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The winners have been selected...

First Prize Winner : Blondell
Second Prize Winner: Tara Davis

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners and all who have participated...


Below is the summary of the contest and the entries.

Gerald Sherman has been kind enough to offer two free copies of his Fashion Public Relations book.  One book for 1st prize and one book for second prize.  Both will be signed by the author.


Here is the information about the contest:


1)  Write a short essay.

2)  Essay Should be no more then 250 words.

3)  Subject of the Essay, "Things they never taught me in school on being successful in the Fashion Industry"


Contest Ends: November 20th, 2010


Judge: Gerald Sheman


You can learn more about Gerald Sherman and the books that he has authored by visiting his profile here on the Fashion Industry Network.  You can also learn more at the Sherman & Perlman website. 


More about the prize : Fashion Public Relations, Gerald J. Sherman & Sar S.Perlman, Fairchild Books, Division of Conde Nast, N. Y., (2010). This book has been adopted by nationally and internationally known Fashion Colleges & Universities...



Again, the subject of the essay is, Things they never taught me in school on being successful in the Fashion Industry.


You can list your essay below in the comments section of this discussion.

Views: 2957

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

Fashion Design School never taught me how to start and run a successful business. There’s a lot more to running a business than passion and designing. Everyone needs a readiness assessment…. do you have what it takes to run a successful business. You need a business plan as a guide to run your business or to obtain financing. Fashion Design school didn’t teach me to write a business plan. A business plan defines your business structure, market and competition. It shows how the economic conditions, legislation, social networking; just to name a few may impact your business.

In my opinion Fashion Design School should include a class in writing a business plan. It is imperative to know sources for funding your business. It is equally important to employ an accountant/bookkeeper and attorney. There are decisions to be made regarding product offering, sourcing suppliers, manufacturers etc. I would love to be able to learn from people who either are or had run a design business. I could learn firsthand what worked and didn’t work. I could learn from others in the fashion industry client relations.

Text books and lecture can’t compare to the real world.
I was not taught of the importance of the Passion for Fashion, but how to look at textiles, how to sew and how to make patterns.

I was not taught how to put my creative brain to work and just have fun exploring with colour and different textiles, instead, how important it is to keep certain colours as well as fabrics together.

I was not taught how to become a successful entrepreneur without the funding to employ the right people.

I have since investigated my creativity and honed my talents in the fashion world. I have explored my calling with an anthology of one off creations and have matured into my current self titled label.

Ayolani is a label based on passion and love. A passion for style, art and creation. A love of beautiful clothes designed for all women. ” I have created an entire lifestyle package for my clientele. My collection houses an eclectic range of cocktail wear, casual wear, ball gowns and gallery pieces.”

I draw my inspiration from “…women who have succeeded in whatever their chosen field… and… who have battled through adversity, social disadvantages and motherhood to achieve their goals.”

As a single Mother with 4 Children, I understand all too well that if we stop at ''Things they never taught me in school on being successful in the Fashion Industry" we could fall into the trap and become victims.

“Good Luck Ladies”
Hi !!! Any body can help me where to send essay ? i could not figure out,,

thanks in advance

Jheney L Puia
Fashion Supplier
Go to Groups and to Fashion Contest...good luck!
Jheney - you can post your entry directly here in this group. Just as you typed your question in the reply box, you will do the same but post your actual entry. When Gerald Judges the contest, he will simply read all of the posts in this discussion section and will then privately let me know the decision regarding the winner. I will then let everyone know the winner.
Things they never taught me in school on being successful in the Fashion Industry.

One major thing, that I have taken notice of with my interns is that they don't teach them in school "the art of Customer Service and Client Appreciation." In our business most of our clients become some-what of an extended family to us, they contact us at the most inopportune times and expect your full-undivided attention. Many have a diluted view of what we do and make it more glamours than what it really is. We work very hard to develop and maintain long lasting relationships.

With this being sated, I think the (schools) have to do something in regards to Customer Service and Client Appreciation. Without this most are not going to keep lasting relationships with their future or past clients and this is very important in our line of business. We make lasting relationships and permenant impressions on everyone we come into contact with be it from makeup, hair, wardrobe styling or Desinging you have to take the time to learn and appreciate that client for who they are and what they are.
Interestingly, I didn't go to undergrad to pursue a degree in the fashion industry, however, it's always been a personal passion for me. When I moved to New York City in 2005 to start my PR career, it seemed only natural to get involved in the fashion community which started with pursuing a continuing studies certificate for Fashion Events Planning at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After getting involved in the program, I took advantage of one of my professor's offers to volunteer my time at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week backstage which really helped me understand the ins and outs of the industry. Since many of the lesser known designers, models, stylists didn't have the resources to support their career, I worked with my PR agency to kick-off a pop-up for a month leading up to Fashion Week giving stylists, models and designers the opportunity for free PR representation accomplished via a traditional casting call. I can easily say some of the things I didn’t learn in school school on being successful in the industry are:
- Don't doubt the power you have. Even as a junior PR executive, you help shape the future of the industry and if you speak up, you can create something that helps change your career, but also those of others.
- Think like an entrepreneur – you never know what you can accomplish, even if you have limited resources.
- Your experience (however limited) can help you build your resume and also entice potential new clients
Mario Deronsle for the brand "Esme Collections"

things they never taught at Fashion School:

Some things that were not taught at Fashion School were that, there is no correct way or pathway to the road of success.

