What Rachel Zoe taught us about working in fashion (or any industry)

I often think that attitude is what matters the most. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, having a positive attitude can usually guide you out of difficult situations. Like all good advices, it is easier said then done. We often get stuck with the smaller hiccups in life and let them affect our greater goals. We get confused by everyone’s opinion and let other people tell us what to do. Therefore it is refreshing to know that successful people have also been through similar issues we have, and slowly working their way up to where they are today. There is no secret that I do admire Rachel Zoe so much (entering love territory). She is incredibly stylish and successful (I have previously talked about why you should follow her on Instagram HERE). I recently came across an article on her web site THE ZOE REPORT, where she talked about how she actually got her start in fashion. It was so inspiring to read about success stories and I feel like screaming “if she can do it, so can I!”. Here is a summary of what I have leant from her!

Front page of
Front page of “The Zoe Report”

Find out what your passion is – Like many successful people, Rachel Zoe had a humble beginning. She worked as a restaurant hostess while studying in university. With absolutely no idea what career path to follow, she turned to her grandfather for advice “Do whatever it is that you love and success will come”. This is when Rachel had her ar-ha moment. I cannot agree more with these wise words! If you do what you love as a job, you are most likely going to have more drive to become successful. If you have the choice, wouldn’t you want to do what you love as a job instead of getting stuck in a job you hate?

– Get to know people (and use your connection wisely!) –  Connection is king! Especially in the fashion industry. When Rachel first started as a stylist, she worked freelance. How did she get booked? By using her connections she made when she worked at a teen magazine. It doesn’t matter that you are not doing exactly what you want right now. Make friends and keep in contact with them. One day I promise you will enjoy the benefits of knowing people (who knows people).

– Grow thick skin – You don’t have to be mean, but certainly be resistant to negativity around you. Do not let people tell you off and discourage you. The fashion and entertainment industry can be extremely competitive. If you let every single comment get to you, you will have major psychological issues! So stay strong and be nice!

– Work hard, really hard (and stay focused) – She worked as a one woman show and around the clock at the beginning. It doesn’t matter how good your skills are, you need to show people you are willing to put the hard work in. The rewards will come later. There is no short cuts in the fashion industry (or any industry for that matter).

– Let the opportunities guide you – Rachel mentioned that she doesn’t like having rigid career goals. Who would have thought from day one that she world turn into a stylist, author, TV show producer, fashion designer and owner of a digital media company? Try several paths, try many paths (within reason) until you find out what can be achieved.

– Surround yourself with the right people (and love them like family) – assemble a great team for your business. Select the right people to help you succeed. Personality cannot be learnt, but everything else can! So choose people who has the right quality and make sure they stay (by treating them nicely).

– Believe in yourself, just go do it – She isn’t afraid sending actresses out in unexpected and unusual style choices. She believes in her talent and make sure others know take notice. Taking risks can be dangerous but can also be very rewarding in many occasions.

It is refreshing to know that dreams can be obtainable, but not without price. One just needs a lot of determination and drive! Work hard, believe in yourself and take some chances! I am truly inspired by this article; it reassures me to continue chasing my dreams. You can access the original article here. Do also share your sources of inspiration in the comments section!


School of Style (n.d.) CAREER TIMELINE: RACHEL ZOE [Image] Retrieved from http://www.theschoolofstyle.com/blog/career-timeline-rachel-zoe/

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