Brisbane, Australia is not the fashion capital of the world.
Lauren Hedley knew this as she watched TV every night as a child, in her hometown of Brisbane, admiring the dazzling fashion on celebrities. But it wasn’t the clothes she was interested in, it was the brands.
The Goal? Becoming a Marketing Coordinator at Sass and Bide. For the folks at home who haven’t heard of this brand: it’s an Australian women’s fashion label, famously known for it’s one-off pieces seen in the iconic Sex in the City.
Example of clothing sold on Sass and Bide’s site, https://www.sassandbide.com/ .
To fulfill that goal, Lauren went to Queensland University of Technology to receive her Bachelor of Business, with a major in Marketing and International Business. She was able to condense her degree into just 2 years, and quickly began the internship hunt. Two important themes she realized were that you had to make an opportunity for yourself, and to “try everything, apply for everything, and talk to everyone” because you’ll never know what will come out of it.
Lauren felt a calling to New York, so what did she do? She moved there!
With this move came a long, prestigious list of internships: Caroline Herrera, Jill Stuart, Instyle, and Teen Vogue.
Back to her roots
But eventually, this New York Devil Wears Prada dream came crashing down, leading Lauren back to Australia. Out in Sydney she did a quick TV advertising stint and then finally landed her “dream” job as the marketing coordinator at Sass and Bide! It consisted of a bit of everything: campaign development, shoot production, copywriting, social media, events, site and email, advertising, retail and wholesale marketing .The exposure to so many crucial aspects of marketing (Lauren’s a generalist), reignited her fire to return abroad. This meant applying to EVERYTHING, but also remaining in ruthless pursuit of the goal, which meant saying no to several local job offers.
Finally, Lauren took up a position as the Brand Manager for Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear maker. But soon after, she was once again ready to move on to another job. As she describes it, “applying and interviewing is a muscle – the more you do it the stronger you become.”
“Landing at Michael Kors, working in global brand marketing, living in NYC, is the realization of a lifelong dream and proof that where there is a will, there is a way,” as described by Lauren. Currently at Michael Kors, she works on global seasonal campaigns, regionally tailored programs, and licensing category marketing. Lauren’s extensive experience in the fashion world has taught her that as an industry built by and for women “clothes are fun, fashion is a serious business” and that “no industry does brand better than fashion. We are experts in selling a lifestyle.” Finally, her tumultuous journey, applying to internship after internship, reminded Lauren to “hold the door open for those that follow you”, and to never forget the help she received at the beginning of her career.
So, to summarize
The 9 lessons for how to make it in fashion!
- Set a very specific goal
- Make opportunities
- Trust the magic of timing
- Generalist > specialist
- Ruthless pursuit of the goal
- Know the business
- Perfect your narrative
- Where there is a will, there is a way
- Hold the door open
BY ANUSHKA COLACO AND TIFFANY COTLEDGE