Posts Tagged ‘Fashion Career’

Fashion Jobs – 5 Office Christmas Party Outfit Ideas

Monday, December 5th, 2016

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Now that the holiday season has officially begun, the holiday parties will start to begin. But rather than wearing your typical office wear, now is your opportunity to take advantage of dressing up.  But it’s important to make sure your holiday party look is both festive and professional. 

To ensure you look your best this holiday season, we’ve put together five looks for every type of holiday party so you’ll be able to dazzle and shine wherever your office decides to deck the halls.

Look Number 1

1. Needle & Thread Sequined Top, $210, available at Net-a-Porter

2. Jimmy Choo Romy Heels, $618, available at SSENSE

3. Miss Selfridge Trousers, $60, available at John Lewis

Look Number 2

1. Dolce & Gabbana Fitted Blazer, $1,763, available at Far Fetch

2. Humble Chic Rhinestone Choker, $46, available at Humble Chic

3. Christian Louboutin So Kate, $795, available at Christian Louboutin

4. Raey Tank, $100, available at Matches Fashion

5. H&M Imitation Leather Leggings, $25, available at H&M

Look Number 3

1. Balenciaga Crepe Midi Skirt, $2,250, available at Net-a-Porter

2. Lands’ End Turtleneck, $59, available at Lands’ End

3. Jimmy Choo Romy Suede Pumps, $595, available at Matches Fashion

Look Number 4

1. DVF Jumpsuit, $234, available at DVF

2. Stella McCartney Tuxedo Blazer, $1,795, available at Stella McCartney

3. Shoe Dazzle Arnita pumps, $59, available at Shoe Dazzle

Look Number 5

1. Emilio De La Morena dress, $930, available at Avenue 32

2. Manolo Blahnik Pumps, $1,376, available at Neiman Marcus

3. Bauble Bar Moonrock Drop Earrings, $58, available at Bauble Bar


By Ainsley Smith, Toronto, @ainsleysmithy

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

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Fashion Jobs – 7 Items You Need for Winter

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

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The days are officially going to become shorter, the weather is getting colder — winter is almost here.

Once the cold weather arrives, it will be time to put away our ankle boots and bomber jackets and time to refresh our wardrobes and add some much needed cold weather items.

These items need to be versatile enough to be worn to the office and good quality to last throughout the colder months.

So whether you live in a colder climate or you’re planning a trip to one, these are the seven winter wardrobe essentials that every woman needs in her closet.

1. J Crew Sweater

1. A Cozy, Versatile Sweater
A cable knit sweater works with absolutely everything and will more than earn its keep this winter. It can be dressed down with a pair of jeans and boots or dressed up at the office with a pleated, feminine skirt.

2. Tory Burch Boots

2. Chic, Knee-High Boots

Knee-high boots are meant for two reasons: giving your legs extra coverage on the colder days, as well as adding an extra dose of flair to an otherwise simple outfit. Opt for a pair of boots that can handle the winter elements and also make your outfit the talk of the town.

3. J Crew Coat

3. Double-Breasted Coat
Not only will a double-breasted jacket keep you warm and toasty this winter, but it will also add some serious flair to your go-to winter uniform of jeans and a sweater as well as add some serious style cred over a party dress.

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4. Plaid Blouse
A plaid blouse is perfect for layering underneath a sweater or worn tucked into a cute skirt. We love this adorable plaid print, as it will add a playful pop of colour to any outfit.5. J Crew Earmuffs

Faux Fur Earmuffs
There’s nothing better than throwing on a pair of chic (faux-fur) earmuffs on a chilly day. They’ll not only keep your ears nice and warm, but you can wear them to work without about messing up your hair.

6. Wool Gloves

Wool Gloves
Every gal on the go needs a pair of gloves that will not only keep her hands and wrists warm but also allow her to keep her fingers free so she can answer emails or add a selfie to Instagram on the fly.



Cozy Scarf
A warm scarf is an essential winter wardrobe staple. Opt for a scarf in either a stylish plaid or in a bold, statement colour, as they’ll pop against the harsh winter sky. Remember, fashion and function are key.


