Like most people I had no idea how to tap into the  fashion industry let alone land the perfect dream job. I got into fashion by pure luck. God has a way of lining up certain opportunities in your life at the right time. I remember making clothes out of old fabric and styling my cousin for our home photoshoots. During those teen years in my life I had no idea those experiences were preparing me to work for one of the best styling firms in D.C.

I’m going to share my story with you and hopefully a piece of my luck will rub off on you. I do want you to know that your story may end up completely different from mine. You could land your dream fashion job in 2-6 months. It took me 6 years to get my dream job.  

I started out in retail, although I did not work in a high end department store Kohl’s taught me the basics of how a department store operated. I learned the latest trends in fashion and beauty.

I was often ahead of my peers when it came to knowing the trends for the season. I worked at Kohl’s for a year moving from different departments just to gain experience. I was working for minimum wage, but that did not bother me because I knew working there was just a stepping stone to prepare me for the future.  

I eventually moved to D.C. and started a styling company with my best friend called Styled By Divas where we would style our friends and people that were close to us all while working at Nordstrom Rack in different states. I found myself totally invested in the business, but the distance between my best friend and I took a tole on our new business venture. I was in D.C. and she was in S.C. had we been closer I am quite sure the business would have burst through the seams with endless possibilities. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop my grind from trying to tap into the industry. 

The following year I enrolled in graduate school and I still wanted a taste of the fashion industry, so I applied to Rent The Runway here in D.C. and they turned me down with flying colors. I kept searching on for fashion opportunities and I came across a job advertisement for a wardrobe styling intern needed for Closet Fashionistas. Yes, I decided to take an unpaid internship at 29 years old because I knew this was an open door that I had to walk through and soak up as much information as I could. Aisha who you should all know by now is the CEO of CF took me under her wing and showed me as much as she could. The more I showed her my strengths the more task she assigned me.  
Once I got comfortable in my position I wanted to expand into another area within the company. I pitched to Aisha that I was a journalism major in undergrad and I wanted to start a blog. She immediately liked my pitch and told me she would create a Digital Content Department for the company and put me in charge of Clutch Your Closet. I must admit I had moments where I thought I pitched the idea to her prematurely. Was I really ready to be in charge of another department? Was I ready to be the Editor & Chief of a blog? No matter how much doubt came into my mind I had to remind myself that I was born to do this. I was born to work in fashion and be a writer. I started to own my truth and we launched this blog on November 1, 2015. In essence it took me 6 years to get to this point, but it only took me 6 months to go from an intern to a Digital Content Manager in the company. You can do the same thing in less time if you try. I don’t have any secret formulas, or a book on how to land the perfect fashion job. All I have are lessons that I have learned along the way that I can pass on to you and hopefully they will help you succeed in this industry.  

Here Are My Special Lessons To Landing Your Perfect Fashion Job: 

1. NEVER GIVE UP– No matter how many doors close there is always another door that will open you just have to walk through it. I could have given up when Rent The Runway didn’t offer me a position, but I kept searching. Now I can say I have worked with CF and because we were a fashion based company we often partnered with Rent The Runway for fashion items. Keep submitting resumes until you get the job you want. 

2. HUMBLE YOURSELF– Never take for granted any opportunity that is given to you. If the fashion job that is offered to you pays less money than you expected take it. Never think you are overqualified to learn new things about the industry. If the job offered is unpaid still take it and work your regular part- time or full- time job. Remember an unpaid internship could turn into you being a Beauty Editor or Chief Stylist. Who cares if you are the coffee girl or boy suck it up and do your job, you never know who is watching your work ethic.

3. BE PATIENT– You finally get that fashion door to open and you have been there for a year without moving up in the company be patient. It might not be your time to move up continue to soak up as much information as you can so when that time comes you will be more than ready for your next promotion. Patience is the best key to move up in any company. 

4. BE INNOVATIVE– If you do get an internship in the company of your choice or maybe even a full-time position see what the company needs more of and think of how you can improve other departments. If you do not see any areas that need improvement think of ways that the company can reach new heights and make those opportunities happen, that is with your bosses permission of course. 

5. NETWORK– Everything in life is about networking. What is social media? Social media is a networking tool use it to reach out to people. In the fashion industry you can’t be shy you have to sell yourself to others. Show other fashion professionals what you can bring to the table. The best brand you can ever market is yourself. 

6. BE YOURSELF– Being yourself is the key to anything in life, no one can duplicate you that’s why God made you and brought you into the world alone. Don’t copy someone else’s ideas to get ahead or try to make yourself fit the mold of what others think you should be. Love the skin you are in and if your future boss likes you he or she hired you for being you. Never forget who you are and the skills you can offer to any company. Your boss and co-workers will gain more appreciation and respect for you being yourself. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! 

Peace and Blessings!


Lala Walston