AN AUTHOR'S PROFILE
The fashion industry is not linear, according to Tamiko White, author of Careers in the Fashion Industry. Instead it is fluid and at its core, business prowess – not creativity, guarantees success. After you read her book, a glossary guide, you may realize that the industry is also full of jobs that no one ever talks about, such as a pattern grader, subscription box curator or fashion copywriter. For anyone who has ever considered working in or transitioning to this world, this book may be for you.
“Early in my career, it was frustrating for people who wanted to put me into a box to figure out what kind of jobs I could do,” says Ms White. “I wrote this book so that others could see the many options out there in fashion.”
Ms White is an industry veteran and considers herself a multifaceted-hyphenate starting as a model then creating a job/internship at Neiman Marcus while in college, and now a style curator and author.
“My goal was to take my passions, monetize them and create a world where I could enjoy them,” she laments. “Hyphenate used to mean unreliable, and now it’s celebrated.”
She is living her book and showing us in real life that the industry does allow constant reinvention for those who can remain relevant, influential and in front of trends.
Recently, Ms White wore a yellow ruffled Diane Von Furstenberg maxi dress to her book signing (Ms Von Furstenberg was in attendance) and industry sip-and-see. Soon after the dress was seen on every fashion blogger’s Instagram page, a Kardashian, several actresses and followers of Ms. White’s Instagram page. She has an effortless style that many respect, covet and admire. In a social world of retweet and re-posted screen shots, this sometimes means she doesn’t always get all the credit for setting trends, but in the end it’s her love for style and all things beautiful that keeps her in fashion.
What would fashion be without social media? Ms White makes a good point: because of social media, “we have associated consuming something with pressing a heart.” At the end of the day Ms White reminds us that sales, not “likes” sustain and grow brands.
Designers cannot live on swoons alone.
Back when Ms White attended the University of Maryland, College Park studying fashion merchandising, she says that people did not know how to get into the fashion industry.
Now they can get into it but they don’t have the staying power; access to entry is easier, but the business itself has not changed.
It’s no secret that social media has given the common person more access to couture clothing and the lifestyle associated with clean lines, fabrics that drape correctly and logos that were once off-limits, but her book was born out of Ms White’s personal experience being asked, “how do you get into the fashion industry” and there being so many ways to answer the question.
“Everyone wants to be a designer but no one knows about the value of jobs like pattern-graders,” she says.
Ms. White believes that knowing all of jobs that are out there can help you save time and money. Careers in the Fashion Industry was developed to be used not only as a guide, but also a reference while building a fashion or style team.
“Readers may be happy to learn there is someone who can cut in a straight line for them if that’s not their gift,” she says.
For those of us who love all things clothes, shoes, accessories and have always wanted to be in “glitz and glamour” of the industry, this book shows us that there are many ways to get our feet in the door.