It ain’t like the movies, gals.
I’ve always wanted to work in fashion. Well, that’s a lie—I wanted to be an English teacher for a very long time, because in the back of my mind I thought “there is no way am I even remotely cool enough to work in a fashion office”. My only reference points of what it would be like at the time were The Devil Wears Prada (best film ever) and 13 Going on 30. I thought anyone who wanted to work in fashion had to be one of those extremely well-dressed, cold, bitchy, and slim sorts; and a place me and my 30/32 waist would not be welcome. But I decided to *cliché alert* follow my heart and look for fashion-cum-writing jobs after graduation and voilà, here I am. And to my surprise (and delight) all my preconceived notions of working life in a fashion office…boy, were they wrong.
Ok, the one thing that was accurate was the well-dressed thing. There are some banging outfits to be seen on a daily basis. But, by women of all shapes and sizes. However, when you attend staff parties, it is both kind of amazing and depressing how many beautiful people can work in one place. We do all have our casual moments though, and no one bats an eye lid if you’re having a jeans, baggy sweaters, no make-up, and sneakers kind of day–which is just great.
Since I started here at NG, there has been a lot of moving around while we waited for our brand spanking new office to be finished; perks of which include a hot water tap and windows (fancy). So I have been quite fortunate to meet and sit with the majority of the team (something which doesn’t always happen in big offices). And I can safely say they are some of the most ambitious, hard-working, and intelligent people I have ever met. The fashion industry is so fast-moving and more popular than ever, you have to work hard and be the best of whatever you’re doing to make it work; something the NG ladies (and gents) have down to a tee. Which is really infectious energy to be around as a pretty ambitious gal myself.
In the weeks running up to me starting at Nasty Gal, I remember hyping myself for it to be a really bitchy environment, like, “you can handle this, Darce, you got this girl, go in there and show ‘em who’s boss”. I was going to look immaculate all the time, take up yoga, and take no shit. But literally, the biggest disagreement I’ve had with my work colleagues is about the setting of the air conditioning (we do not need to be ice cold all day people). As I was saying, I was welcomed warmly on to the team from day one and have become good friends with a lot of people, which made the whole ‘new job’ trauma a breeze. Oh and I didn’t take up yoga, just stronger coffee.
It’s so weird to think that people perceive ‘fashion girls’ as judgemental and bitchy, when a lot of these women are champions for using fashion as a statement and tool for free expression; pushing the boundaries of the societal limitations on fashion and what it represents for the benefit of other women and men. I suppose, in a lot of cases, it’s just another one of those perpetuated stereotypes, but from my own personal experience of working in a fashion office, I have only encountered women of ambition, strength, assertiveness, hard-work, and kindness.