With the rise of fashion apps and stylish, wearable technology, it's clear the fashion-tech landscape is exploding.
And as the fash-tech world grows, companies are increasingly looking for people who have a knack for mixing both creative and analytical skills. If you're thinking about transitioning to a career in fashion tech or just looking to get your foot in the door, here are a few tips I've learned along the way:
1. Do your homework.
There is nothing more important than actually being able to speak about the product. Do your homework, sign up for an account and play around.
The best knowledge comes from using the product directly and learning its strengths and areas for improvement firsthand. Beyond learning the product inside and out, familiarize yourself with its different types of users through customer message boards, App Store reviews and recent customer tweets.
Follow the company on social media and get to know how the company brand. Share your personal opinion on the company, what you think works, what you think could use improvement and incorporate your new vocabulary when describing the company.
2. Stay up to date, and share your findings.
Technology (as we all know) changes rapidly, which means the fash-tech world constantly evolves and changes. Take the time to catch up with key players in the fash-tech world right now, such as Polyvore, Fitbit, Poshmark and StitchFix, as well as the giant tech companies just starting to enter the fashion space, such as Amazon and Apple.
It's crucial to stay up to date on current hot topics related to fash-tech, like the future of wearable tech (like, seriously, how cool are color-changing mood shirts?!) or the mobile “buy” button.
But don't stop there.
Having an opinion on the latest industry updates and innovations, and engaging with your fellow fash-tech community members are almost as important as keeping up on the latest update or mood shirt.
Starting a blog, following like-minded fash-tech individuals on social media or tweeting out your opinions on the latest updates are all ways you can showcase your knowledge and really knock the socks off your future employer.
3. Play to your strengths and remain open. Versatility is key.
Identify your strengths. Are you more artistic or logical? Do you love designing Polyvore outfits and sharing your style with the world? Do you prefer learning about retail brand campaigns on Instagram during NYFW?
Depending on the type of role you're pursuing, emphasize your passions and experiences working in both creative and analytical situations to show your versatility.
If you are lacking in a certain area - maybe you're a talented writer but haven't had experience working closely with an engineering team - don't sweat it! Mention projects you've worked on where you lacked experience and how you overcame it.
The beauty of the fash-tech world is there is opportunity to grow. Many skills from other jobs or projects outside of fash-tech are totally transferable more often than not.
4. Never underestimate your passions.
During your interview, share personal stories to demonstrate your passions and dreams outside of the work world that may not show up on your resume.
Are you a painter? A writer? A cinephile? An athlete? Whatever your extracurriculars may be, your interviewer will see your personality shine through when you're enthusiastically talking about what makes you the happiest.
Since the fash-tech world is a unique space where creativity and analytics meet, speaking about your passions outside of work is an awesome opportunity to show your interviewer how you might fit within the culture at your new career.
I was lucky enough when interviewing at Polyvore to speak about my passion for designing and selling my own art and clothing line, and, surprisingly, much of what I've learned by trial and error through that journey helped me get to the position I'm in now.