There’s no doubt that starting a career in fashion is tough. The industry itself can be hard to break into, but where does someone even begin? That’s why the first annual Kit Connect Conference hosted by The Kit and the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards was held April 5th. The conference aimed to provide insight to anyone looking to break into the industry, with ample networking time, a fabulous shopping pre-party and amazing goodie bags (thank you, thank you!).
The Kit Connect Conference was held in the Lower Junction Gallery – a beautiful airy space in the West end of Toronto. Throughout the day there was a total of 6 professional panels, discussing everything from the best advice they’ve ever received, to the future of retail and e-commerce. The panel categories included The Editors, The Artists, The Marketers, The Bloggers, The Retailers, and The Designers. Some of the panelists included the wonderful Laura De Carufel (editor-in-chief of The Kit), Rita Remark of Essie Canada, Taylor Frankel of Nudestix, Ania B, Jodi BLK, Sid Neigum and tons of other incredible fashion industry leaders.
The Kit Connect Conference was definitely a great learning experience for me, and I will definitely be going again next year. Here are some pieces of advice shared by the industry insiders that really stuck with me – and that I will follow to get the career of my dreams!
Fake it till you make it
Almost every panelist touched on advice that came back to this. If you fake it enough, people will believe it and before you know it, you’ll be where you wanna be.
While you may be faking it till you’re making it, stay authentic to your values, your voice, and your personality. A person who sells out or puts on an act are less credible and can be spotted from a mile away.
Do the job you want before it’s given to you
This was The Kit digital editor Caitlin Kenny‘s best piece of advice that she’d ever received – and now one of my own. Take initiative and do what you want to do, before you’re told to do it. If you’re passionate about something, people will notice.
Invest in yourself
When I asked the blogger panel how I can turn my blog into a career (the dream!) this is what Ania B recommended. The same as if you’re starting any other business, you need to invest capital into the company before you can see any profit. Ania advised beginner bloggers to invest in a camera, apps, and good outfits for shooting to take that next step in the blogging universe.
Reach out to industry professionals
Many panelists included this piece of advice as well. They shared that you can’t wait around and expect people to notice you and your work on their own – you have to put yourself out there, network, and reach out to those in the field you want to be in to make connections and get the position you want.
Photos by Tara Noelle.