The Glamorous Life!

I live in Dubai, my life is glamorous, and I work in fashion.

these are 2 truths and a lie

Take a guess?

Well, I do work in fashion, and I do live in Dubai, but my life is anything but glamorous.

I make just enough that i don’t even have savings, my parents do not help me out (unlike a lot of young people working in fashion), and I work as close to almost 100 hours a week as physically possible. I am never not working, I am constantly on emails, checking new trends..

When I first got into the industry.. it was such a dream come true… as huge fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S….. I thought this is it. This is my Rachel moment. I would be shopping for a living!!! Oh the Glam!

I was soon to realise it’s not all glitz and glam. If you want to work in the retail industry then you will need to get really competitive. There is a lot more to it than just shopping for a living.

It’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders as the fate of the business can hinge on you picking the right products, merchandising them correctly and managing the stores well enough to keep the customers coming back for more.

The world of retail is very tough at the moment and you are expected to buy in and manage the products and stock levels, maintain your margins and basically make sure that people want to spend their hard earned money on our product.

We look for new colours coming through as well as new styles and fabrics that have reacted well with our customers.
As we are a fast fashion brand, we follow our customers lead and react quickly on new information on sales.

Every fashion season brings its share of highs and lows, There is a very thin line between genius and insanity, and designers must walk that line each season and display their creations for all to view, critic and hopefully buy, so that their dreams remain alive. i.e make it from the meeting room to production and sales!

It takes nerves of steel and uncommon confidence to stomach this level of rejection periodically and still consistently persevere in the quest of creation, offering new styles every season. I respect that. #yaydesignteam

For the creative genius that I got to experience firsthand that has woven itself into my tapestry, that insanity lives somewhere within me, and every season as I watch the collections.

As a buyer I should have a keen eye for commercial styles and always hunt for winning lines. We have to be confident and knowledgeable in future trends.. colours..fabrics and have a business mind.

In terms of actual technical ability you have to be balanced between arts and science. You have to have a strong sense of numbers and you have got to have a good eye. You have got to be creative one In the absence of the other makes you a lopsided buyer. But the other thing that i think is important is your confidence. It’s an industry that has a lot of opinions, a lot of people and so much of what you are doing is looking at a product and saying ‘is this good or not?’ So it’s gut, it’s eye and if you are not confident in yourself and in the opinion of what you are doing you are going to get lost. It’s definitely not an industry made up of wall flowers.

While there are some definite perks to the job, and I would consider some of the events I get to go to and people I get to meet “glamorous,” I more often than not feel like the odd duck out in my industry. Like I said before, a lot of people working in fashion have some form of help coming from family members, and it’s not unusual to have coworkers whose entire rent is being paid for by their parents. This isn’t universal, but it’s enough of a phenomenon that it makes me feel self-conscious, and for someone who grew up dreaming of working in fashion from the bedroom of her normal, middle-class home, it’s enough to make you consider giving up the industry entirely, even though I know I never will, because I truly do feel passionate about what I do.

the thrill I’ve gotten from seeing one of my own selections perform well in stores is unmatched by anything I’ve experienced. Feeling that rush of “I know what looks good, and what people like” is enormous. I don’t know if I could ever give it up.

It is my belief that fashion shouldn’t overwhelm, your clothes shouldn’t overshadow your presence, because when it comes to creativity, you showing up as the best version of yourself, is always more than enough.

With Love and Peace
-Asma

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3 thoughts on “The Glamorous Life!

  1. My Dear Asma, Glamour is about 0.0000001% of working in the fashion industry. What people see from outside is the fluff, the sparkle and the extravagant parties, what they don’t see is the blood, sweat and tears that are a regular occurence (and I mean really). If you ‘fit’ into the fashion industry it is because you are following someone, the true visionaires of the industry walk to their own tune singing their own song not following anyone else.
    As a designer it means you take risks and are at the mercy of everyones critique which is heartbreaking and soul destroying at times, note the pressures put on designers and why so many take their own lives, the pressure to perform is immense and the feedback is brutal and by nature we are sensitive creative souls who overthink everything. Growing thick skin takes time!
    Over the years you will see many people will fall at the weigh side, once they run out of ideas or get bored of the hard work and commitment required to sustain a career in this crazy industry, I always believe everyone could be a designer for one season but to continue that season after season is demanding and challenging and requires actual talent, you have to be so passionate about what you do to continue delivering that, without it burning you out. And then you have to try to live on the ‘competitive’ salaries if you are not subbed by the bank of mum and dad (of which the much of the industry is). I recall sleeping on a friends floor in south London for 3 months 3 nights a week as I could not afford my train fare and certainly couldn’t afford the London rent on the graduate starting salary in London. Competitive salary does not mean good- it means there are 1,000 other people standing behind you willing to work for less or for free pushing salaries down. It is not easy at all.
    All in all you have to be slightly crazy to want to work in this industry and even crazier to stay in it, and you don’t stay in it for the glamour, the praise or the money, you stay in it simply because you love what you do 🙂

    Like

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