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7 Business Lessons from the Fashion World’s Top Luminaries

The fashion world is fiercely competitive, and those who find success must be both creative and commercial.

As London Fashion Week rolls around again, we look at the lessons any brand or business (worth their weight in cashmere) can learn from the industry’s top luminaries.

1. Do what you love

Many business moguls like Steve Jobs have noted how important it is to do what you love as a living, but so has fashion luminary Marc Jacobs, who gave this career advice: “Let’s do what we love and do a lot of it”. Find what you’re passionate about, don’t be afraid to try new things, and explore what you are good at. If you can pay the bills by doing so, even better.

2. Work on your unique selling point

Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”. When it comes to business this is entirely too true; you have to really emphasise your unique selling point to stand out from the competition. Why should your client or customer choose to spend their money on your goods or services if they can purchase something similar elsewhere? Why should an employer hire you over and above other qualified candidates? One of the key career lessons to learn early on is that you have to find the aspects which make you, and your business, unique.

3. Focus on the detail

It can be tempting to let mediocre work creep into your day-to-day output, but Giorgio Armani knew that “to create something exceptional, your mind set must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail”. The quality of your end product says a lot about your work ethic, the old adage ‘you get out what you put in’ rings true here. So, from the off, take the time to complete work past par – your efforts will be reflected in the end result and the consequent reputation will stick.

4. Keep looking for opportunities

No matter whether your business is big or small, take the wise advice of Grace Coddington: “Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you can see can inspire you”. There are always ways you can improve, limitless opportunities to investigate, and new ideas to make a reality. Once you start doing this day by day you will see your business growing.

5. Be patient

Oscar De La Renta believed “life is a little bit like a garden – you have to find time to plant the seeds for beautiful flowers to grow”. You cannot expect your company to establish itself to the worth of several zeros in a short space of time. Know that it takes patience to build an empire and it starts from the very first signs of life, so do your groundwork well.

6. Learn from others

Vera Wang advises: “Don’t be afraid to take time to learn. It’s good to work for other people. I worked for others for 20 years. They paid me to learn”. Take what you have learnt through life, education, and work experience into consideration in any business transaction.

7. Make wise investments

Just like buying that expensive bag or coat is an investment decision, you have to look at growing a business in the same way. Is this potential investment of good quality? How useful will the investment be in the long term? Is it compatible with your other investments? Is now the right time for this investment? There are many business lessons that can be learned from the career of Vivienne Westwood, but in this context she said, “Buy less, choose well, make it last”. From your employees and business partners, to business location, make the best choices for you and your business in the long term.

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Image Credit: Adrian Scottow

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