Category Archives: The Devil Did Wear Prada

Ask Alexa Chung any questions about the fashion industry. For real.

A great article from my fellow blogger, Fashion Collectionneur, inquiring about “fashion industry”.

Part of the reasons why I started blogging again is to share my own personal stories within this industry. This industry creates a beautiful facade, but in reality, it can be ugly, ruthless and mean. I know this because I have been in this biz for over ten years and I know every dirty secrets about this industry.

Here is an example from my previous posting, The Devil Did Wear Prada, hopefully you will enjoy this. You all inspire me wanting to write and share more my own personal experience in the fashion industry.

*Don’t worry, I won’t name any names in any of my future postings. You will be slightly exaggerated in character for entertaining purposes.

FASHION COLLECTIONNEUR

Looking from the outside, the fashion industry can seem superficial and shallow. Or at least that is what some people’s assumes are. “Then how would I know what really is going on in the industry when it seems like constant parties and champagnes and models and make ups?” you may ask. I personally believes that no industry is easy to work in, especially one that gets judged by EVERYONE.

Screen shot of Alexa Chung in the Video Alexa Chung in the British Vogue video

British Vogue has once again teamed up with the beloved Alexa Chung (she is so real and down to earth) to come up with a new series where ordinary people like you and me, get to ask whatever we want to know about this unusual industry. The way it works is simple: head to British Vogue’s Youtube page and put your questions at the comment section of the video “Ask Alexa Chung: What Do You Want To…

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The Devil Did Wear Prada, and Chanel, and Gucci

Remember this early scene from The Devil Wears Prada when Andie (Ann Hathaway’s character) was judged from head to toes by her “Runway” peers in the movie?

Scene from The Devil Wears Prada
Scene from The Devil Wears Prada

Sadly, this scene did depicted some truth from reality.

When I visited luxury accounts and met sales people in stores, their initial reaction was checking my appearance from head to toes and then greeted me.

Since I worked in the high end designer world, I expected this scrutiny and took it with stride when I met new people.  However, it became exhausting (and costly) because I had to look the part all the time representing designer brands properly.

Chanel Fall 15 Collection
Chanel Fall 15 Collection

The truths about working in the high end designer houses are:

1.  I don’t get free cloth from designers, and I have to pay tax at the end of the year for my own clothing allowance.  At one designer house, my allowance after tax was roughly $800 per season.  I could barely afford a its signature suit with this incentive.

2. Besides the apparel, you have to have the right shoes and accessories to complete each outfit.  So there goes another half of my pay check for this.

3.  People remember what you wear!  It sounds crazy but some sales people have photographic memory when it comes to my outfits.  If I wore the same jacket, shirt or pant for a repeating visit, they would remind me about it.  They were so concerned that fashion police would fine and committed  me for repeating outfits.

4.  We also have other expenses like dry cleaning bills (designers typically use “dry clean” only fabrics) and getting haircut and manicure (we need to trim our nails constantly when handling these delicate fabrics) on a regular basis to keep up our appearances.  My female colleagues also need to buy make-ups in order to look fresh and dewey on every account visit.

Towards the end of my high fashion career, I had a closet full of designer clothes.  I donated many of them to charity stores, shared some of them to my friends and sold majority of them to consignment shops.

I had a great time wearing beautifully tailored made clothes during my high fashion days.  I am grateful for this experience but now am contend with a nice fitted t-shirt, jogger and Birkenstock as my new go-to uniform.  Go ahead and judge my Birkenstock if you want, at least I feel comfortable with my new outfit.