Glossy photoshoots, highly produced runway shows, meticulously planned social media moves — the business of fashion and beauty is kept afloat by fantasy. It boasts a sparkle-covered sheen from the outside, like an addictive reality show you suspect might not be true but want to believe. Isn’t it fun to imagine a job where you play dress up all day and attend exclusive parties all night?
Instead, many gigs are like swans gracefully sliding across a lake: alluring and effortless to the naked eye with a crazy hustle underneath the surface.
But you can handle that hustle. In fact, you’re probably hungry for it. The good news is that there’s no one straightforward path to success — there are many. (Not to be all hippie dippie but the key is to choose your own.) To get you started, check out the ten seasoned veterans below — all from different fashion backgrounds — and their candid, no holds barred advice. Read on for their stories about finding their respective niches in this industry that made all the long hours and late nights worth it.