Breaking into the fashion industry, especially in New York City, is certainly no easy feat. Aspiring designers, stylists and models alike do their best to make it in a business that is not known for being accommodating to new-comers, all with varying degrees of success. Now, beloved creative Rocco Valentine has tapped into personal experience to share his wisdom on how to make it as a professional in the fashion world
From the get-go, Valentine suggests hopeful stylists begin their careers with a realistic mindset and come prepared to pay their dues. Many starter jobs in the industry come with little to no pay, looking for people eager to work and just get a foot in the door or make connections for future gigs. Though people should always keep their dreams and goals in mind, Valentine recommends for fashion industry prospects to keep a level head and their feet on the ground at the same time.
“Being on photo sets, working with different creatives and understanding the business and marketing behind brands really helps mold you and guide you into becoming the best creative you can be,” recommends Valentine. “With social media making everything seem so easy nowadays, people just expect they can jump into a career and be successful right off the bat with zero experience. Everybody is different of course, but I truly believe that in the fashion industry it really takes time.”
Indeed, no two careers look alike — Valentine is a living testament to this as fact. While many of his fellow creatives chose the fame-filled route of styling celebrities, Valentine instead focused on bringing his vision to e-commerce retailing behemoths, adding a unique twist to their online visuals. Though his career may not be what people initially think of when they think of styling, it has brought him incredible personal success and fulfillment, and Valentine encourages others to not put themselves in a box or be concerned about what they “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing.
“Not many of my fellow stylists admit to loving this side of the industry. 99% of my styling work is e-commerce brand related — and it’s perfect for me!” said the NYC-based creative. “Working with brands on how to elevate and put a new perspective on their e-commerce site is what I do best.”
The road ahead may be daunting to those trying to pursue a career in fashion, but by following the advice of the industry’s most kind-hearted creative Rocco Valentine, they may just have a fighting chance at making it.