Another thing they didn’t teach is that, with clothing anyone can become a designer, it is your network which gets you in the game and it is your talent that creates your legacy!!

Do note that meeting the correct person can place you in the game.

Lastly, you are doing something correct if other established labels start copying your art, be appreciative don’t cry over it and create the next thing.

Thank you,

Mario Deronsle
Designer and CEO
Esme Collections
Things they never taught me in school on being successful in the Fashion Industry!
Funding, Marketing, and Manufacturing. I graduated in 92' with a degree in fashion design from a local college in Philadelphia. What I didn’t know is that Philadelphia was not a fashion player in this industry. So I headed to New York where I heard the jobs were Plentiful. I interviewed with fashion companies big and small for NY Fashion Week and local NY Designers trying to get their labels off the ground. The Commuting back and forth was exhausting and a lot of the companies wanted youthful ideas for little pay. So after several years of doing the NY TO Philly adventure. I realize fashion especially for African Americans Designers were a close off and non-existence world. I watched designers like Willie Wear to Stephens Burrows struggle to keep name recognition within the mainstream media. I began to read and study marketing, business and manufacturing practices and learn that fashion was more than creative ideas on paper. I set out to create my industry in an industry, promote, empower and fund a diversified community of fashion designers, textile artist, and manufactures from Philadelphia to Philippines. So far it's been five years and growing. Do I think more progress needs to be created for African American Designers-Definitely? Do I think we have what it takes to sustain longevity, without a doubt? Mainstream marketing- Signature Apparel Group!
President/Chief Executive Officer
Fashion International Group
"Things they never taught me in school on being successful in the Fashion Industry"

To be Nice! I believe that in order to achieve your dreams in the Industry, you will come in contact with others along the way that can help you attain your goals. While the passion and persistence will be self-induced, it will be your choice on how to treat those who can open those doors that otherwise would be locked. I believe the key is to be humble. People will be more eager to assist and work with you.
Be True to Who You Are. In the Industry, you may tend to be influenced by other's designs and style. It is important to remember who you are and who you are passionate about designing for. Remembering the small details, will keep you on track and it will be less complicated to stay inspired on the larger picture, your designs!! Fashion & taste are as unique as we are; being true to your creative soul will keep you thriving in the Industry.
Keep your Balance. Being open to criticism is crucial. But you have to be careful in determining when someone is out to seek & destroy or if they are being supportive in giving constructive criticism. It is healthy to keep your ears clean, to be able to take in advice when it’s given. What can determine success is what you do with the advice. It’s important to be receptive to others while continuing to wear a thick skin.
The following submit is for Cora Harrell. She e-mailed to me and I am posting for her just incase, she does not get me reply e-mail in time telling her that she needs to post here.. Anyway, here is her comments just incase.

A sacrifice.....Mums the word! Uncertainties, Celebrity Red Carpet Events, Celebration time. Endless work, stress and more stress. Being successful certainly does not come over night......It's a continuous work in progress. Self dedication. You have to encourage your self, be firm, be strong, be smart, wise and witty. Get knowledge and pray without ceasing. The fashion industry..... The pros: "A List" recognition, VIP static. Exsposure beyound what you could see coming. All exclusive paid for assignments for your services. The yacht parties, mansion,secret hide-away excursions. The cons: If you don't pave the way for your self don't expect anyone else too. You will be disappointed. As the creative side of you matures, take control in the early stages, of the manifestation so when you become full will recognize your own capabilities. You must know who you are first before you present yourself to others and exspect for them to embrace what "you" say "you" stand for. Take a stand, be unmoveable , unshakeable, and solid as a rock, pertaining to your roll in the fashion industry. Write your plan of success down on a piece of paper and follow it step by step. You must see where you are going, giving yourself the opportunity to make changes. Successful, you are already and your the only one that can unlock the success because you hold the key....Now when your ready unlock the door.

Words to Remember,
Cora Harrell
Things they never taught me in school on being successful in the Fashion Industry
By Flow by Tara Davis

I started my interest in fashion design as a young child hand sewing clothes for my Barbie Dolls.
When I studied Fashion Design in college, I was sycked to see how I could make millions and see my name in clothes beside Versace and DVF.
A few classes in, I found myself doing more labor work than I expected.
So what they don’t teach you in school is how to be a business owner. School only taught me everything to do with how to make patterns and design for other designers.
I opened my business as an independent designer in 2003. What I have learned on my own are the following…..
1. The business plan= how to own and operate a business. I need to have a substantial operational, market and financial plan to access capital from banks.
2. Fit analysis= when we drafted designs in school, they were always in standard sizes. I have found out that those standard sizes do not fit the actual customers. Going forward, I have done research on the body frames of the USA. What I have found true is in the USA the most common body frames are H= no curves and A frame= hips are larger than standard.
3. Production= was not taught at all. I was taught how to produce my own garments or for my employee. What I have found out as a business owner is the act of sourcing production in the USA and International.


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