Tough Month for Fashion/Retail

Ugh…after finally landing a full-time position for a graphic apparel company past year, I was laid off (along with almost 100 others) last month. Our team had been dwindling over the past six months (layoffs last June/July and some jumping ship), but with only three of us on the creative team, I didn’t see this “reduction in labor” coming. But because I was the last hire, I was let go.
Now it is applying to positions and being asked to jump through hoops by doing “projects”, even though I have a website and portfolio and about 100 projects that I worked on in the past year to show, I am still being asked to do projects. It feels degrading.

Anyone else feeling the same way if you were recently laid off?


It definitely is frustrating to have to do projects, when your past work should be able to speak for itself.

I do understand that sometimes companies may want to get an idea of how you may explain your process, or what your aesthetic is like, especially if it’s not a category that is currently in your portfolio.

Unfortunately, I find that many companies- my current one included-- have a lot of people who don’t really know what they want for a position, and so want to play this elaborate game of assigning projects to multiple people, and then hoping to be “wowed”. With no clear goals or expectations, it usually is just a waste of time and effort for everyone involved.

Sorry to hear this for you, and hope you find a good fit soon.


Thank you - I totally understand if I was applying for a market category in which I had not worked in, then a quick project to see if I was familiar with that target market and category would be plausible.

But I was asked to do a project which basically was to include the same elements of which I already have examples of in my portfolio and on my website (the hiring person even referenced what she saw on MY website and told me to use the same layout). It was for the same market category, same type of garments and artwork, etc.

I turned it around in a day and didn’t even get an acknowledgement from them receiving it. The job closed and I heard nothing. Yes or no. It honestly was no different a project than what I already have examples of in my portfolio; instead it took precious hours away, and not even a “thanks we received it and will get back to you” or even just a “thanks” in a quick email was sent.

That was a couple weeks ago, almost three weeks. Then out of the blue this past week I was contacted by the manager asking if I was still available. The person she chose was not going to work out so would I be available a second round for an interview. Oh the hourly salary was also lowered by $20 an hour as she said there some things that would not needed for the job, and it was no longer fullly remote. I would have to drive in 4 days a week and one day from home.

I turned it down. I thought it was extremely rude to contact me after radio silence, not acknowledging my project, then to offer less money and to change from remote to onsite. And to tell me I was second choice and that I would have to interview again - no thank you.

I have since lined up freelance and part-time remote work with new clients.

Yes, having this company on my resume would have been a good thing, but I will not be a doormat. It left a very bad taste.