Product details:

1. J Crew Cambridge Cable Turtleneck Sweater, $128, available at J Crew

2. Tory Burch Ashlynn Riding Boot, $463, available at Nordstrom

3. J Crew Double Breasted Oxford Coat, $454, available at J Crew

4. Banana Republic Dillon-Fit Ruffle Cuff Blouse, $68, available at Banana Republic

5. J Crew Faux Fur Earmuffs, $58, available at J Crew

6. Club Monaco Annegret Glove, $79, available at Club Monaco

7. Indigo Super Soft Scarf, $29, available at Chapters Indigo

By Ainsley Smith, Toronto, @ainsleysmithy

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!

Fashion Stylist Jobs – How to Gain Respect at Work

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

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It can be tough to start a new job. You walk into a new environment, a new corporate culture with new responsibilities, and new colleagues. The balloon of excitement bursts as you realize you’re the big elephant in the room of your workplace.  In an effort to figure out how to heed these disheartening obstacles we face as newcomers, we investigated 5 ways to gain respect and admiration in the workplace. Unexpected lessons and some serious realizations- ahead.

1.Interact with your colleagues

It may seem like a daunting task in the beginning, but strive to get to know your co-workers and take genuine interest in them. Getting to know them on a deeper level will solidify their trust and respect for you not only as a co-worker but a person as well. You’d be surprised at how a good simple “how are you” can make someone feel.

2. Go the extra mile

When you start a new job, you’re given a set job description that highlights the tasks you are responsible for.

As you get comfortable in your role and gain more confidence, however, you must be willing to operate outside your standard JD and go above and beyond what is expected of you. Your willingness to take extra steps to ensure success will speak volumes to your peers and boss.

3. Be positive in times of triumph

It’s very easy, and very common to let the new 9-5 workday grind get you down, especially when you are still clueless on what your actual responsibilities are. This can make it difficult to continue working with a smile and a productive attitude. Despite this, it is with the upmost importance that you persevere and remain proactive in trying situations. This will help foster greater levels of commitment and overtime will cement your position as a hardworking, well respected employee.

4. Avoid workplace gossip

At one point or another, everyone needs to vent. But it’s crucial to keep any commentary about co-workers off of company devices, email, texts, and especially elevators.

5. Respect others

In order to gain respect, you have to earn it. It’s not something that is handed to you right away. If you want to gain the respect of your co-workers, you should ask yourself how you can change your behaviour to earn their respect.

Inspiration image: Copyright: nyul / 123RF Stock Photo

By: Jennifer Wilcox

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

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Fashion Jobs – Fall Bags

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs CanadaWe strongly believe that the start of a new season means the start of a new wardrobe. And no wardrobe is complete without a roster of stylish bags to take you from your morning meetings to evening cocktails. From chic velvet purses to statement backpacks, this seasons ‘It’ bags are anything but ordinary.

Here are the five purse trends that have stolen our hearts this season…

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The Saddle Bag

Saddle bags of all shapes, colour, and size were spotted on a number of major runways for fall. If you’re looking for a bag that will transition from season to season, the saddle bag is it. Opt for a neutral colour like camel or black for optimal use.


The Guitar Strap

The most sought after fall bag has a bit more of an edge this year, and features a wide, embellished guitar strap and is making a statement for all the right reasons. Valentino, Prada, Fendi, and Alexander Wang are a few designers to jump on this edgy trend and have released their own rocker-inspired bags that are adorned with multi-coloured embroidery, studs, beaded designs, and much more.

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If one thing’s for certain, velvet is the fabric of the season — especially when it comes to bags and accessories. From luxe, plush clutches to black velvet crossbody bags with gold hardware, this season’s most talked about bags com

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When you first think about embroidery, you might picture your grandmother’s favourite past time. But to the surprise of many, some of the hottest purses this fall feature statement embroidery designs of florals, butterflies, animals, and even emojis.


The Backpack

Gone are the days of the traditional, boxy, and unflattering backpack. Today’s hottest designers have revamped this childhood staple and made it appropriate for fashionistas alike. The return of the book bag features luxe leather textiles and stylish details in an array of colours.  From work to cocktails, a stylish backpack is exactly what you need to get through fall.

