IMPROVED CASPULE WARDROBE MASTERCLASS – NOW OPEN FOR SIGNUPS!

7 years in the fashion industry: my background and lessons learned

This post might seem like I’m a little to far up my own butt, but I often get messages and questions from people wanting to know more about my professional background – maybe they’re not completely sure about how to step into the industry themselves, or maybe they are simply curious to learn more about how other people might have done things. I haven’t got years upon years of experience, but for the past 7 years I’ve been working within the fashion industry in various different ways. So I do think I have some experience there, that might be valuable to others as well. So here’s my story about how I “made it” – and later broke it into pieces to follow my heart.

Der er fare for det her indlæg bliver sådan lidt “ananas-i-egen-juice” agtigt, men jeg får ofte henvendelser fra folk som er interesserede i, at høre lidt mere om min profesionelle baggrund – måske fordi de selv drømmer om, at arbejde med mode, men måske er lidt i tvivl om indgangsvinklen eller bare er nysgerrige på at høre, hvordan andre har gjort. Nu har jeg jo ikke været i branchen i vanvittigt mange år, men de sidste 7 år har jeg beskæftiget mig med mode og arbejdet i modebranchen på forskellige måder. Så lidt erfaring har jeg dog alligevel med mig i rygsækken. Så her er min historie om hvordan jeg fik en fod indenfor – og senere valgte at vende ryggen til det hele igen, for at følge mit eget hjerte.

Wearing almost all secondhand/vintage except the jeans which are from Armed Angels

It’s not secret that I’ve had trouble settling into this industry. In 2012 I finished my education as a fashion design technologist, and efter that I had a few different internships before getting my first job as a design assistant. I learnt a lot during that period of my life, and quite early on I started getting second thoughts about whether or not this was how I saw myself contributing to the fashion industry. So after two years working fulltime, I decided to go back to school for a while. I needed a break to figure out what I wanted, but I also saw the opportunity of educating myself further as a way to open more doors. Especially if designing clothes turned out to be something I didn’t want to pursue anymore. So I took a bachelor in communication & media strategy. And it was actually while I was finishing that education I started my blog, and also got more and more into slow fashion and lifestyle. That’s where my interest in minimalism, capsule wardrobes and sustainability was sparked.

When I finished my bachelor’s degree in 2015 I also started my youtube channel, which slowly started evolving. All while that happened I actually decided to give the job as a designer one final shot, and I ended up working another 1,5 years as a designer (the last 6 months on part time though), but in the end I decided it was enough. It just wasn’t for me, working with commercial fashion. Especially not since I was working more and more with the complete opposite on the side.

Det er ingen hemmelighed, at jeg har haft svært ved at finde mit ståsted i den her branche. I 2012 færdiggjorde jeg min uddannelse som designteknolog, og efterfølgende havde jeg et par praktikforløb hos forskellige tøjmærker, inden jeg fik mit første faste job som designassistent. Jeg lærte meget i den periode, og det var egentlig ret tidligt jeg var i tvivl om, om det var sådan hér, jeg havde lyst til at bidrage til faget. Så efter to år på arbejdsmarkedet som nyuddannet designer, besluttede jeg mig for, at gå tilbage på skolebænken for en stund. Jeg havde brug for en pause til at finde ud af hvad jeg egentlig ville, men så også efteruddannelse som en mulighed for, at åbne nogle flere døre end designfaget. Hvis nu, det viste sig jeg ikke ville gå dén vej alligevel. Derfor tog jeg en bacheloroverbygning i kommunikation & mediestrategi. Det var faktisk imens jeg gik på den uddannelse, at jeg startede min blog og begyndte at interessere mig for en mere langsom tilgang til mode og livsstil. Det var dér min interesse for minimalisme, capsule wardrobes og bæredygtighed blev vakt.

Da jeg blev færdig med min bachelor i 2015 startede jeg min youtube kanal, som langsomt begyndte at vokse. Alt imens gik jeg faktisk tilbage til designfaget for en stund, og arbejdede yderligere 1,5 år som designassistent (det sidste halve år dog kun på deltid), men måtte erkende at det bare ikke var noget for mig, at arbejde med kommerciel mode. Især ikke, fordi jeg på sidelinjen igennem arbejdet på mine sociale platforme, jo beskæftigede mig mere og mere med det komplet modsatte.

