Showroom teams up with industry leaders to provide you with professional advice on how to take the first steps in the fashion business.
By Oriane Baud
After several years of training to become a lawyer (and being desperately unhappy), I decided to own my creative passion and choose how and where I live. Eventually, I turned to study Fashion and Design Management in Berlin before I started to work for Hey Woman. I was a Fashion Assistant to Veronika Heilbrunner, while finishing my thesis. I am now the Head of the Fashion and Creative department where I write articles, produce shoots, create collages and choose the beautiful products you see on the website. Being creative is not always easy but it is very rewarding. Although my career is still at the beginning, here are a few tips for those starting out.
Find your signature
If people recognise your work before they even see your name on it – that is a very good sign. Take Alessandro Michele, the Creative Director of Gucci – every season he presents something different, but the style and the inspiration are very similar in each collection. You can spot his signature straight away. This is exactly what people are looking for.
Know your values and learn to sell yourself
Don’t compare yourself with others, rather, learn from them and follow your own path. If you have a vision, you should test it. Another important point – if you have a talent and you want to make it matter in the industry, learn how to ‘sell’ yourself. Fashion is a small world, so try to build networks and take interest in other people’s work. When I created my own website, it made me feel incredible to be able to put all my work into one space. It was through sharing that I began to ‘sell’ it to the world. What is your way?
Find your intention. That means finding a goal, a reason and a target – something that drives you and you want to accomplish. Make sure you enjoy the journey. Try not to be distracted by quick money or by surfing on the latest fashion trend. Think long-term, think timeless and focus on the bigger picture.
Dare to be different
Big changes in fashion have only happened when people took risks. Identify what you think is missing and do not be scared to be different – it is the only way to make the industry evolve and grow. Veronika (the co-founder of Hey Woman) has a unique style, mixing menswear and womenswear. When I see a girl wearing a gown with a pair of sneakers, I can only think of her – she dared to set the new trend by which people and designers get inspired.
If you stay within your bubble, you might lose inspiration. Inspiration comes from observation, conversations, travels and stepping out from your comfort zone. Stay informed, read and open your eyes – the best discoveries and ideas come when you are living your life at its fullest. I am mainly inspired by simple things such as breakfasts – they make me want to explore photographic still lifes. The best ideas may be waiting just around the corner.
Be open to change
Try things even if you are not always fully convinced – something magical can happen out from the unexpected! When I work on fashion collages, I always start in the same way. I select my favorite photos as a base and I go with my gut. Sometimes, I am not convinced with the final result, so I ask for feedback or I try something completely different. Remember to stay flexible, be willing to learn and go for the unknown.
Remain humble and receptive to criticism
As a fashion designer or a brand, you need to stay down on earth. Nobody wants to work with you if you are acting rude or arrogant, no matter how excellent your work might be. Constructive criticism is always important. When I styled Veronika for Who What Wear, I wanted to select products I personally loved, but also that represented her personal style. What I have learnt is that if you want to be a stylist or a buyer, you need to look at fashion through someone else’s eyes. It is key to understand the need of the client – whatever her wishes might be.
Oriane Baud – a graduate from Akademie Mode & Design in Berlin, Oriane has lived in New York and Geneva before taking the fashion route. She is a collage artist, stylist and a Fashion Editor of Hey Woman – an online destination for smart, fun loving and savvy women.
Follow Oriane @oriane.bd