Monday, August 19, 2013


Usually when someone writes in all capital letters it seems like the writer is shouting. If you notice, the post title is in all caps. It is intentional and should be read as though I am shouting. Over the years I have given many presentations to students about the fashion business. In almost every presentation a student will ask what the best piece of advice I can give for them to be successful in the fashion industry. My answer is always the same. KEEP IN TOUCH.

It sounds simple, but the new generation of students graduating is not very good with this. I specifically remember a presentation I gave about two years ago; I shared the same advice with about fifteen students. I gave every student my business card and encouraged them to stay in touch. Two out of fifteen followed up one time.  I responded to both students positively and was open to keeping the connection. I never heard from either one of them again. I cannot express enough how unwise this is for students. Relationships are everything in this business and if you don’t have any, your upcoming job search will be difficult. Friending someone on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ just isn’t enough to build a relationship with executives in the fashion industry.  If you want a relationship, a personal email or phone call is what would make you stand out from the crowd.

I admit that I have not maintained connections to everyone I have ever met or worked with, but I will tell you that everyone who has remained a connection has been helpful in my career and vice versa.

Who are you happy you connected with? How can you better maintain connections with new acquaintances? How have your connections helped in your career? How have you helped your connections with their careers? What has held you back from staying in touch with potential business connections?

Learn more about the fashion industry from Career Coach Kate Kibler at

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