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Educate Yourself

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As fashion students, we all know how hard it is to break into the industry. To be successful in anything it is important to do your research and gain as much knowledge as you can. There are many fashion related books out there, but here are a few that I personally recommend!

1. is known for her fashion PR company, Peoples Revolution that she personally built up from the ground. Kelly Cutrone is an advocate for women receiving fair recognition in the workplace, achieving what you deserve, and has a lot of advice and knowledge for fashion entrepreneurs.

I highly recommend watching her interviews, speeches and reading her books, Kelly Cutrone is an inspirational and motivational woman who not only gives great advice, but also has the life experience to back it up.

Her realistic, honest advice is a breath of fresh air in an industry filled with promises of glamour and fantasy. In her book If you have to cry, go outside: and other things your mother never told you she says “you can fake your way to the table, but ultimately you need to learn how to eat.”

2. Whether you’re a designer, writer or stylist you need to know iconic designers and correct fashion terms to properly do your job. The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers lists every important designer from 1840 to the book’s release in 2008.

This book covers designers, fashion terms, influential art movements, fashion media, photographers, illustrators, and much more. This is a reference book that every fashion student should have in his or her collection.

3. Author Mary Gehlar is a consultant to hundreds of designers including Zac Posen, Rebecca Taylor and Cloak. In the preface of the book she says “This book is designed to help new designers successfully set up and run a new business, benefitting from the pitfalls, mistakes, and triumphs of other designers who are doing it themselves.”

The Fashion Designer Survival Guide is packed full of successful business practices to create and sustain a career as an independent designer such as viable business plans, figuring out how much money you will need, fabric sources, marketing, branding and much more!

There’s also advice throughout the book from industry professionals such as Donna Karen, Tommy Hilfiger, Cynthia Rowley, Diane Von Furstenberg and Richard Tyler and advice from up and coming labels’ personal experiences too. For anyone wanting to start their own business this is a must read!

The best tools for success in this industry are knowledge and experience so volunteer, network, and read a book!

Jessica Moneo

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