Company Magazine's Manchester Fashion Forum 2013

I attended Company Magazine's Fashion Forum in Manchester on Thursday; an event created by Company to assist fashion hopefuls, like myself, in bagging that elusive job we all desire! The evening consisted of a panel of fashion industry experts talking us through their careers, how they climbed the fashion ladder, and giving helpful hints & tips on how we can do the same. The panelists were - Victoria White (Company Magazine's Editor), Oonagh Brennan (Company's Associate Fashion Editor), Jen Holmes (Freelance Writer & Blogger), Karen Jones Russell Stylist), Kathryn Kenny (New Look's Senior Digital & Social Content Manager), Brooke Pattison (New Look's Regional Business Manager), and Siobhan King (New Look's Senior Brand Manager). I didn't manage to jot everyone's name down on the night, as I was so swept up in the moment. Most of those I remembered from memory, or I was able to get them off the Company website... but it was bugging me that I couldn't remember the last two ladies names or job titles, and I would have felt rude just putting 'two other panelists from New Look' - so I've just spent the last hour hunting the internet for them. I managed to find Brooke on LinkedIn, as I remember her mentioning she was also involved in the Oxford Summer School programme, and I found Siobhan by googling 'Drapers 30 under 30 New Look'. I sound like a total stalker, and you're probably wondering why i'm telling you this... but one key thing I picked up from the evening is that, as an intern or an employee, you need to make yourself 'indispensable' - and yes it would have been easier for me to not bother listing every member of the panel, but I think it shows determination & dedication - which are both essential qualities if you want to make it in fashion!

All of these women have had enviable careers, and I aspire to (hopefully one day) reach their level of success! It was great to hear some of their helpful hints & tips on how to make it in fashion, so I thought i'd share some of them with my lovely readers (with a few Carmen-ism's thrown in for good measure):

  • Internships are crucial and great for your CV
  • University on the other hand isn't as crucial, in fact it's not really necessary at all - something i've discovered way too late in the game... 20k worth of dept for nothing woohoo!!!
  • Never say no when first starting out - experience is experience at the end of the day!
  • Make your bosses life easier, take some of the weight off there shoulders - they will remember this when it comes to keeping you on or letting you go
  • Be prepared to work long, hard hours, even if it's for free - you've got to 'put the graft in' as my Dad would say! Haha! 
  • Nothing is below you - even the most dull, menial tasks need to be done, and starting from the bottom means you will probably be doing them - but make sure you do them with a smile on your face! :)
  • Be creative with your CV - they mentioned someone once sent them a 'message in a bottle' - originality is key in fashion after all!
  • Try to pick a brand that suits you & your personality, something you're passionate about - as it will make a massive difference to the way you work
  • You can never be over-eager! Call people, email people... annoy people! (to a certain extent)
  • Get yourself out there, meet new people - blogging is a great way of doing this!
  • If you're going to blog, do it properly. No blog is better than a bad one - half hearted just won't cut it.
  • Social media is so important these days - be yourself on Twitter, but always remember it can come back to bite you in the butt (I hate to say it but two words - Paris Brown!)
  • Be passionate, fun to have around, and have a positive attitude
  • Be the first in and the last to leave!
  • Versatility is very important - have a finger in lots of pies! (so to speak)
  • Be professional & courteous - whether you're representing yourself/a brand/a company. Just remember they always say the people you meet on the way up are the ones you'll meet again on the way down!
  • It's never too late to intern! They mentioned they had a 28 y/o intern at Company once, who had decided on a career change. I worry about my age all of the time, but according to the experts it isn't important - pheewww I can lay off the botox now then ;)
  • Mould but stay true to yourself - don't change who you are!
  • Be confident in your abilities - this is something I really need to start doing!
  • When it comes to your CV keep it brief! They're not interested in a lengthy, irrelevant job list - they want to know why you want to work for them!
  • Stop procrastinating on Facebook & get yourself on LinkedIn

They were just some of the key points I jotted down on the night, all of which I need to start putting into practice myself! I left the event feeling very inspired, and motivated! I'm hoping to move to London in September so i'm going to start looking for internships, setting myself up on LinkedIn, and getting myself on that fashion ladder! 

The lovely goodie bag we all received...

I was street style snapped at the event, and have been featured on the Company website, Facebook page, and Instagram - eekkk! I was so chuffed, and obviously rang my Mam straight away to tell her the fantastic news! I was screenshoting like a mental woman! Haha! My 5 minutes of fame at last! ;) As this post is super long i've decided to save my ootd, and the street style pictures for a separate post which will be up tomorrow. I also filmed an outfit video for my YouTube channel which will be live tomorrow too.

I hope this post has given you some helpful hints & tips if you want to work in fashion... or any career really, as i'm sure you could take bits from that & tweak it slightly! Wishing you all lots of luck :)

Lorra love,
Carms xxx


  1. Thanks for sharing hun - got some great tips!
    Be great if you could check out my latest posts:

    Lily Lulu Leather Laser Cut Dress

    Its all about neon Blue this Spring Summer

    Thanks! Charlie xx | UK Fashion Blog

    1. You're welcome babes! I'm glad you got some tips from it :) I will deffo check them out. Mwahhh!xX

  2. Looks like you had a great evening! I'll keep some of those tips in mind :) I went to the Fashion Forum in London and it was very inspiring and motivational. xx

    1. I did lovely, it was fab! Got some really useful tips & glad they will be of use to you too :) xX

  3. Same, my heart sank when they said a degree didn't really matter, now I'm stuck with over £20K to pay back and no job to show for it.

    1. I know, it's soul destroying isn't it!! Luckily I loved my Uni experience, and I think it made me the person I am today, so wouldn't change it for the world... definitely worth the dept! Just try to think about the positives you gained out of it... there will be some things you have under your belt that people who didn't go t Uni won't :) xX