The fashion industry can be far less glamorous than it looks. There’s a lot of hard work and long hours behind that beautiful facade; a fact this writer can readily attest to.

It’s a sentiment that the speakers at the Her World & herworldPLUS How to Make It In Fashion seminar agreed with full-heartedly, when they spoke about their work while sharing tips for anyone aspiring to join this competitive field.

Held in May 2014 in conjunction with Her World magazine and the herworldPLUS team, four fashion insiders – Singapore fashion designer Ong Shunmugam, e-retail veteran Debra Langley, design consultant Thomas Tan and social media whiz Pamela Wigglesworth – were invited to tell it like it is.

As Thomas Tan of TafF (Textile & Fashion Federation) training centre pointed out: “You have to love it”, to “work six days a week, from 8.30am to 11.30pm”. And that’s just the typical schedule of a fashion designer.

Speakers at the How to Make it in Fashion seminar (L-R): Pamela Wigglesworth, Thomas Tan and Debra Langley. Image: herworldPLUS

“Be ready to start from the bottom,” were the wise words by the fashion veteran, who has been approached for career advice by people from all walks of life, including lawyers, administrative assistants and even a rocket scientist.

Another key takeaway: Don’t give up at the first sight of failure.

“The one thing that I tell people that is most important is that you need to be prepared to risk (it) and be prepared to fail,”  says Debra Langley, founder of online shopping site Inverted Edge. “Because only in failure, can you learn how to be better.”

Find out more about what these speakers have to say, in our video recap here:

The How to make It in Fashion seminar was held on May 17, 2014 at the Suntec City Convention Centre, as part of the Asia Fashion Exchange.

Read more about what the speakers and participants have to say in the Her World magazine August 2014 issue, out on newsstands next month!