Product Details:

1. Weldon Escapade Saddle Bag, $529, available at Shopbop

2. Valentino Rockstud Studded Messenger Bag, $3,995, available at Neiman Marcus

3. Prada Velvet Shoulder Bag, $1500, available at My Theresa

4. YSL Kate Monogram Embellished Velvet Shoulder Bag, $2,250, available at My Theresa

5. Rebecca Minkoff, Fringe Julian Backpack, $525, available at Shopbop

By: Ainsley Smith, Toronto, @ainsleysmithy

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

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

Fashion Jobs – Get Ready for Sweater Weather With Our Fall Sweater Guide

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

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Even though fall is synonymous with every girl’s favourite things — pumpkin spice lattes, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches — fall fashion is definitely the season’s number one perk.

While cozy layering essentials, chic wide-brimmed hats, and over-the-knee boots are definitely on our fall shopping lists we’re most excited about adding some new sweaters to our wardrobe this season.

Sweaters are the perfect cold weather necessity, as they’ll keep you warm and cozy without sacrificing style. This season, we highly recommend investing in a few different styles and luckily for you there are endless sweater options available, these just happen to be our favourites…


Feminine Details

Get cozied up for fall in a dreamy cream sweater featuring soft, feminine details.  We currently love this Vanessa Bruno fringe number; it would be perfect with a pair of dark jeans and a pair of camel over-the-knee boots.



When it’s cold and dreary out, there’s no better way to brighten your mood but with a statement sweater in an attention-getting colour. This season, treat yourself to a sweater in your favourite bold hue and you’ll be turning heads for all the right reasons. We’re falling for this stunning red Tory Burch sweater with gold details.

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Shades of Tan

Tan is quite possibly the chicest, and most timeless colour there is and this fall we can’t wait to get our hands on cozy sweaters done up in varying shades of tan. From soft camel to warm honey and muted khaki, this is a shade we can’t get enough of.



Arguably one of the nicest and most expensive wools available, cashmere sweaters are a closet staple that every woman should eventually invest in. Cashmere sweaters are perfect for fall, as they’ll keep you warm without adding the extra weight. Invest in a classic design and you’ll be able to wear it for years to come.

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This hot fall trend might remind you of your rebellious teenage years, but graphic sweaters with funky prints, patches, and designs are the perfect outfit addition for date-night, the office, and your weekend plans. For the office, pair a graphic sweater with a black (faux) leather skirt and ankle boots.

Product Details:

1. Vanessa Bruno Cream Fitted Fringe Jumper, $780, available at Avenue 32

2. Tory Burch Sardy Striped Turtleneck Sweater, $250, available at Net-a-Porter

3. Uniqlo Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater, $89, available at Uniqlo

4. J. Crew Long Sleeve Italian Cashmere Sweater, $273, available at Nordstrom

5. Marcus Lupfer Lara Lip Natalie Sequin-Embellished Merino Wool Sweater, $300, available at Net-a-Porter

By Ainsley Smith, Toronto, @ainsleysmithy

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!

Fashion Jobs – Five Ways to Keep Wearing Your Favourite Summer Pieces to Work This Fall

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

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With September drawing to a close, we can’t help but feel sad that summer 2016 is officially coming to an end. But rather than packing up your summer clothes completely you should style them so they’re fitting for the colder weather. By mixing the your favourite summer items with your go-to fall pieces, you can create a number of updated looks as you transition from season to season without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for fall fashion inspiration, we’ve got five ways to style your summer pieces so you can wear them to work this fall.


Slip Dress

From magazines to city streets the slip dress trend was everywhere this summer. Transition this item into fall by pairing your favourite dress with a turtleneck sweater and a pair of statement flats.


Lightweight Scarf

On balmy summer nights, all you need is a scarf to pull your outfit together. But as the weather begins to change, a scarf is the perfect accessory for fall layering.



Just because the temperature is dropping it doesn’t mean you have to write-off your summer shorts. Rather than rocking your denim cut-offs, opt for a pair of transitional shorts in black, navy, suede or leather and pair with a pair of dark tights on the chillier days and a pair of ankle booties.


White Denim

Whoever said you can’t wear white after Labor Day clearly didn’t know anything about fall style. Keep your crisp white denim in rotation by pairing it with chambray button-ups and a pair of neutral heels. This look is not only perfect for the office, but for post-work cocktails too.


Ankle Booties

During the summer ankle booties are the perfect thing to throw on with shorts and a crop top, but come fall, ankle boots are the perfect addition to skinny jeans and a cozy sweater or with a dress and tights.


