by Barb on February 6, 2013
Several months ago, I talked at length about how I meandered through the industry with nothing but the experiences incurred to guide and teach me, and my feelings of going at a career blindly. I never went to school to learn how to look at, let alone evaluate, clothes, on how to discuss relatable theory, or to have ownership of a historical foundation that everyone else seemed to possess. And of course, there was no class on how to wedge yourself in any open sliver within the industry offered. As a side bar, if you ask me, I believe universities are meant to teach the theoretical (excluding STEM subjects), as opposed to the practical, but that is a conversation for another day.
But wandering my way through the industry and learning on the goal wasn’t the real challenge for me, though. Re-establishment in both New York and Paris were the défis – they did plenty to level me and hone some of my soft skills.
The whole thought of starting over again comes back to me every now and again, especially when the industry unveils new collections. But it was in my recent trip to Hong Kong when I chatted with recent transplant and food blogger Barbra Austin that those feelings of re-establishment and renewal were brought up. Like the budding relationship with a newfound city, it is the relationships with new PR firms, writers and the like that I find myself having to cultivate anew.
In some ways, starting over in a new city for work is like dating; we meet either through email correspondence or at the showroom, dancing around the conversation of interests (for editorial pieces), and getting to know one another (through showcasing clients). After finding some common ground, we see one another more often, share details and accommodate one another. But sometimes these relationships end when clients move to different firms or when associates move on. This shuffling of clients presents a game of observance, and sometimes, you look for the loner – the next up and coming designer amidst this large pool.
And when you leave the city, you bid your adieus, promising to keep some ties and memories. Then you wade into the waters all over again, recognizing the new hip locales (i.e. show venues and showrooms).