Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs NYC

 Christie Lohr, Style Nine to Five Fashion Jobs, with Porter Magazine

To any fashion hopeful who is just starting out in his or her career, having a mentor is one of the best ways to gain invaluable information regarding the industry. Whether it’s interview advice, insider knowledge about what employers look for, or tips to succeed in your personal endeavours, speaking with a seasoned veteran will definitely be a rewarding experience. While the idea of reaching out to anybody you don’t know can seem like a daunting task at first, Christie’s here to tell you why it will all be worth it, and that it isn’t such a scary thing after all.

Christie Lohr: What inspired me to pursue a career in the fashion industry was a fated meeting with a fashion expert in my early 20s. I was an eager young fashion grad, fresh out of college and working as an Assistant Manager at Le Chateau. I was on my way to a Nelly Furtado concert at the Vogue on Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver when I was suddenly stopped by this fashion expert who wanted to take my photo for her upcoming street style feature for The Province newspaper. At the time, I was so excited to be featured in a major publication like The Province. This fated meeting definitely inspired me to explore my options in the fashion industry and learn more about how I could get involved. I thought to myself, how cool would it be to speak with this fashion reporter and see if I could assist her in any way? Acting on that thought, I found her email address online and proceeded to send her a message, thanking her for the feature, as well as inquiring if I could be a part of what she was doing. I don’t know if I expected a reply at the time, and quite honestly, whenever you do decide to reach out to someone, know that they probably have a busy schedule so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see a reply right away! I heard back from her after a few days and we scheduled a coffee meeting, where I was able to pick her brain and inquire if I could be of any help to her work. Although she wasn’t even looking for assistance, just because I reached out and asked, she brought me on board!

I think the moral of my story is simply to not be afraid to reach out to anyone you look up to as a mentor, or who you aspire to be like. Yes we’re all busy, but I can tell you that there’s nothing more special and flattering than receiving a thoughtful email from someone who’s truly passionate about the industry and who expresses a strong desire to learn from me. I know I was so eager to learn (and still am) back when I was in my early 20s and just starting out in my fashion career. I’m at a point in my life now where I want to give back by offering my time to speak with and educate any driven young individual, and I know that many industry insiders share my sentiments. We were all at the same place once upon a time, and I can definitely say that I would not be where I am today without my mentors.

Whenever you meet someone in the industry who you want to get to know more, send them a follow-up email and schedule out a time to talk! You’d be surprised at how many doors can open for you and how much you can learn just from taking the first step to connect.

Photo by Laura McIntosh

Written by Anna Zhao 

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 GetInline

Online job boards are the first stop for almost every job seeker; and in most cases, the final stop. The strategy of placing all of your résumés in one basket means missing out on all of the other exciting opportunities out there – you just have to make a commitment to finding them. Job seeking can sometimes mirror dating in the sense that you may never find the right ‘one’ by looking in all the same places.

Wondering why companies don’t post all of their job openings? Perhaps the hiring manager doesn’t want to be bombarded with a slew of résumés, or someone may still be in the position, but they are soon to be let go. Also, most hidden opportunities are typically filled based on internal promotions, referrals and recommendations. Those are just a few reasons, but either way, those jobs are out there and you can be that referral or recommendation!

Your willingness to put yourself out there will yield more results, boost your confidence, and open your mind to opportunities and companies that you generally wouldn’t have even considered. Branch out beyond the job boards and seek job openings that aren’t being advertised using these tips:

1. Ask. It never hurts to ask. Create a list of companies that you would like to target, whether or not they are hiring, and reach out the hiring manager. Create an industry-specific résumé that highlights the role you are seeking and complement it with a detailed cover letter that is addressed to a specific person. Inquire about opportunities that may align with your experience and note that you are open to an informational meeting to discuss current or future opportunities. Can’t get to the hiring manager? Proceed to the following steps.