Inspirational image courtesy of via Pinterest

Inspirational image courtesy of Julia Hengel via Pinterest

Inspirational image courtesy of Pinterest

Inspirational image courtesy of via Pinterest

Inspirational image courtesy of Pinterest


By Ainsley Smith, Toronto @ainsleysmithy

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!

Fashion Jobs – 7 Items You Need to Add to Your Work Wardrobe This Fall

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

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Now that fall is officially here, we wanted to share seven of our favourite fall classics for this season that are not only perfect for the office, but you’ll be able to transition them from your office meetings to après work cocktails with your girlfriends.


Black Silk Slip Dress
The slip dress trend has been spotted on every runway and magazine cover this year, but this fall we’re excited to see it be worn in the office. To make this trend boardroom appropriate, wear one over a turtleneck and pair with ankle booties. VINCE Silk Slip Dress, $360, available at The Bay


Chic Double Breasted Blazer

By now, your office wardrobe might consist of various blazers that you’ve collected over the years. But give your typical office wardrobe a facelift by purchasing a chic double-breasted blazer, as they look great with a crisp white dress shirt, a t-shirt, a sweater and jeans, or over a dress in place of a cardigan. Blaque Label Easy Blazer, $256, available at Shopbop.


A Cashmere Turtleneck

Often as we fill our closets up with trendy items, we forget how important it is to invest in items that actually build up our wardrobes. These are the classic items that will never go out of style and are better quality, so they’ll last longer rather than one season. Splurging on a cashmere turtleneck is always a great idea because you’ll wear it for years and definitely get your money’s worth. Make sure to get one in a timeless colour like black, grey, cream, or camel. LORD & TAYLOR Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater, $189, available at The Bay.


Leather Pencil Skirt

A leather skirt is a gorgeous statement piece for fall especially when the weather drops. A black leather skirt is perfect for the office because you can pair it with so many different tops and shoes. Cupcakes and Cashmere Jasper Vegan Leather Pencil Skirt, $138, available at Shopbop.


Feminine Blouse
A little office flirting never hurt anyone, and a flirty, feminine blouse will do all of the work for you this fall. Opt for a blouse featuring lace, ruffles, or a feminine print. 
J Crew Silk Blouse, $168, available at J Crew.


Wide Leg Pants
Wide leg pants are a great purchase as they’re ultra sleek and depending on the fabric, can be worn year round. Pair them with a chic blazer and a turtleneck and you’ll be ready to not only take on the cool fall weather, but anything that comes your way in the office. Express Mid Rise Chevron Wide Leg Pants, $47, available at Express.


Over-the-Knee Boots
Chances are, you already have an impressive collection of fall boots. But if you don’t, we suggest getting a pair of versatile over-the-knee boots this fall. Go for a pair with a fairly flat or low heel and you’ll be able to pair them with midi dresses, skirts, and even jeans if your office has a more casual vibe. Sam Edelman Paloma Over the Knee Boots, $297, available at Shopbop.

Inspirational Image (slip dress and turtleneck) via Pinterest


By: Ainsley Smith, Toronto @ainsleysmithy

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

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

Fashion Jobs – Q & A with Designer and Entrepreneur Mary Young

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs Canada

mary young

Sexy, effortless and comfortable are all ways to describe Mary Young’s namesake lingerie brand. The young entrepreneur has created a unique line of undergarments and loungewear that girls love to wear, no matter what their body type may be. Young has quickly grown her business in the few short years it has been operating, and shows no signs of stopping yet! We had the chance to ask her a few questions to get the story behind the brand, as well as some awesome #girlboss advice.

SNTF: What inspired you to take the plunge and start your own business? Why focus on lingerie and loungewear?

MY: My brand was actually conceived during my fourth year studying Fashion Communications at Ryerson University. I decided to do a double thesis, producing my written capstone as well as a five-piece women’s collection of lingerie and knit sweaters. I showed the collection with the design students at our yearend fashion show, Mass Exodus, where it was extremely well-received by the industry. After graduating I studied the market to see if there was space for a lingerie line that offered more comfort focused pieces and realized this wasn’t widely offered, especially in Canada. A few short months later I took a leap of faith and launched the brand in September 2014.

