- Hannah Rafter |
The annual Graduate Fashion week is an exceptionally important event for all fashion students to have in their fashion events calendar. It is the time when industry professionals take note of the young talent coming out of university, showcasing their abilities, skills and efforts. It’s a chance to shine, get noticed and progress your career, an opportunity that should not be ignored, especially if you think it doesn’t apply to you. Take time to prepare yourself for this week and any follow up that might result.
Everyone showcasing at graduate fashion week and attending should set themselves goals and objectives. Do you want to make connections? Land a job? Get your work noticed? Scout out the competition or gain inspiration? Whatever the aim, you need to prepare yourself accordingly in order to give you the best chance of success during the short period.
Gone are the days where self promotion is seen as pushy and unnecessary. Promoting yourself is no longer seen as something for professionals or already successful people. More and more students are utilising social media to promote who they are, showcase the work they produce and state their career mission.
When attending or showcasing at graduate fashion week you need to be ready and confident enough to share with fellow attendees and companies who you are and what you want.
Find out about your fellow attendees - knowing who’s attending graduate fashion week will set you up for great networking opportunities. The same type of industry folk attend each year so why not message a few contacts on LinkedIn and arrange a meeting? Having meetings set up before you go will help you know what to prepare and what you want to discuss.
Plan your week - as mentioned, it is important to attend graduate fashion week with a plan and objectives to what you want to gain out of each day. The week can be a little hectic if you don’t go with schedule. Print out a list of which companies are going to be there and which stalls you want to visit.
Press release - if you are a designer, make sure you come prepared with lots of press releases ready to share with anyone who is interested. This is where you write about your current collection, what inspired you and who you are as a designer. A press release gives visitors vital information that the press will use if they choose to write about you. By handing these out or having them to hand you are giving yourself the best chance of being heard.
Bring business cards - if you are looking to make connections during the week, make sure you are prepared to give out your contact information. This is the number one way that people will reach out to you. It's a busy time therefore getting a business card in someone's diary will help you be remembered
CV - lots of students and industry hopefuls attend graduate fashion week in order to meet some companies and bosses in the industry. It is useful to come prepared with a few hard copies of your CV. This is something you can pass on when the right moment arises. This does not mean handing your CV to all and sundry. If you meet a contact and start talking about employment, it’s a positive touch to give them something to take away to remember the conversation.
Being seen and heard in an already saturated industry is hard, and something that won’t get any easier anytime soon, therefore be a friend to yourself and give yourself the tools to have the best chance of success.
Have a great graduate fashion week!
By contributing guest editor Hannah Rafter, founder and Editor In Chief of The Intern 247, a website dedicated to giving real insights into the world of fashion internships. @theintern247 theintern247.com
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