3 fashion design graduates entering the professional world

The Spanish fashion industry is made up of around 19,000 companies. Ranked fifth in Europe, after Italy, Germany, the UK and France, and accounting for 2.9% of national GDP and 4.3% of all jobs in Spain.

This means that those who decide to work in the fashion sector have a wide variety of options both in Spain and in the rest of the world. However, despite the variety of other sectors, there is a large majority, when choosing their career, who are seduced by the allure of working in fashion design.

FashionUnited would like to share the experiences of three young people who have just graduated and who are taking their first steps into the fashion job market.

Image: Charlota Blunarova via Unsplash

Carmen Del Toro is 24 years old and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Seville, a center of higher artistic education in design specializing in fashion and graphic design. She completed two internships, one as part of her studies at the up-and-coming Italian brand Defaïence, and a second extracurricular internship with Iris Van Herpen, the Dutch fashion designer known for fusing technology with traditional craftsmanship. Haute couture.

“Despite the long hours, I was doing a job that I loved, and I felt that I was given more responsibility over time. You see the results of what you do day in and day out, and that motivates you to Continue “.

Carmen Del Toro

Del Toro said that during her internship she had the opportunity to work on the digital part of the designs, which allowed her to know a specialization that she loved and in which she gained experience that currently motivates her to apply for positions where she can continue to grow in the field.

Regarding her internships, she explained that she faced more or less the same conditions, but that in the Netherlands the workload and responsibilities were much more intense. While working for a Haute Couture brand, she was directly involved in the brand’s collection for Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris. One thing she noticed the most was that there are a lot more job opportunities in the Netherlands. “In general, I saw that they trust the youngsters, especially if you compare it to Spain,” Del Toro said.

Image courtesy of Julia González – GONA

Julia González studied with Carmen at the aforementioned school in Seville and they later worked together at Defaïence, an internship experience in which they both share the idea that, although they are more focused on designing collections , they were able to participate in an interdisciplinary way in all the processes of the brand.

A few months ago, Julia decided to launch a series of projects of her own – like her own company, GONA – something which she considers to have been fundamental for her personal development, but which “companies do not appreciate really when they see it on a resume, González says.

Too many years of experience and vacancies “filled through networking”

Julia González says finding a fashion design job can be “frustrating” for recent graduates, as companies tend to ask for many years of experience and most vacancies “are filled. through networking contacts,” she said.

She feels that she meets the requirements of several positions and that she has gained experience in an interdisciplinary perspective, but no one has given her the opportunity to prove it. This led her to decide to continue her training with a Master’s in 3D design and metaverse, a program in high demand today, as she tries to find an internship, “paid, if possible”, that she can combine with his graduate studies.

Del Toro, for his part, believes that there are opportunities for young graduates, but that the sector is also very competitive today. “You have to work hard and be constantly on the move, speaking several languages ​​is essential. Don’t be afraid to apply for positions of responsibility even if you have little experience”, she advises young fashion graduates , explaining that while she personally hasn’t had experience at “her dream job,” she’s learned something from each job and feels like she’s a little closer to the job. where she wants to go.

On that last point, she agrees with González, who shared how “I didn’t think I would get some first-hand experiences so quickly, but I also thought I would work now and it hasn’t been the case because when you finish your studies, you have to do research first, in order to find what you like and that’s where the frustration comes from not being hired in what you studied. ‘a big help, especially in the beginning,’ she added.

She believes that the college years “not only don’t prepare us for rejection, they also don’t prepare us to know how to apply for a job. If your goal is to be an entrepreneur, they don’t teach you anything. company level. In addition, in the Autonomous Region of Andalusia, unlike other regions of Spain, our design studies are not considered equivalent to a university degree, which sometimes closes doors for us” .

“For me, having to create my own brand was a reality check as I felt I was not properly prepared in many ways.”

Lucia Monge

Lucía finished her studies in fashion design and after working for several years as an assistant in a clothing store, in order to earn money that she could save, she launched her own brand, Sissú, to which she devotes full time. She creates unique designs for her clients, for a variety of events, focusing primarily on guests and the flamenco world. His workshop is located in the town of Dos Hermanas, Seville.

Lucía Monge says that during her internship she experienced a way of understanding fashion that she never knew existed, which inspired her to start her own business using the experience gained from working behind the scenes of different brands. fashion shows, as well as at various fashion shows, presenting collections that she has since successfully sold. Her last job was as an assistant at the Dior cruise fashion show in Seville.

If she could also make the profession “meet her own needs”, she says she would like to continue with the clothing line she started: “creating and designing exclusive clothing for my clients, because I like to connect with them, get inside their heads and merge their tastes with mine, always adding my personal touch to each creation,” the young designer said, although she would like to launch guest collections and a streetwear line at the coming.

Image courtesy of Lucía Monge – SISSÚ

Monge tells FashionUnited that she doesn’t feel like the education system fully prepared her for the job market, because once she finished her studies in fashion design, she had to continue her education. through different courses and do a lot of research to find out. how to create your own brand from a legal point of view.

For her part, Carmen del Toro thinks that the education system “would benefit from offering a little more training in the digital field”. “A lot of brands work with advanced programs that were never in my curriculum and I think it’s a great opportunity for new graduates because digitalization is still relatively new and can be a real asset for our CVs. and open the door to a lot of opportunities for young graduates,” she remarked.

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.ES and was translated and edited from Spanish to English by Veerle Versteeg.

work in fashion
Artwork by Jackie Mallon

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