Selena Leong has worked her way up from production associate, to product development, to technical design, to apparel design. Along the way she’s worked with brands on both coasts including Aeropostale, Forever 21, and even Ralph Lauren. And she did it all without ever going to fashion school.
When you know you want to get into the fashion industry, your first thought might naturally be, “I have to go to fashion school.” But there are plenty of designers in the industry that have taken different routes. One of those designers is Selena Leong.
Having gone to liberal arts school, Selena intended to go into academia. But when her college job in high-end retail helped land her a long-term temp job at Ralph Lauren, Selena’s path took a completely different turn!
In this episode of the Successful Fashion Designer podcast, Selena shares how she got those jobs, and the winding path she’s taken over her decade+ in the industry. Although some of her jobs have been great and some haven’t (and there have been hard times where she didn’t have a job at all!), her habit of learning as much as she can from each job has allowed her to keep moving forward.
Selena took advantage of what was basically an administrative role at Ralph Lauren to learn everything that she could about fashion production. From there, she kept increasing her knowledge and skills, both through her jobs and by educating herself. That dedication gave her the opportunity to create a long-term career in the fashion industry.
If you’re interested in non-traditional ways to get your foot into fashion’s door, you won’t want to miss this interview!