SNTF: What gap is MARY YOUNG trying to fill? What’s been your biggest challenge today?

MY: MARY YOUNG is offering garments that encourage women to embrace their natural shape and wear pieces that fit them rather than wearing garments that contort their shape. Lingerie today is often seen as garments that are worn for your partner and to be seen, whereas underwear is practical everyday pieces that you wouldn’t wear to be seen. This is where MARY YOUNG comes in, blending the two categories to bring garments that are made for everyday wear and are also intended to be seen. The biggest challenge today is to compete with big and well-established brands in the industry. As a small company in Canada it takes a lot of work to get noticed and put on the same level as the lines coming out of the US, Europe and Australia.

SNTF: What’s your favourite, go-to piece from the fall collection?

MY: My go-to piece lingerie wise is the Logan Bra. I’ve been wearing this style for weeks on end, the side support makes it super comfortable and the plunging front gives me a little extra cleavage that I normally don’t have. Loungewear wise you’ll find me wearing the Owen Sweater in Olive or the Knit Grey. This loose and boxy shape goes with everything and makes it great for layering.

swing tank mary young

SNTF: What does sexy mean to you?

MY: Sexy to me means being comfortable and confident.

SNTF: Comfort and style are two important proponents of the MARY YOUNG line; how do you fuse fashion and comfort together in your day-to-day life? 

MY: For me personally, comfort always trumps fashion but thankfully with the athleisure trend being so huge today it’s easy to be comfortable and stylish. Since I’m often on the go and running around the city, I almost always wear sneakers and usually sport one of the lounge tops with easy to wear pants. I think it’s important to dress for your lifestyle and your personality, if you’re not a heels and skirt girl, don’t try to fit that style, find what works for you and you’ll feel great every day.

SNTF: What’s your favourite part of the fashion industry? Not so favourite part?

MY: My favourite part of the industry would have to be seeing all the new designs and designers growing. The industry in Canada is pretty small and tight knit, so it’s extremely inspiring to see other designers grow and succeed. My not so favourite part is how small the industry is in Canada. We have so much talent to offer that it’s frustrating to not see it really grow and become a bigger, more well respected industry. Personally, I think we should be supporting each other more and making room for more designers to grow and succeed here.

SNTF: What’s the best piece of career advice you ever received? What’s one thing you’d like our readers to know about breaking into the fashion industry?

MY: The best piece of advice I received was ‘If it were easy then everyone would be doing it’. The truth about fashion and breaking in as a new designer is it’s definitely not easy but it is worth it. With the industry being so small it’s hard to carve out a section for your name and your products. Also, if you plan on sourcing and producing in Canada it’s extremely tough. Years ago there were many more resources on our soil but since many brands have gone off shore there isn’t as much here to support the growth of local brands. To anyone looking to start their own line I always say plan it out, do your research, look at the risks and calculate them, when you feel about 80% confident that’s when you should take a leap of faith and go for it.

SNTF: Where do you see MARY YOUNG in the future? Any plans for expansion? 

MY: I plan on continuing the growth of MARY YOUNG to becoming a well-known name across Canada as well as into other markets like the US and Europe. I would love to explore other categories of garments as well but one step at a time for right now.

SNTF: Being an entrepreneur, what words of wisdom do you have for going it alone and being your own #girlboss? 

MY: It’s not easy, but it’s so rewarding. A lot of people won’t understand what you do when you work for yourself and they’ll think your life is glamorous, when in fact you’re working into the night and up before dawn. But when you get that media mention or a big sale, it’s all worth it. Find friends who have chosen a similar path as you so you can have the deep conversations with someone who gets it and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help when you need it isn’t being weak or not talented, it’s being smart enough to know and acknowledge that you can’t do it all and that other’s talents will help you get to the next step.

Mary Young Swing Tank, $40

Mary Young x Peace Collective Canadian Babe Bra, $74

To check out Mary’s amazing creations you can take a look at her website, or follow her on Instagram!

By: Sarah Brooks, Toronto

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

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Fashion Jobs – Velvet Everything

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs CanadaInspiration Image

As summer comes to a roaring end, we’re saying goodbye to silk slips and off the shoulder minis! In anticipation of the crisp fall season, were on the hunt for soft, lush, and luxurious fabrics that will keep us warm and on trend. Having made appearances at Oscar de la Renta, Derek Lam and LaQuan Smith’s catwalks, velvet is this seasons most coveted example. Scroll through to see the posh ways we will be styling this falls most beloved trend.

