Find a school near you!

FABRYAN Designer and Owner Samantha Jane Discusses How to Break Into and Survive in the Fashion Industry

Written by Robin WildingFebruary 2, 2012

As part of our Interview Series we have focused on interviewing designers that have been featured on fashion weeks in the three top fashion cities: New York, London and Paris (next stop edgy Asia?). After all, if you can make it there—you can make it anywhere.

Another breath of fresh air that we found from London Fashion Week is Samantha Jane's label—FABRYAN (fa-bri-an). Her Ready-to-Wear and Bespoke pieces are bringing femininity back to female fashion, with her quintessentially feminine mystique. Samantha's signature is in blending modern, yet delicate prints with ornately-feminine details like ruffling an rouching. To view her designs visit her virtual boutique here.

Did You Know.... Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion offers BFA's in Fashion, Fashion Merchandising, Textile Design, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Styling, Costume Design, and Fashion Product Development. Learn more.

view counter


Samantha's graceful style in combination with her ruthless business acumen is making her a force to be reckoned with—and a natural subject in our series. We asked Samantha about her experiences in the industry, and advice on how aspiring designers can break into—and survive—in the business:

How did you get your foot into the door of the fashion industry? (aka what was your first job and how did you get it?)

My Mother was a dress maker and I used to help her when I was younger, so this was a
natural path for me.

What is your current focus/role within the industry?

I am a fashion designer and owner of the brand FABRYAN.

What type of education did it take to get you where you are today?

I studied Business which I think has helped me in setting up my brand. Though what you are taught is nothing like you will experience in the real world. Currently I'm looking into going back to school to study Fashion.

How has your career path progressed over the years?

My brand is only 16 months old but its evolving from strength to strength, and I strongly feel the best is yet to come.

If you had it to do all over again what would you do differently, change or improve?

I would have studied Fashion in university as this would have given me an advantage, but all is not lost as I plan to study fashion very soon. Luckily I had my business education to help get me through.

What is your favorite part of working in the fashion/design business?

I get to express my creativity and work in a job I love.

Which designers and/or artists influenced you the most as a creative

I'm influenced by artists such as Monet, Lucian Fruede, and Kerry Darlington.

What is the most important skill or hard lesson you have learned while working
in the industry?

Hard work does pay.

What was most surprising about working in the fashion industry?

Its a very competitive industry. Hence why I have to stress and do a lot of research before embarking in a fashion career.

What school(s) does your company generally recruit new hires from? And, do
you accept interns?

London college of Fashion and Epsom college.

Which roles in the fashion industry do you think will offer the best career
opportunities moving forward? eg. designer, PR, entrepreneur, etc.?

I think all of the above can be successful in their own right but I have to say, PR is a more versatile role. We all need PR nowadays and a very good PR person can have an outstanding career in the fashion industry.

What designer(s) or brand(s) influenced you the most as a creative

I admire works of Elie Saab and Diane Von Furstenberg.

Do you think today's jobs in the fashion industry require more of an artist's
touch or business-like ruthlessness?

Depending on the job, I think having both is good. Take me as an example where I don't have any formal training but I am able to use my business acumen and a passion for fashion to deliver my job as both a designer and a business owner.

Which skills do you consider to be most critical for a career in fashion?

The ability to work hard, and of course a love for fashion is paramount.

What would you recommend for aspiring fashion professionals looking to break
into today's fashion industry?

Do a lot of research, get qualifications and training for the appropriate channel in which you wish to go. Internships give you very good insight into the industry.

Check out more interviews at The Interview Series.