I still wasn’t ready to become 100% self-employed, when I quit my last job as a design assistant in 2017, even though more and more opportunities started coming along through my work on youtube and here on my blog. So I started looking for a part time job until hopefully the day where I could call myself my own boss and work with sustainable fashion on fulltime would appear. And I was very lucky to be headhuntet for a part time position as a social media manager, for a Danish fashion brand. It was an amazing opportunity to not only get a more steady income all while working on my own projects. But it was also quite cool to be able to work with something that was actually still relevant, that would give me a lot of experience and where I could use the knowledge I got through my bachelor’s degree even more. At that point I was ready to take any part time job that might come along, so I felt very privileged to have been offered that position. It was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, and also one of the best places I’ve worked in general.

After 1,5 years in that position I finally took the plunge so I could focus on my own business, and even though I really liked my part time job and I enjoyed working there, I never regret making that decision.

Jeg var dog ikke klar til, at gå 100% selvstændig, da jeg stoppede på mit sidste job som designassistent i 2017, selvom der langsomt åbnede sig flere og flere muligheder bl.a. gennem mit arbejde på Youtube og her på bloggen. Så jeg søgte et deltidsjob indtil den dag forhåbentlig kom, hvor jeg kunne kalde mig min egen chef, og beskæftige mig med bæredygtig mode på fuld tid. Og så var jeg så heldig, at blive headhuntet til en deltidsstilling som ansvarlig for sociale medier, hos et dansk tøjmærke. Det var en god mulighed for ikke blot, at have en fast indkomst samtidig med jeg arbejdede på mine egne projekter. Men det var også fedt at arbejde med noget der rent faktisk var relevant, og ville give mig en masse god erfaring, hvor jeg virkelig også kunne bruge min bachelor til noget. På dét tidspunkt var jeg klar til at tage nærmest hvilket som helst deltidsjob, så jeg følte mig enormt priviligeret over at have fået tilbudt denne stilling. Det var ét af de bedste jobs jeg har haft, og én af de bedste arbejdspladser jeg har været en del af.

Efter 1,5 år i den stilling tog jeg endelig springet, og valgte at satse på min egen forretning, og selvom jeg var glad for min deltidsstilling og arbejdsgiver, så har jeg ikke fortrudt min beslutning én eneste gang.

As mentioned in the beginning I’ve all along had trouble finding my way in the fashion industry. Without going into too much detail I’ve met some… let’s say interesting types of people, and I’ve also experienced some sides of the business, which in many ways chocked me. Which was very close to bringing me down too a couple times. In fact I’ve seen other people who has been working in the business for many more years than me, being brought to their knees. All this, combined with the fact that I was slowly becoming aware of how much the fashion industry destroys (I watched The True Cost… need I say more?), was part of the reason why I decided to work harder and harder to find my own way of doing things.

I got a DM on Instagram the other day, where a sweet girl wrote to ask me about my way into the fashion industry, but also this whole thing about the industry being a bit intimidating and exclusive. She asked me how I got over this – and the truth is I don’t think I ever did. I think what happened to me was that I realised I didn’t want to change myself for a business, that in many ways is so broken. This is going to sound so cliché, but instead I choose to follow my heart.

Som nævnt i starten, så har jeg nemlig hele vejen igennem haft svært ved, at finde mit ståsted i modebranchen. Uden at gå for meget i detaljer, så har jeg virkelig mødt nogle… lad os kalde dem specielle typer mennesker, og også oplevet nogle sider af branchen, som på alle mulige måder har chokeret mig. Som faktisk var ved at knække mig et par gange. Og jeg har også overværet andre mennesker blive knækket, mennesker som har været i branchen mange flere år end jeg. Alt dette, blandet med det faktum at jeg langsomt blev mere og mere opmærksom på, hvor ødelæggende modebranchen er (jeg så bl.a. The True Cost… behøver jeg sige mere?) var medvirkende til, at jeg arbejdede hårdere og hårdere på, at finde min egen måde at gøre tingene på.

