How to Network in the Fashion Industry

Here’s How to Make the Most out of your Next Networking Event

Just like several other industries, getting your foot into the door (or your seat at the table) in the fashion industry is more about who you know, rather than what you know. For many of us networking can be intimidating, however in this industry it is extremely vital for progression. Because networking is imperative for your evolution as a fashion gal, A Seat at the Table has constructed a “How To” guide with tips on navigating a networking event!

Photo Credit: Estee Janssens

Write down your goals!

This is the very first, and one of the most important, steps in networking. You have to be aware of what your end goal is in order to properly navigate and network with the people who can help you achieve your goals. Create a plan that is fostered towards accomplishing your goals.

Research who is attending the event.

Please do your research before attending the event. You will need to be aware of who is speaking and attending the event so that upon meeting them you’re able maneuver the conversation and avoid any awkward silences.

Prepare an elevator pitch.

Your pitch should communicate who you are and what you do within the first ten seconds. Fashion events typically have hundreds of people in attendance. By the time an individual meets you their attention span may have shortened because they’ve already met several people. In order to refrain from losing their attention it is important for your pitch to be interesting and straight to the point!

Photo Credit: Christina

Be a social butterfly.

The point of a networking event is to meet as many people as you can that can help you achieve your goals within the fashion industry. Try to avoid clinging to only one person or group of people during the event. Spread your wings and speak to several different people.

Listen.

This. Is. Vital. 

You’ll need to listen to and retain the information that these respected individuals are sharing with you. You will need to know who they are, what they do, and any other personal information that they choose to share with you. This is great information for you to have for your follow up but this is also information that could potentially help you get to the next level in this industry. Use it wisely.

Photo Credit: Christina

Follow Up.

Having a seat at the table is about you actually bringing something to the table. Determine how you can help the individuals that you have met and what you can bring to the table. Networking is about creating equally beneficial relationships. When following up, provide the individual with details on how you can help them and vice versa.

Be yourself.

Being yourself will take you a long way and it is the best way to establish genuine relationships. Be your 100%, most authentic, professional self.

Breathe.

You’ve got this!

We have all heard the saying, “Your network is your net worth.” Meeting people within a professional setting and networking is a crucial part of building your career. Understanding how to properly network can make a difference in your advancement or lack thereof. 

We hope that you have found this guide to be helpful. For more tips and additional resources on how to network visit this Glassdoor Guide.

Do you have a strategy for navigating networking events? Please leave a comment below and share!

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