Things I Learned in Fashion School That Have Nothing to Do with Fashion
posted by Carly Fineman
In high school, I dreamed of getting out of my hometown and moving to New York City where opportunity and adventure seemed to round every corner. I was so excited to study fashion and have a career. Now, in my last year of LIM, I’ve learned so much more than how to identify trends or market a product.
When you tell people you study fashion, they can make a lot of assumptions. They assume you want to be a designer or they assume you’re favorite hobby is shopping. Unfortunately, they also might assume that anything to do with fashion is easy.
The first thing I learned from going to a fashion school is to stay informed. It can be hard for those outside of the fashion industry to understand we are more than a pretty face and a great handbag. We are getting a business degree. We are smart.
Speaking of great handbags, they really are great, but handbags and high heels aren’t the only things that matter. Being in the fashion industry, we are surrounded by glitz and glamour. Sometimes you have to take a step back to realize, it isn’t about the brands in your closet but the personality in your heart. Cheesy, I know, but when was the last time a pair of shoes made you laugh? Being a good friend and good person will get your farther than your stilettos ever will.
One of the first things I noticed when I came to LIM is that everyone around me was eager. Eager to find something they’re passionate about, and therefore eager to try new things. Everyone was loading up so much on their plate they barely had a moment to breath. It’s okay to say no. Quality is so much better than quantity. It’s easy to agree to a thousand things, but when you stretch yourself too thin, you don’t get to enjoy the things you’re doing in the moment. It’s a known fact that people in fashion are always one step ahead, but take a deep breath and live in the moment.
As stylish individuals, we find a million ways to beautify our feet. Most of the time, that includes sky-high heels or sandals that are flat as a pancake. Your feet are important. Take care of them. We’re all going places, but how can we get there if our feet always hurt? It’s easy to take for granted things we use everyday. Now go get a pedicure.
It’s a small, small world. This I might have learned after a vacation to Disney World, but I never really understood it until I came to New York. Everyone knows everyone. I’m not just talking about in the industry either. It’s not surprising to meet someone in Chelsea and casually run into them at a friend’s loft in Brooklyn. Be nice to everyone, you never know how they’ll fit into your life later.
I’ve earned a great education at LIM. Ask me anything you want about demographics and psychographics and I’ll be able to answer in under 10 seconds. But that’s not all I’ve learned. The combination of being in New York and trying to get my foot in the door of one of the most competitive industries has taught me a lot about the person I am and the overall person I want to become.