2. Network. Get the word out that you’re in the job market by reaching out to your network and starting a conversation around your area of expertise. The information you receive will depend on your approach and on whether or not they can picture you as a colleague or as someone they would recommend. If you’re sincere and you’re not coming off as desperate, you’ll find it’s fairly easy to open doors to influential decision makers. Current employees are privy to inside information such as upcoming projects, new departments, and expansions with the company. Staying in contact on a regular basis will keep your name fresh in their minds when an opportunity comes around.

3. Research. Take some time to find out what the innovative companies in your industry are up to. Is there a department that you can see yourself contributing to or improving? Without stepping on any toes, call out an area of opportunity and suggest how you would be able to improve the current methods or help to take things to the next level. Be ready to back it up with real ideas and examples of how you can make an impact.

Furthermore, using social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great ways to connect with the people who can get you one step closer to the hiring manager.

With all of these methods comes one requirement – patience. Applying via job boards may feel as though you’re quickly moving along in the right direction, but the automatic response stating that your application was received can be misleading. Asking for an informational meeting, reaching out to your network, and researching companies takes perseverance and commitment. It’s an ongoing process and patience will yield the results that will set you on the right path to your dream job.

By Malicia Basdeo, New York City, @maliciaism

Are you an employer? Post your New York fashion job here.

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                                                    Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs NYC

Olga Vidisheva, Founder and CEO of Shoptiques.com

In Style Nine to Five’s series, Q&A Sessions with Industry Insiders, we’re dedicated to giving our readers a glimpse into the lives of successful individuals who represent various facets of the fashion realm. From business owners to PR gurus, it’s career advice straight from fashion professionals who are excelling in their respective fields. So whether you’re just starting out in your career, or are simply looking to grow your knowledge bank, there’s definitely a takeaway buried within the stories of our Industry’s Insiders.

This week, the spotlight is on Olga Vidisheva, the Founder and CEO of Shoptiques.com. Shoptiques is an online e-commerce platform that connects fashion lovers to all of the hidden boutique gems around the world. While boutique shopping always delivers on a unique selection of hard to find pieces, it’s not always the most viable option for many consumers. When busy schedules are factored in, along with the sheer distance separating shoppers from their favourite stores, it becomes nearly impossible to enjoy the shopping experience. Shoptiques aims to solve that very problem by providing consumers with a one stop portal to accessing all the out of reach boutiques across the globe. So whether you’re located in an urban hub or a rural community, if you can access Shoptiques, then every boutique selection is also just a click of a button away.

I was lucky enough to get inside the head of Olga herself as she shared the defining moments in her career that ultimately led her to where she is now. Take a look at what she had to say:

Anna: What inspired you to pursue a career in the fashion industry growing up? Was there one event that you think pushed you onto the path to get to where you are now?

Olga: There are many symbols of hope: the Statue of Liberty, a yellow ribbon, the green light in the Great Gatsby, a picture in a frame. These objects rise above their intrinsic value to become spiritual beacons of endurance against life’s challenges. For me, hope has always been embedded in the self-expression and artistry of clothing. As a young girl, I was drawn to images of citizens in the United States and their wide variety of garments, which provided a stark contrast to the poor assortment and quality of clothing available in the local “Tsum” store. While the boys had heroes such as Michael Jordan and Vladislav Tretyak, my room had small, faded pictures of Coco Chanel and Vyacheslav Zaitsev which I had clipped from the newspaper over the years.

As I grew older and childhood dreams morphed into a tangible reality, I decided that I wanted to make an impact on the fashion industry and help transform lives of women who express themselves through clothing every single day. While the fashion industry is sometimes viewed as vapid and shallow, I believe that clothing provides the foundation for people – especially women – to express their individuality. Like the American flag, the clothes on our bodies are more than simply functional cloth and stitches. As Mary Kay Ashe, founder of Mary Kay cosmetics said, “While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence — which, I believe, does make the woman.”

Anna: What does a day in the life of Olga Vidisheva look like?

