Find Your Fashion Fortune at Any Age

by Joe Cooper
Fashion School Review Columnist

May 23, 2007

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The Art Institutes

The Art Institute
Think you need decades of experience to work at a major fashion house? Think again. As one young designer shows, fashion design school, smart designs, and hard work are sometimes all it takes.

Design Success: Barry Jordan
At just twenty-five years old, British designer Barry Jordan, is a senior men's designer for the Blue Label, AKA Ralph Lauren. Following a short stint as product manager for Armani, Jordan quickly moved on. After just a year, the young Brit moved up the fashion ladder to Ralph Lauren, where he built his credibility, in part, through a redesign of Polo trousers. He even won a 5,000 prize at a UK fashion contest. The challenge? Design uniforms for workers at a chain of UK holiday resorts.

Find Your Fashion Fortune
So how do you pursue a career path like this? As fashion design opportunities go, Ralph Lauren--a more than $4 billion company with operating locations in dozens of countries-- is at the top of the heap. Surely you don't just fall into a career like this?

As Mr. Jordan's story demonstrates, experience can help. However, luck, timing, and training all have their part. If you're a talented, educated designer with an eye for opportunity, your fashion fortune may yet find you.

For Jordan, it definitely helps that he has some fashion design school experience. After four years of studying textiles and design, Jordan emerged with a design degree that qualified him for entry-level fashion jobs. Of his fashion design degree, Jordan said, "The degree was first rate, and I wouldn't be where I am now without it."

About the Author
Joe Cooper is a freelance education and technology writer and edits medical literature. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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