Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So, how do you make it in the fashion industry?

Ever been curious about how, exactly, you become a runway show producer or stylist? Start taking notes -- you're in luck. In honor of King of Prussia Fashion's Night Out, the evening's runway show producer, Kathie Young, was generous enough to take the time to answer a couple of questions for me.
Kathie has worked for Vogue, W, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks, among about a million others. So if anyone knows how to break into the fashion world, she does.
She teamed up with the Reinhard Modeling Agency, stylist Artur Kirsh, and (of course) the marketing team over at KOP to put together the runway show. If you're in town, the show starts at 7 p.m. in the Bloomingdale's court. See ya there!

And now, onto career talk with Kathie:

How did you first get into fashion on a professional scale?
As a child fighting with my mother about what I would wear to kindergarten, there was never a question in my mind that I would either be a designer or a model. I always knew I would go into fashion in some format. I started sewing in third grade and started "designing" my own outfits in the fifth grade.
Somewhere in the middle of a theatre major in college I realized I'd rather pursue modeling than design. Not tall enough for fashion, I ended up having a successful career as a "parts" model and part time fashion show commentator and coordinator. At that time, shows were seasonal -- two months in spring and fall. All shows were commentated, and you pulled your own show. Being a theatre major, I was a good public speaker, and knew fashion lingo.
One thing lead to another: many contacts later and with the creation of "Seventh on Sixth" Bryant Park fashion week, I segued from part time show stylist/producer to full time.

Do you have any advice for young women who want to pursue a similar career path?
Try it out first. I always warn people that the job is not what you think it is... it's 90 percent schlep and 10 percent glamour. It's a physically hard and demanding job and the time line is more that of live theatre, as opposed to a photo shoot or video. As you know, "the show must go on" whether you are ready or not.
I love my job and wouldn't do anything else, but it takes a specific type of personality. I always recommend a trial run first. Get involved, volunteer to work on many fashion shows, and put in as many hours as you can to see if it's for you. If you can handle the schlep and the hours, you are home free.

What is your favorite part of your job? Least favorite?
I love the creative outlet it offers me, creating a visual image from scratch, working with existing materials.
Least favorite is the budgeting process and the logistical elements -- booking trucks/deliveries/catering, etc.


Jessica said...

This is a fantastic post darling! I love the insider looks at the industry that I so desperately want to work in!

Joanne Faith said...

Great post, I love reading industry interviews. I'm always stunned at how hard they say the work is!