Stories produced by St. Peter's Journalism Students
By Nina Lemmonier
Remember those tests you took in high school that helps you to determine what your career in life should be? They were horrible, almost nerve-racking! The last thing you wanted to find out was that you were destined to be a clown or an ice road trucker. It’s scary thinking about your future and picking a career that can support you financially and emotionally. But many young people are pursuing careers where the competition is fierce and the jobs are becoming increasingly rare to find.
The fashion industry has exploded with thousands of new fashion designers who devout their lives to the fashion industry. Not only are fashion students pursuing the trade but “self” taught designers are also making a name for themselves. Shows like Project Runway, Project Runway All-stars, Fashion Star and 24 Hour Catwalk are creating short cut careers for wishful designers worldwide.
But what have these shows done to the industry? Almost 28% of designers are self-employed which isn’t surprising. In 2010 there was an estimated 21,500 positions in the fashion industry, meanwhile there are over 10,000 students at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York alone. Think of all the states and countries that have people pining for a job in fashion!
So you go to school, work hard and try to find a job in the industry, sounds like a plan right? More and more we see student’s graduate college and end up with low paying jobs because jobs in fashion are so competitive. Susy Lemonnier has had a long career in the fashion industry working for Dana Buchman, Ralph Lauren and Anne Klein. Even she has felt the effects of the changes in her industry and while she is currently a specialist vendor for Eileen Fischer for Bloomingdales she see’s how difficult fashion has become.
“I think in every Bloomie’s (Bloomingdales) I work with there are 3 -4 young kids that have graduated and are stuck in retail, One guy I know is 20 something and makes beautiful clothes and graduated from school wanting to be a designer but he’s in the shoe department selling shoes…it’s sad I barely have my job and I didn’t even go to college, I worked my way up,” she said
It’s safe to say you’re entering at your own risk if your love of clothing has snatched your career path. Despite the daunting statistics, “wanna-be” fashion designers still believe they will be the next success story.