Hello! I am a recent graduate living in New York, and currently unemployed looking for an assistant designer or freelance role. I might have my first opportunity to join a team that is more in fast fashion and I’ve always had my eyes set on doing higher end. I have always been told that once you work in the fast fashion side of the industry it is so hard/ near to impossible to get back over to the read-to-wear side of things. Anyways I am wondering if this is true because I am nervous to take the job as I have focused all of my internships towards ready-to-wear as that’s where my passion is and I am just afraid this would be the wrong step. And if I shouldn’t take the job what do you suggest doing during this time to keep building my portfolio or resume since there aren’t a whole lot of jobs for recent grads or even internships.
If you get a job offer in this climate, take it! This is an unprecedented time in the history of not just the fashion industry, but the entire country. Anyone who would hold against you taking a job at this point is not someone worth working for. We most likely will have to make compromises right now in order to pay rent, keep the power on, buy food. If I could get a job offer right now, even if it was not exactly what I want to do, I would jump on it. Remember - it is a new door opening & could eventually lead to the opportunity you are looking for.
I wonder this too as I am currently in an assistant at a major fast fashion company, looking to switch over to ready to wear. I think if you make sure the portfolio you build is a good reflection of the garments/accessories/etc you like to make as well as your skillset it should be fine. I know quite a few people in the industry who have made the switch from RTW to fast or vice versa and they didn’t have any issues making the switch.
I definitely agree! And definitely wouldn’t pass up a job with how things are right now with jobs being so very few and little. Either way I hope this is not true and that no matter what I hope I am able to climb back up to RTW through the years. Wish you the best of luck on your job search! Something will come along!
I hope your right! I am very happy to hear you know of a few people who have done the switch from fast fashion to RTW! Gives me hope Thanks again for your reply!
You’re welcome, and good luck! I also think with the way world seems to be shifting, fast fashion may slow down a bit too, with it being a large discussion ethically and sustainable, etc.
Take the job! Any experience you get is still experience, and will help you land your next role.
I would only say don’t stay too long, as people do tend to pigeonhole you. (If you work at Forever 21 for 5 years, it’ll be hard to get work at a contemporary line, etc). But if this is your first job- go for it! get your hands dirty and learn!
I’ve seen some pushback from design placement agencies when trying to switch. They do like to pigeon hole you. --But you know what, during this time take what ever work you can find and if it’s not a brand you want to show off, leave it off your resume and go in fresh.