So you want to work in fashion?

Nikki ParkinsonFashion 13 Comments

Once upon a time, I had a dream.  It involved me, a glossy fashion mag and glam life in Sydney.  I was a small town girl with free lipstick and access to a fashion showroom in her eyes.  It seemed like a impossible dream but thanks to some mentoring from Tracey Cox, I almost got there.

Tracey, like me, started journalism in regional newsapers.  When I met her she was deputy editor at Cosmo (she’s now a global success, in demand for her advice on sex and relationships).  Without her, I would have not even known where to start looking.  Because of her, I scored an interview opportunity that lead to a job offer.  One I didn’t accept because my life had taken a different path at the time.

Do I regret not taking the job?  Well, yes, a little bit of me does but that would be wishing away my beautiful children and my husband, so no.

The point is, I had a goal, I was lucky enough to know someone who had paved the way before me and she was willing to help me reach it.

Most people don’t know where to start.

So when I heard about fashion publicist Sarah Stavrow starting up a tertiary college – The Fashion Institute – for students wanting to pursue a career in fashion, I got excited for the next generation who want to live that dream.

Sarah Stavrow has opened The Fashion Institute in Sydney

Here’s the chat I had with Sarah about the college and what she’s offering:

Where did you grow up? Leeton, it’s a small town in regional NSW (near Wagga Wagga)

When did you know that you wanted to work in fashion? Ever since I can remember I used to read my mums magazines for hours on end. I always knew I was going to escape my small town and work in fashion in the big city.

How did you make your dream come true? I moved to Sydney as soon as I turned 18 to attend a business college and interned at a few magazines. I scored my first job in fashion PR after a friend invited me to help out at the agency where she worked, and I was offered a job before lunchtime!

Was it all plain sailing? Not at first. It’s really hard when you have a dream and you feel like you just keep coming up against brick walls. Even though I scored my “dream” job after only a few hours, the reality was very different once I was there. Once I was ‘in’ I had to work very hard and I made a lot of mistakes but I’ve also had many great achievements.

Glitz and glamour – or bloody hard work? BHW!! I think many young people think fashion is all glitz and glamour but it’s actually a lot of hard work, long hours and there are a lot of “not so fun” jobs. There are definitely elements of G&G – the A-List parties and free clothes and beauty products, but it’s definitely an industry that commands hard work and this is exactly what we’ll be teaching our students.

What is your strongest message to others like you, who have a dream to work in the fashion industry? Live your dream! I have heard from many women who are 25+ and working in jobs they don’t love, but have always dreamt of a career in fashion. Our course allows them to fulfil that dream and they can still work while they study.

How will your course differ from others on offer? We’re offering Blogging and Online Media classes, which no other fashion college in Australia is offering. The online section of the media is such a massive part of the industry and as most of our students are Generation Y and iGen I wanted to make sure the course was relevant to them. We also boast the most high profile teachers you will find at any other fashion college – our teachers are there to mentor students and offer internships to those who show promise and apply themselves.

For more information about the course, visit

The Fashion Institute

Comments 13

  1. My friends also had a dream of working in the fashion industry but didn’t know how to make it a reality. They found out about FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in LA and they not only work in the fashion industry, but they are both very successful! FIDM offers programs in fashion design to fashion stying. The school has a great reputation in the fashion industry which is important for any fashion college. A lot of famous fashion designers and other successful people graduated from FIDM which is pretty cool. Check out their website if you want mroe information on their fashion programs 🙂

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      1. I worked in regional papers for a few years straight out of uni, then switched to PR when I moved states. Country journos are cool 🙂

  2. Wow, what an amazing opportunity! This sounds like a really interesting option for study of fashion and media. Good on you Sarah for opening more doors for young girls like me wanting to make it in the glossy world!

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