I always wanted a career in fashion and honestly, I thought it would be all Chanel and roses and it is, sometimes, because it is what I love. But it is also so much more than pretty clothes and glamour.
A lot of my readers have shown interest in my career so I want to share a bit more of it with you because it is an industry that keeps you on your toes and sometimes does steal your smile but it is also a rewarding industry. Nothing beats seeing something that you had a hand in on a mannequin, or better yet, on someone. And I know I am exactly where I need to be in order to bring about change and get more involved in the plus size fashion industry someday soon.
So let’s get to it. I am not a designer, I am a fashion merchandiser which means I have a hand in what goes into stores but it’s not my design and not my call on what actually goes into stores. I have to do costings and negotiations and deal with fabrics and trims and irate humans who aren’t getting what they want. I have to make sure that everything looks and feels good and that it is going into store at the right time of the year.
Everything is a deadline. Emails need to be replied to timeously, samples have to be submitted quickly, we have to be way ahead of trends, and everything just has to run on time.
Of course in an industry that is all about what you see, there is a lot of judgement – on you, on your outfits on your choices and decisions and there is no time for mistakes.
I don’t come to work and play dress up. Admin takes up most of my time during the day! There is just so, so, so much admin. Emails, Skypes, orders, phone calls.
Fashion never sleeps so there is always someone that needs something from and because you’re working with people in different countries there is always something happening and something you will need to do.
The stress is like nothing I have ever experienced. And it is something that everyone around me battles to understand and I battle to explain because it is just insane and every single day there is a new kind of pressure to deal with and something else to stress about.
It is definitely not for the faint hearted but if it’s your passion it somehow just works for you and most of the time I thrive on it. I love being involved in something that from a young age has intrigued me and something that excites me all the time. I learn something new every day. I see new things every day.
And let me tell you, I am like a kid on Christmas day when I walk into a shop and see the stuff I have worked on hanging on the rails.
It is rewarding, it is fun and it is total madness. It will make you want to run away but it will also make you proud and fall in love with clothes all over again.
What are some of the realities of the industry you work in?