Tools to Pursue Your Career in Fashion from the Comfort of Your Couch

by Natalie Danielski, Contributing Writer

Navigating the fashion world as a student is particularly difficult when you are getting started. Without a long list of experience or thousands of contacts under your belt, leaping into a world you know nothing about can be extremely confusing. However, just because you haven’t landed your dream internship yet doesn’t mean that you can’t begin to learn the ins and outs of the industry on your own. Some of the best resources in the world are accessible online, in books and in film. Whether you’re aspiring to build your own brand or to the height of makeup artistry fame, use the list of fashion guides below as research tools to help you learn more about the industry before you are even in it.


Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media –Aliza Licht


Aliza Licht, the DKNY’s PR Girl who rocked the Twittersphere by creating an anonymous profile for the brand, shares her secrets and stories on how she fell into the world of fashion and what she did to make it to the top. From fill-in-the-blank to-do lists to narratives of her experience working for DKNY, Licht’s book is the perfect guide for prospective students looking not only to break into the industry but to also have the tools to survive the fast-paced industry.


The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion –Teen Vogue

The Teen Vogue Handbook, Version 1

For those looking for an easy read, Teen Vogue’s Handbook has chapters sectioned off by area of interest for easy access to information on the following topics: Designers, Editors, Stylists, Beauty, Photographers and Models. With personal advice from industry icons like Marc Jacobs and Bruce Weber, this is a great tool to keep on hand when you are looking for advice on how to compose the perfect design portfolio or how to build your first professional makeup kit.


Creating the Illusion (Turner Classic Movies): A Fashionable History of Hollywood Costume Designers –Jay Jorgensen, Donald L. Scoggins and Ali MacGraw

This large coffee table hardcover is recommended for the movie buffs and flamboyant creative directors wishing to learn the history of costume design in the film industry. Filled with high quality photographs and beautiful illustrations, this dense book not only gets your design juices flowing but is also a great conversation starter.


Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s –Matthew Miele

Released in theaters in 2013, “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s” documents Bergdorf Goodman’s vibrant history and how the New York store became a household name. With interviews from Karl Lagerfeld, Vera Wang, the Olsen twins and Marc Jacobs (to name a few), this documentary, now on DVD, is the perfect girls’ night flick that’s a bit more educational than one of those sappy romance Netflix specials.


The September Issue – R.J Cutler

Crowned the 2009 Sundance Film Festival Winner for best Cinematography, The September Issue provides one of the most intimate behind-the-scenes look of American Vogue and what it’s really like to work under Anna Wintour. This documentary explores what a job at one of the biggest fashion magazines in the world could be like.


Youtube Films

Alexa Chung: The Future of Fashion – British Vogue

Model Alexa Chung partnered with British Vogue to create a complete video series exploring various jobs in the fashion industry. Chung interviews everyone from all areas of the fashion world, including designers, artistic directors, editors and stylists. At least one of these episodes will help anyone interested in a career in fashion, and since it’s a free mini-series on YouTube, it is easy to pick a specific episode or two of your liking.


The Next Black – AEG

For those interested in the evolution of fashion technology, this documentary showcases the scientific and technical side of fashion, focusing primarily on computer design, interactive technology and sustainability. “The Next Black” documents the process of building “growable” fabrics to 3-D printed garments, the brainchildren of scientist-artist collaborations. This is a wonderful (and free) tool to dive into the underworld of fashion and is a far cry from basic needles and threads.

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