Working in Fashion Out of the City

Sophie Fay Shaw

What student isn’t worried that they are going to be jobless this summer or stuck in a passionless gig? Moreover, for many of us summer means saying adieu to New York for a few months. While getting away from campus will be a much anticipated reprieve, the bustle of the city and its fashion inspiration will be missed. However, there are many means of staying in the fashion world, even if you’re not in a fashion capital — and no, internships aren’t the only way to get involved in the industry over break.

Rack it in with Retail

If clothes are your calling, think about getting a job in retail. These often come with an employee discount and the advantage of having first dibs on new arrivals. Many chain stores (Forever 21, Macy’s, etc.) anticipate the influx of students looking for summer jobs and have seasonal positions available. Local shops also hire for the summer, so if you’re willing to put some legwork into passing your resume around, look for retail jobs at boutiques, consignment stores and thrift shops. Plus, if you get your foot in the door this summer, employers will likely welcome you back in the future.

Educate Yourself

Consider enrolling in a fashion-related course over the break if you are interested in the technical, hands-on side of fashion. Fabric stores and sewing shops have classes at all skill levels available for those who want to learn a new craft. Not only would you gain an impressive ability, but you could walk away with a custom made skirt or dress.

Following the educational theme, various colleges across the country provide opportunities for students to earn a few credits over the summer in condensed courses. If you decide to remain in the Big Apple, both the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons have summer classes for credit that cover a range of topics including photography, textile design and marketing. On the West Coast, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising has free Saturday workshops that give a quick look into the industry, which are available at different branches of the school. But be aware, summer programs often have registration deadlines in the spring, so start looking into them now.

Camp Creative

If you’re not interested in being the student, take initiative and be the teacher. Volunteer as an art camp counselor where you can lead programs that include basic sewing classes, figure drawing or a myriad of other fashion-related skills. Also, theater camps may need someone to help with designing or styling costumes. While it may not be the glamorous internship you envisioned, you can still apply your fashion prowess to summer camp.

Be Socially Savvy

If you already spend an ample amount of time on social media, make it a hobby and start a blog or YouTube channel dedicated to fashion, makeup etc. From DIY projects to lookbooks, there are countless ways to share your individual fashion sense online. Even if it’s only to entertain friends and family it could be a fun summer project that has the potential to make you YouTube- or Insta-famous. Channel your inner Sartorialist or Man Repeller and cultivate a fashion following.

A version of this article appeared in the April 4 print edition. Email Sophie Fay Shaw at [email protected]

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