Velvet Shoes

Velvet Footwear

Dip your toes into the new trend that is velvet footwear. As seen on Hollywood IT girl Kendal Jenner and others alike, this swanky bootie is the perfect counterpoint to bold prints and vibrant colours.

Velvet suit

Velvet Power Suiting

There are plenty of ways to wear this rich fabric this season, but one of my personal favourites is the velvet power suit. Channeling the fabrics innate beginnings, a velvet power suit is much like a royal cloak, and will make anyone wearing it feel like a seventieth century queen.

Velvet Clutch

Velvet Baggage

As sumptuous as this fabric is, if used incorrectly it can be very overwhelming. To avoid this, pair a simple outfit with a rich velvet clutch. This will be the subtle addition that gives your outfit the ultimate luxe look.

Inspiration image courtesy of: Harpers Bazaar

By: Jennifer Wilcox

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!

Fashion Jobs: Career Chat – Q & A with Professor Susan Roberton on Humber College’s Fashion Management and Promotions Program

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs CanadaSusan speaking

Calling all fashionistas! Looking to make the move to try and break into the fashion industry? With a vast range of career options and an increasingly competitive market, how can you find and land your dream job? Professor Susan Roberton of the Humber College Fashion Management and Promotions program has the answers to all your questions, and outlines why a postgraduate degree may just be the platform you need to get started.

L Space Gallery 8
Style Nine to Five: You’ve had a very successful career within the fashion industry working as a Wholesaler, Buyer, and Product Developer, how do you infuse this industry knowledge into the course content at Humber College?

Susan Roberton: I love to share my personal experiences with the students, the lessons that I have learned the hard way from my years in [the] industry. The ideal lecture is to teach the foundational knowledge from the textbooks and our other supplemental resources, and then layer on my own personal experiences with real world examples.  It makes the content easier to comprehend and I think more memorable for the student.  Because I worked in almost every aspect of the business, I can share my insights on a problem or topic from a variety of perspectives – how would the buyer solve this, where is the opportunity for the sales agent in this scenario, how would the manufacturer or importer relate to this?  Our industry is very fluid and if you can examine a problem from each stakeholders’ perspective, you have a much better chance of solving the issue successfully. For me it makes the classroom an extension of the industry and I hope it does for the students as well.

SNTF: What are your three fashion rules to live by?

SR: Number 1. I only wear what suits my body type first and foremost, so my rule would be to stay far away from trends if they don’t enhance what God gave you; Number 2. Decide what the focal point in your outfit is and make that element the “star” – is it all about your shoes, your accessories, the fit or fabric of what you are wearing or maybe it’s a strong colour statement? –  choose one element and let it tell your story; Number 3. When in doubt wear black, but add an interesting accessory, a broach, a necklace, a belt or bracelet, I get the most compliments on the broaches I layer onto my blazers or cardigans. They aren’t necessarily expensive or precious, but they are unique.

SNTF: What kind of education and skills would you say are necessary for people wanting to pursue a career in fashion?

SR: We are in a credentialed business environment these days, so employers are looking for skill and education. There is no one right way, but if you really want to get ahead in fashion you have to have an understanding of both the creative and the business side of things. You need both to really succeed, they go hand in hand, you can’t put together a great product range and then have no idea how to price it or market it, you have to have the ability to do the research, understand elements of fabric and colour and trend analysis as well as markup, merchandising and strategic planning. So in my opinion the program that offers you both knowledge in product and business is a great place to start, look for a curriculum that covers the business side of fashion with the tactile elements included. If you decide that the creative side is where you really want to focus your energy, then layer your design courses on top of the business acumen you have already learned.   The other area that is key for success is having solid excel skills, all employers are looking for this as it forms the base for every financial document in the industry. Entry level positions in corporate offices require students to have excellent excel and general computer skills, don’t underestimate that value of excel, it’s huge. If you are working in the marketing or promotions fields you will need to thoroughly maneuver your way through social media, and many employers love students to know photo shop and the various programs that support the more visual aspects of technology.

