Emily has always known that she wants to grow in an industry that is ever-evolving and creatively challenging. That’s how she fell in love with the fast pace of Fashion, and she has never looked back since.
Just last year, Emily took her biggest career jump when she left her ‘secure’ full-time job to become a freelance fashion assistant and stylist for Marie Claire. Now Emily is loving every bits of her job at the publication. From working with fashion PRs, coordinating photo shoots, to assisting in creative production, no two days is ever the same!
Above all, Emily reminded us to “never say no to an opportunity.” Learn how Emily took her first steps in the industry and how one opportunity led to another in her Fashion career!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
In high school I had no clue what I wanted to do and it was only from taking up Textile class as an elective in years 11 & 12, that I discovered the love I do have for fashion. From there I completed an Associate’s Degree in Design, Majoring in Fashion Marketing, then found Holmes Institute Fashion where I completed my Bachelor of Fashion Business.
During my time at Holmes Institute Fashion I applied for an internship at Marie Claire Australia, where I remained for the next 3 months. When this internship finished, I landed my first full time job at Sol Sana and From St Xavier, managing their Customer Service (by myself), assisting the PR manager and further developing my creative skills making website banners and Instagram posts, for both brands.
In October 2020, Marie Claire fashion team reached out to me asking if I could help them a few days a week in the fashion cupboard- I happily accepted and tried to make it work with my other job. Then came time where I needed to choose whether I stay in customer service or dive into the unknown to help Marie Claire (without any confirmation that the job was going to be consistent or secured). I made the biggest decision of my career and resigned from my secure, full-time job, created my own ABN and became a freelance fashion assistant for Marie Claire and freelance stylist. Fast forward to today and I now work full-time in the fashion team of 3 (including myself), at Marie Claire Australia and I love it!
What did you love most about studying with us?
I knew I wanted to commit to something that was ever changing/evolving and challenged me creatively. I discovered early on that the Fashion Industry provided this for me. I loved how supportive and helpful everyone was, whether that be providing assistance for a task from a lecturer, or help applying for an internship. There were always people there to support you in all your endeavours.
Tell us about your role at Marie Claire
I love that every day is different! My main tasks as Fashion and Production Assistant are to manage the fashion cupboard, produce photo shoots for the fashion team (they come to me with the idea and team in mind and I make it happen!), liaise with PR companies and direct brands (including designer brands like Dior, Prada, Gucci, Chanel etc.), assist on photo shoots, source credits and captions for the fashion items featured in the magazines and so much more. My favourite task at the moment is producing the photo shoots and seeing the end result, which just makes me so proud.
What are some of the opportunities you’ve had working at Marie Claire?
Some of my favourite opportunities and memories so far have been assisting on cover shoots where I have met Isla Fisher, Jessica Mauboy and Rose Byrne. I have also thoroughly enjoyed travelling for work (before lockdown), such as staying at the luxurious Marramarra Lodge for a special location shoot for the August 2021 Issue (glamping at its finest with a Michelin-starred chef who cooked our meals, including fresh croissants for breakfast). However, I am most proud of my first ever photoshoot production, found in our September 2021 issue (Fendi Story).
How important is it to complete internships during your studies?
Internships are so important! If I didn’t apply and complete my internship for Marie Claire, I would never have the job I am in right now. The internship was vital for me, as it gave me an insider’s view about how a magazine runs/works, especially within the fashion cupboard and on photo shoots. Even though internships are unpaid, they can lead to even better opportunities in the future. They not only teach you new skills, but open up your network and allow you to meet new people in the industry.
Aside from your work at Marie Claire, have you taken on any opportunities through Agency T.M.?
Agency T.M sent me to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) to report on shows and events, whilst I was studying. I was able to attend various shows and events, one of my favourites was the Russell James ‘Angels’ Exhibition, where I was able to meet Russell James himself!
How did your role at Marie Claire come about?
Marie Claire had my contact, from my Internship in 2019, so when they needed some extra help in 2020 they reached out to me. In December 2020 I resigned from my secure, full time job, in customer service, created my own ABN and became a freelance fashion assistant for Marie Claire and Freelance stylists, which I really enjoyed.
Up until June 2021, I worked with Marie Claire a few days a week as a freelancer. Whilst working I found out that 2 (out of 3) fashion team members were leaving to become freelance stylists and from there I was offered the newly designed Fashion and Production Assistant position, due to my experience with the brand already. I have not stopped learning since taking the position and it has been incredible.
What does it feel like to land a job so soon after graduating and during a pandemic?
I still pinch myself today, thinking about everything and how it has all panned out. There have been some challenges with the current pandemic, such as lockdowns etc., however we have managed to overcome all hurdles thus far and are producing some of the most rewarding and beautiful works. It feels incredible and I’m so thankful for all the opportunities this job has provided and continues to provide.
Is there anything about working in-industry that has surprised you?
The industry is super fast-paced! There’s minimal, mostly no time, in between issues; once you finish an issue you’re straight onto the next! That was the one thing which surprised me the most, but when you enjoy your job, it doesn’t feel like ‘work’ and the fast pace makes it exciting.
How do you feel Holmes Institute Fashion helped prepare you to work in the industry?
The college prepared me to work in the industry through building my confidence and helping me improve on my skills; for example the consistent presentations for assessments helped build my confidence to speak in social situations and at many work functions.
As well as this, the knowledge I gained from studying Fashion Business, helps me every day and is so valuable; without it I believe I would struggle. Finally T.M. challenged me, like sending me to Fashion week (by myself) where I was able to meet new people and it forced me to not be scared to introduce myself to others.
What’s been your greatest memory studying at Holmes Institute Fashion so far?
My major project! We were given the freedom to create anything we wanted; challenging us and allowing us to think outside of the box. I thoroughly enjoyed creating my own business idea and planning all the elements needed to then present it to the board. As mentioned previously, the support was known and very present by the staff members, who were there if I had any questions or if I needed some constructive feedback about how to improve my major project along the way.
What is your advice for anyone starting their journey in the fashion business industry?
Never say no to an opportunity. Opportunities don’t come around all the time and if you want to further your development and experience, saying yes to anything that arises is the best way to do so. The more you say yes, the more opportunities arise - trust me!
What are your ultimate career goals?
My ULTIMATE career goals are to become the CEO of my own company, continue to be a fashion stylist on the side, invest in property and flip houses with my partner (love interior styling!) Never dream too big! Alongside these career goals, I want to help others and give back to those less fortunate in the world.
Have a passion for Fashion? Prepare yourself for the challenge, fast pace and lively dynamic of the industry! Study Bachelor of Fashion Business