry trends.

Runway Makeup or Hair Coordinator

A career as a hair or makeup artist won’t necessarily see you working in a salon, and many take their talents and passion into the fashion world. If you can imagine yourself working behind the scenes at fashion week shows, planning and executing dramatic looks, you’ll benefit from the Makeup and Beauty course. Students learn to develop concepts, create looks and interpret trends, and you can network with future fashion designers you might one day work alongside. You’ll also have the chance to work in a makeup studio and try out a range of professional products.   

Beauty Therapist

On top of makeup looks, an entire day of the Makeup and Beauty program is dedicated to taking care of your canvas, so to speak. A ‘beauty from the inside’ approach covers skincare, gut health and how your lifestyle impacts your body. After a beginner’s look at the science of beauty (different skin types, the benefits of certain ingredients, what exactly products like serums and peels do) you’ll learn how to clean your and others’ skin effectively and how to do an at-home mini facial.

For more information on The Masters’ School Holiday Summer Program or to book your place, head here. In an added bonus, The Masters’ is offering FJ readers 35% off its short courses, simply enter ‘FJ35’ at checkout to apply the discount. 

tmice.edu.au

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