How to get into the Fashion Industry - An Interview with Boohoo

Monday, October 14, 2013

I think this is a topic which so many of you are struggling with and that's how to get in the fashion industry. Whether it's getting a job, some qualifications or experience by interning getting work in the fashion inudstry is hard. I know this all to well myself currently dreaming of a perfect PR/social media role and I'm working part-time alongside working hard on my blog! (never give up girls it'll happen eventually!)
So when I got the chance to interview Boohoo's head of HR Kathy Allison I jumped at the chance. I'll often dream about getting that dream fashion pr/social media role and found that my degree I was studying wasn't doing enough for me to further my career to stick with it. So I took the brave decision by taking a break from it to figure out what I want to do next. Interviewing Kathy was really beneficial to me and I hope it's beneficial to you too.
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Kathy Allisson (image courtesy of
So let's get the interview started!
1. How did you get your dream job at Boohoo?
My friend saw the job advertised and thought it would be perfect for me as I could combine my love of fashion and HR. I had a very lengthy interview process and was delighted when I was successful.

2. What advice would you give to someone who wants to gain experience in fashion?
There is a lot of competition so it has to really be something you love and takes some persistence. Think carefully about study and degree choices and combine this with as much industry exposure as you can.

3. What would be your advice for someone applying for work experience/an internship at a fashion retailer to make their application stand out?
If you’re going for a creative role, don’t just send a standard CV. Use the opportunity to showcase talents and even if you don’t have paid experience maximise your blogging, volunteer or unpaid experience.

4. What are the key skills you need to get into the fashion industry?
It varies by role but while the technical skills are important I would also say that team work, flexibility, resilience and good commercial understanding are essential.

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(Me 3 years ago doing a bit of work experience at Republic Fashion HQ!)

5.A lot of people who want to get into fashion will be wondering whether to go to university or do work experience. What do you think is better?
A combination of both is ideal. The right degree provides a great foundation and combining this with work experience is really valued by employers.

6.What type of jobs could graduates of fashion degrees expect to go into?
Depends on the bias of the degree, but our graduate entry roles are across design, buying, ecommerce and marketing.

7.What advice would you give to someone who's not gone to university and wants a career in fashion?
Don’t be afraid to start at a junior level position to get your foot in the door. There is a lot of competition but there are also ways of getting experience in your own time either through work experience, starting your own blog, getting involved in events.

8.What advice would you give to someone looking for a good internship/work experience?
Think about the type of experience you want to gain. Across the fashion industry there are lots of different market segments so consider the type of organisations you want to target. Using Linkedin can be a good way to make sure your applications get to the right person. If you secure an internship, be prepared to take the initiative and learn as much as you can. Ask questions, get involved. It can be a very fast paced industry but the learning opportunities are huge and can often lead to permanent positions further along the line.

9. How important would you say social media is to being successful in the fashion industry? Would you expect to see someones social media handles on a CV/Job application?
It’s becoming increasingly important and particularly in the young fashion area it’s a key way that we engage and communicate with our customers. I wouldn’t expect to see social media handles on all applications however if you’re applying for a role in an area where it’s relevant we’d certainly expect to see how active candidates are in that space to really demonstrate understanding.

10. Finally, any inspirational words you'd give to people searching for their perfect fashion job?
Don’t give up, be clear about what you want to do and make sure your love for fashion really shines through.

A massive thankyou to Kathy and the social media team over at Boohoo for letting me interview Kathy! Hope you're all feeling super inspired now!
Are you looking for your perfect job? Are you looking for an internship?
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Holl JC said...

Loved this! So interesting, thanks for sharing Becca! x

Rosie Cumberlidge said...

This is so helpful, thank you Becca. I'm in the midst of applications and it's very depressing but this has given me some really useful tips!


Unknown said...

Thankyou so much for this, this has definitely helped me! I'm applying for colleges now and was unsure on what to do to help me in the future but this has given me a better idea. such a useful post!
Kirstyn xx

Unknown said...

I did two long term internships whilst studying in my second year, am currently doing a full time internship (i study a sandwich degree) and am also freelancing (unpaid) in my spare time. Plus my blog! It's exhausting, but hopefully hard work will get me where I want to be!

Georgina at

PrncszTffny said...

Love this interview! The advises are so useful!


Unknown said...

Πρέπει να πέφτει πολύ δουλειά εκεί μέσα!! ρουχα μεγαλα μεγεθη

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