What should I do in highschool to prepare me for the fashion industry?
I am a junior in highschool interested in pursuing a career in fashion. I am not sure what career I want, but I want to be prepared for the industry. fashion-design fashion merchandising apparel-and-fashion
I would recommend looking getting a part time job at a local retail store and ask if you could also learn how they buy their merchandise and plan their assortments. This is a great way to learn how retail works and the buying/inventory management side of the business.
I think starting to build up a portfolio is always helpful. A portfolio is a collection of works (drawings, photos, samples, etc) that you keep bundled together and that you can show to any future employer or attach to a university application. It is useful to demonstrate your skills, and style, and what you are already capable of doing.
For example if you want to be a fashion photographer start taking photos of your friends and keeping them in a folder so that if you ever want to apply for a degree in fashion or photography you can show them during your interviews, or even for when you will apply for a job they could be handy to show future employers.
If instead you'd like to become a fashion designer then maybe start keeping a portfolio of your drawings, if you make any samples then photograph them and keep them in a folder that you can access and bring to future interviews.
If instead you want to work in fashion retail, I would suggesting looking for a part time shop assistant job at your local fashion store or mall. This will show future employers that you have good work ethic and have already worked in the fashion business (even if it was just a few hours a week).
I know of many friends who were shop assistants for urban outfitters or topshop during their highschool/university days and then ended up working in the fashion industry as designers or buyers.
I went to college for Fashion Merchandising at Louisiana State University. In high school my junior and senior year, I worked in retail to start to fully understand the business. I would suggest working for a boutique or store to gain experience now. It will also help you determine what side of the business interests you the most. You will gain exposure to inventory, purchasing, customer service, check-out, replenishment, styling, merchandising and much more. I also interned at New Orleans Fashion Week to gain more visibility into design, runway and modeling. I would highly suggest getting involved in all aspects to narrow down your interest. I also received a minor in Business coupled with my major in Fashion Merchandising which has helped me expand my career greatly.
Best of luck!