What do Larry King, Astronauts and Fashion Designers Have In Common?

All I can say is I wish I had gone to Beverly Hills High!  I had the opportunity to participate in their career day last week and WOW!  I joined 123 speakers in different professions to share our career experience with the students of Beverly Hills High last week.  123 speakers from professions covering anything from acupuncture to acting, fashion design to engineering, pilot to astronaut and everything in between!  A far cry from my high school career day…wait did we even have one?  Well, no, but my high school didn’t look like this either:

As if the prestigious list of company heads and talent in their surrounding area wasn’t enough the opening assembly meeting was given by Larry King, yes, as in the old man with suspenders and glasses you see on TV.  Let me tell you that career day was as much fun for me as it was for the students!

I’ll tell you a bit more about the day but what I am really getting to is the talk I gave and the questions the kids asked.  They were fantastic questions for anyone embarking on a career in fashion so I want to share them with you.  But first back to the halls of Beverly Hills High.

The first thing I noticed were the big bubble signs announcing pep rallies and after school activities.  It was so nostalgic!  I remember making those.  Then the kids filled the hallways as the bell rang.  All 2000+ of them.  WOW!  I looked around expecting Brandon Walsh to pop his head out of a locker…

I was lucky to have some friends of my own there or I would have felt a bit outnumbered.   I was joined by Julia Tudor of Orange County Fashion Association and we were both involved because of Carlyne Grager of Dramatic Artists Agency.  Carlyne took us under her wing and introduced us to her circle of friends who included actress Romi Dames (you’d know her from Hannah Montana as Traci) and Gordana Gehlhausen from Project Runway.   Apart from the TV celebs there were real life celebs such as an agent from the CIA and an Astronaut.  It was really a fabulous group of speakers!

Star studded excitement aside this day was for the kids.  Really nice kids with insight and interest in fashion.  I had put together a list of questions for them gathered from people just starting out in this industry.  I had asked them what do you want to know about the industry or where are you struggling?  It was such a relatable list of questions.  Really smart questions.  I used it to give my talks to the students and I have added some questions the students asked.  So I want to give you this list.  I challenge you to ask them as often and to as many people as you can in this industry because it is how you will learn.  We all go about it in different ways and we all find our way to success differently.  So gather as much info as you can to create your own path.  I’ve also included a short list of educational resources I like.

EDUCATION

Do you recommend any courses to take?

Do you need to know pattern making and sewing?

 

SALES AND MARKETING

How do you find places to sell your clothing?

When a sales rep approaches you, should you hop on that offer?

How do you know what contracts to sign and what not to sign?

Does a lot of money go towards press?

 

SET UP AND RUNNING THE BUSINESS

How much money do you need before starting a business?

Do you need a big office space?

How do you find manufacturers?

When should you expect to make profit?

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What are your typical hours in a day?

Where do you find resources for labels?

How do you know if you can trust people in industry?

Where do your inspirations come from?

What is your best advice for a young person getting started?

RESOURCES I RECCOMMEND

Industry News: Apparel News  http://www.apparelnews.net

All on the Line with Joe Zee (creative director of Elle)-on Netflix

My Blog: The Fashion Business Mentor

I share my own industry related experience and resources

http://www.thefashionbusinessmentor.wordpress.com

I answered these questions for the kids but I didn’t answer these questions here today.  I will come back to do that but for now I am going to nurse my cold with a cup of tea and snuggle with my daughter.  🙂

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