Olga: There is really no typical day. I start around 6am. I try to divide my days into internal and external days. This helps me stay organized and actually get things done. I spend a lot of time with my team making sure everyone is aligned in terms of strategy and goals. I schedule “thinking” time where I think about the strategy going forward for the business. I can also be speaking with our investors or traveling to meet with potential boutiques or partners. I am involved in every aspect of the business which makes it very interesting.

Anna: If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Olga: Spend more time with your family, live closer to them and surround yourself with strong support system.

Anna: The fashion industry is notorious for its heavy competition. What’s one tip you would give to stand out amongst the crowd? Has there been one that has always worked for you?

Olga: I think it is very important in any industry to have a point of view and point of differentiation. Shoptiques is aggregating unique one of a kind stores from around the world. We have very clear differentiation point from the stores and merchandise we allow on the site (you have to be exclusive to Shoptiques) to our marketing and user-acquisition strategy. My advice would be to always know how you are different and be honest to yourself and others, whether your “difference” is a stretch or a real point of differentiation.

Anna: Is there a go-to item you turn to or a style tip that you live by when you’re building your daily looks?

Olga: A crisp simple white shirt is my go-to item. Dress it up or down, you will look polished whether you have a meeting with investors, one on one with a team member or drinks with friends after work. My day is 24/7 and I always want to wear something that can take me throughout my day no matter what the day might bring.

By: Anna Zhao

Are you an employer? Post your New York fashion job here.

Are you a job seeker? Find fashion jobs in NYC here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, career advice and fashion trends!

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                                                    Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs Canada

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No matter how much we prepare ahead of time for an interview, there’s bound to be one or two questions thrown our way that are just plain hard to answer. Every interviewer wants to know why you’re leaving your current position or why there was a gap on your resume since your last point of employment, but consequently, those are also the most difficult questions to answer. How do you communicate a bad experience in a previous position without turning recruiters off? What if you decided to take a year off of work? Since you’ll most likely be making your first impression during the interview, it’s important to understand how a hiring manager may perceive what you say. Having made many hiring decisions in the past, Christie certainly has her fair share of advice to share about the dos and don’ts of answering the unanswerable.

Christie: “I know that job seekers want to be honest with their interviewers, but it’s important to view yourself through the eyes of a hiring manager first. Although you may have had a bad experience in a past position, I always tell candidates to never play the role of the victim, even if your past management was at fault. No interviewer wants to hear a candidate bad-mouthing their previous company in any way because we will immediately wonder what you may say about OUR company if we were to hire you. Internal company discord should be kept separate from the interview discussion.  If asked the question of why you are leaving your current company, try and keep the topic of the conversation on the new company. Perhaps your old job didn’t offer you enough growth opportunities which you believe the new position would? Do you feel like the culture of the new company is a better fit for your personality and style? These are all great ways to keep the focus of the interview on why you want to work for the company you are interviewing for while still answering the original question of why you are leaving your previous role. Even if the situation was bad, never let the “bad” and “negatives” creep into your interview. Stay focused and also positive!

Similarly, a gap between the present and your previous term of employment could raise red flags for the interviewer. We want to confirm that you weren’t fired or let go from your previous position. The interviewer is probably wondering why you didn’t wait to find a new job first before resigning from your previous post. A good way to approach this question is to attribute the period of absence from employment to self-improvement of any sort. Even if you were just taking a break to switch gears, make sure that you don’t come off as lazy in any way. Instead, frame the time off as a means to work on yourself so that you could become better for it. It’s important to reassure the interviewer that you are most definitely ready to re-enter the work force with all of the newfound takeaways from your period of absence. Remember, everyone wants a go-getter! And while a lot of what you say comes down to the delivery itself, your words do have an impact on how the interviewer will perceive you. If you are unsure, then air on the side of caution when answering tough questions, while placing a larger emphasis on what you can bring to the new role. ”

Photo: Laura McIntosh

By: Anna Zhao

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

Are you a job seeker? Find fashion jobs here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, career advice and fashion trends!

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