Jeg fik en besked den anden dag på instagram, hvor en sød pige spurgte lidt ind til netop min indgangsvinkel til modebranchen, men også det her med at branchen kan virke frygtindgydende og ekskluderende. Hun spurgte mig hvordan jeg overkom dette – og sandheden er, at det gjorde jeg nok aldrig. Jeg tror nærmere, at jeg bestemte mig for ikke at ændre på mig selv, for at passe ind i en branche, som på mange måder er i stykker. Det her kommer til at lyde så kliché, men i stedet valgte jeg, at følge mit hjerte.

One of the projects I’ve also been working on the past 1,5 years:
my jewelry collab with German Stilnest

I knew I still wanted to work with fashion and style, but I didn’t see myself drawing style upon style for a commercial fashion brand, as the only way to pursue this dream. I wanted to work with sustainable wardrobe building and styling, which are things that benefit ourselves but also the environment. So this is where I’m at today. I’m currently also studying to become a stylecoach, so that I can work even more professionally with this.

Fashion and style is a lot of things – and in some people’s eyes it’s a completely superficial world. And I think one of the most important things I’ve learned so far is that, yes; the parts of the business that desperately needs change is really superficial and cruel. Sorry to say. But something quite magical happens when you meet people in the fashion industry, who has a whole other agenda. People who work with fashion in a way that makes sense, where you actually care about the people and the planet all together. Where goodwill, sustainability (also social sustainability) and creativity meet. And there’s no doubt in my mind that as long as I’m part of the fashion industry; this is where I want to be.

So – find your own way in, get some experience and find out where it makes most sense for you to put in your effort. But most importantly, follow your heart and listen to your gut feeling. You don’t have to follow the mainstream to be succesful. <3

Jeg ville gerne fortsat arbejde med mode og stil, men jeg så ikke dét der med, at tegne style efter style for et kommercielt mærke, som den eneste måde at forfølge denne drøm på. Jeg ville gerne arbejde mere med bæredygtig garderobeopbygning og styling, som jo i høj grad er gavnlig for os selv, men bestemt også for miljøet. Og det er ligesom her jeg befinder mig i dag. Jeg er i øjeblikket også ved at efteruddanne mig inden for netop feltet personlig styling, så jeg kan arbejde endnu skarpere og mere professionelt med netop dette.

Mode og stil er mange ting – og i visse menneskers øjne også fuldstændig overfladisk. Og jeg tror det vigtigste jeg har lært indtil nu er, at ja; den del af branchen som trænger til en gevaldig overhaling og forbedring er enormt overfladisk og led. Sorry to say. Men der sker noget ret fantastisk når man møder mennesker i modebranchen, som har en helt anden agenda. Folk som arbejder med mode på en måde som giver mening, hvor man passer på mennesker og natur og alt ligesom går op i en lidt højere enhed. Hvor god gammeldags goodwill, bæredygtighed (også socialt) og kreativitet mødes. Og jeg er ikke i tvivl om, at så længe jeg skal være en del af det her fag; så er det dér jeg helst vil befinde mig.

Så – find din indgangsvinkel, få en masse erfaring og find ud af hvor det giver mening for dig at sætte ind. Men vigtigst af alt, følg dit hjerte og lyt til din mavefornemmelse. Du behøver ikke følge med strømmen for, at få success. <3

14

Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • Chris
    13. March 2020

    All I know is that after a few years of trying, I finally have a capsule wardrobe that works for me. Totally thanks to you!

    You have a wonderful sense of style and an organized, smart approach that really works for me. You have a real talent! Your way of teaching is so understandable and approachable.
    Thank you!

  • dianne obeso
    16. March 2020

    Dear Signe Good for you to find a way to work the way your values tell you to. Another very prominent person in the fashion world described in her blog having a mental breakdown and feeling out of control after years of working in the industry. This was terribly painful to even read about! and awful for her. In my work life as a nurse I was able to find many niches that expanded my practice and thankfully gave me more and more fulfillment as time went on over 43 years. Then I went on to a completely different work experience at a slower pace by choice. How did other people work I wondered.? This was a great education at an advanced age. I am sure you will keep evolving and build upon your work life because you are trying options at an early age.