Paris, where to start… Firstly apologies this blog has taken me so long to finish, I have been very distracted from my blog in the past year with different design projects but I started this blog for a reason to share what its like to be/work in the fashion industry so Paris is definitely an experience I have to share! The main question I am going to answer in this post is what its like living in Paris and working in the Fashion Industry. I moved to Paris in September 2018 by myself with no french and one job lined up for Paris Fashion Week (10 days) and after a dream to pursue a career in the Fashion Industry. My first job was with an English company called Rainbow wave who are a global sales and communication company( working with Adeam Brogger Re/Done,Giuliva Heritage Collection and lots more). I was assisting them on the wholesale side of the fashion industry so I was working with the wholesale SS19 Ready To Wear team, which would include assisting the sales managers on merchandising and setting up the stock and then further assisting when the buyer /clients comes to view the collection. If you are like me and only have a main knowledge in Fashion Design and want to learn about the business/wholesale side of the industry I would definitely recommend working in a showroom for experience, It is also a good way to get a foot in with a brand you love and find a job with the company after the week.
After PFW I had a few different interviews lined up in every area of the Fashion Industry, I should probably add the main reason I moved to Paris was to gain and broaden my knowledge of the fashion industry and not just Design. Moving from my hotel based in central Paris with the lovely team I made great friends with, I had to say my goodbyes and move 30mins outside of the city to an AirBnB, I had pre booked in Fontany-Sous-Bois, Someone recommend I stay out there as its hard to know where to live in Paris City and I had no clue at all, But I would recommended living from the 1st-10th arrondissements (Arrondissements is how paris is arranged from 1-20) . Regarding rent in Paris it is honestly very hard and a lot of people will try scam you so just be careful, the best and safest websites I found are Lodgis and Paris Attitude and AirBnB if its a short stay. I would try find it before you arrive in Paris, It is also quite expensive as of course it is like any main city and you will have a security deposit and documents to exchange with the agency before you book, but its all worth it to live in the beautiful Parie.
What Websites are good for Job Searching..
Shortly after my first two months in and out (a lot) of interviews and starting and stoping jobs I just hated from PR office work to digital design. I finally settled with an English stylist. I touched on working part time with a stylist in New York and loved it! It was the perfect job to get to see the City and work at the same time with always running the city going to showrooms and different shoot locations, a career option which goes hand in hand with design I feel! For job searching I found fr.fashionjobs.com the best, other ones are Business of Fashion Linkedin and LVMH. I also printed and brang around my CV (In French – Google Translate and my french speaking roommate from the AirBnB fixed it up for me haha) I found the fashion houses locations online and handed it in. ( Theses websites will also have internship options if you are looking for that.)
Did you find it hard with the Language barrier..
Yes, I am not going to lie french people can be very rude at times, but thats just the way they are I learned very quickly and you just have to ignore it. I do have the very basics from studying it for my junior cert but with the speed they speak at I may as well have nothing.. haha. But other then day to day living everyone in the fashion industry speaks french so I had no problems work wise at all. Someone thought me over there to always smile and just say “Parlez Vous Anglais”( Do you speak english) before you start talking in english and they are a lot nicer which I definitely found works!! You can also get apps like duolingo which is good for helping to learn french.
Did I find it lonely moving to paris by myself..
No, not really I am used to doing most things by myself regarding my career options, thats just how I am as a person I would be quite independent. Also sometimes its just easier when you are just doing your own thing and don’t have any obligations. I also moved to NYC by myself 2 years ago so I have sort of experienced it before…and you will always make the most amazing friends along the way! Social media is great for this see if there is any Irish people you know living there and send them a message, Irish people are great for connecting abroad and I love that about Ireland.. I have done this loads! I mean of course you always have your off days when you miss home and your friends but the good days will always over take them. If it is something you would never do I would strongly recommend trying it!
The last main thing you need to know is that you will need a Convention De Stage this is a learning/training agreement between your college and the company you are woking for (within a year of you graduating your college will still provide this) you can get this from your college if you ask your international erasmus office they will have this for you.
I hope I have answered all your questions and gave you an insight to the Fashion Industry in Paris, I would definitely recommend living in Paris I have never leavened so much in such a short space of time (5 Months) and I hope to go back again one day when it fits into my career path. But for now thank you for reading and fell free to send me a DM on email or Instagram and I can answer any further questions.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have read it! Aoife.xx