SNTF: What careers will a postgraduate certificate in Fashion Management and Promotions prepare students for?

SR: We seem to have found a niche with a couple of key positions out there:  buying, planning, sales analysis – all positions in the corporate head office seem to be an area where our students are excelling. Also product development jobs where they are working closely with a design team. These positions are a great fit for our students as they are filling the role of a sales representative working on the business aspects with private label clients and the in house design teams. We also have many successful students in the wholesale sales field and in visual merchandising, both of these areas are growing in the Toronto area and we have a lot of interest from employers for our student talent.

SNTF: What types of projects can students anticipate to do when enrolled in the program at Humber?

SR: Projects really focus on simulating what will happen in the industry. For example, in the retail buying class students will have to learn the basics of retail math but also be able to complete an open to buy document, mark up/mark down strategies and complete assortment plans all while using excel. In their marketing courses, they will create a blog and examine the analytics behind it, how many followers, how many hits, trying to really understand how this new area of fashion how it works, how to make money doing it, and following and examining through case studies some of the really successful blogs out there. In their career courses, students do everything you need to do while in a job search: resumes, cover letters, skills and strengths statements, developing a dynamic LinkedIn site and a personal digital portfolio to showcase your experience and skills to potential employers.  In wholesale sales, you learn how to sell and show a line and you do it as an assignment, we don’t just teach it, we give you the chance to do these things while still being in a supportive environment.  I think this is what makes the post graduate journey so rewarding, you have to push through your own fears and actually do the things you will have to do in the real industry. It is such an impactful and eye opening experience for many students. Every project [the] students do have the foundation of it based in industry, and because our faculty have all worked in these roles, they create assignments and have expectations that are align with industry standards.

SNTF: How does the fashion management field placement equip students for a career in fashion?

SR: Field Placement is such a big part of the program. We have a Placement Office that supports students in this area. The process of an internship really gives the student an opportunity to get on the inside of a company and job to see if it is right for you. It allows you to make connections and to grow your network all critical aspects of securing full time work. Sometimes it clearly shows you what area you don’t want and that is a good thing too – better find out now and re-direct your efforts. The ideal situation is that you secure an internship in an area you want to pursue and after you’re done the company hires you full time. This happens all the time, and it’s great for the employers too, because they get to really work with the student to help them be successful in the role. In the end, they hire a known entity and everyone is happy. The career development courses really prepare students to be able to successfully complete their job search and find a great placement. We really work with each student to make sure they “own their strengths’ and can sell their best selves in interviews and on the job.

SNTF: What sets Humber’s Fashion Management and Promotions program apart from other fashion programs in Toronto?

SR: First of all, we are a post graduate program, all of our students must hold a 3- or 4-year undergraduate degree in any discipline in order to be considered for admission. This means that the class is full of eager students who have already learned through their undergraduate degrees great time management and organizational skills, they have done the university thing and know more about themselves and where they want to go. They are focused, keen, ambitious and eager to get themselves launched into a career so they are here to learn and to succeed, quickly. Classes are intense with a heavy work load, incorporating a lot of group work and presentations. No one can escape or hide in these classes; everyone has to give their best effort in order to succeed – kind of like a real corporate setting! Our curriculum is very well balanced and covers all aspects of the industry; sales, marketing, merchandising, product management, brand promotion, visual merchandising, buying, sales analysis, and importing with a domestic and global overview – a little bit of everything. We teach the business side, but we also give you colour and trend analysis, product knowledge and a bit of textile science. We set you up to “talk the talk” and “walk the walk”. You won’t have it all mastered, but you will have enough solid knowledge to maneuver yourself successfully into this business.   

SNTF: Lastly, is there any advice you would give to students entering into this program?

SR: I love the fashion industry, it has been very good to me over the years and has allowed me to work every day doing something I love it, but it is a tough business. When you enter your post-grad journey, I encourage you to start on the right foot by coming prepared to work hard, stay focused, listen, learn, grow, network and to push yourself every day. Immerse yourself in the program, your course, classmates and the industry right from day one. You will get out of this experience what you put into it, the harder you work the more success you will find.  In the end it’s your journey, you need to take full responsibility for your time here, we can’t do it for you, but we will be there beside you cheering all the way.

By Jennifer Wilcox

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