As a nation we are surrounded by images of youthful, radiant, dazzling and beautiful people normally at the younger end of the spectrum whether in fashion, travel, music, Instagram, beauty etc. There is much emphasis on the way we look particularly with the instant gratification of selfies, Snapchat, Instagram among others and the tweaks you can do on your phone to ensure an even more youthful/Sexy appearance!
When it comes to fashion ad campaigns this is focused on the overall image and how to sell clothes. In terms of the modelling industry this is highly focused on image, and often criticism of models being too skinny in some catwalk shows alongside the young age demographic. There has been somewhat a shift with older and veteran iconic models appearing again on the catwalks.
In terms of the Fashion Design industry this is another ball game when it comes to age. As a recruiter, I speak to candidates everyday of all levels and specialist areas. I work with a number of senior level candidates who are highly experienced with fantastic knowledge with a number of years under their belt, who could be permanent, freelance or consulting. They may be freelance, consultancy, either by choice, for flexibility, family commitments, or perhaps due to redundancy from a permanent role.
Those that have been freelance or have taken time out from the industry and are very open to returning to full time employment can often find this a challenging experience. The industry is more competitive, and working with Designers who are newer in the industry can be more cost effective to businesses (but maybe only in the short term in some cases).
Experienced Senior level candidates do not necessarily want to take a pay cut which is understandable given their experience and this can be another barrier. There are those that on completing their maternity leave perhaps want to come back on a more part time basis or (3- 4 days per week) to manage childcare arrangements or have more time with their family. More companies are offering more flexible working to accommodate this where possible, however, sometimes depending on the area/workload and how the company operates this may not always be possible.
The younger end of the industry will have different motivations & drive to the older more senior level experienced designers who are coming from a different view point in their career.
I am an ex Designer myself and having moved into Design recruitment in 2008 I realise that if I wanted to go back into Designing this would prove very challenging, due to length of time being “out of the Design” loop as it were and how to work in the market today. However, if you have taken time out like me for the same or other reasons and feel a strong desire to return to Design, then with motivation, confidence, perseverance and upskilling yourself, you can achieve anything!
Overall, the industry is changing (which is not just subjected to fashion btw) and sometimes taking time out to pursue travels, other dreams, or have children, can also make you a much more interesting prospect back in the design world and its how you can market yourself!
If you would like to have an informal discussion, please contact Sally Dawson here about the roles we are currently working with.