Dipping your toes into the fashion industry can be very intimidating for those who have no idea what to expect or where to start. Here, we will get an inside look into the industry from a fashion veteran, Lulu Vibert, creative director of Lulu Unlimited and Editor in Chief of Harold Luxury for Men magazine. “It’s a tough industry, its not at all glorified.” Lulu explained about the world of fashion. “Feel your way through the industry to find which part works for you.”
Lulu first attended a private school in Florida, where her love for fashion was discovered. Starting from high school, Lulu went onto become a model, which extended from her love for fashion. After years of discovering her modeling talents, she decided that modeling wasn’t her main goal in life. From working as a model and meeting other people in the fashion industry Lulu began to build her connections and start her career.
Initially Lulu was an aspiring young model but began to build her connections with designers, photographers and other models through her bookings. Through these relationships she discovered her love for public relations and was then asked to be involved in the publishing business.
With years of experience being Editor in Chief of LUSH magazine, Lulu decided to make her own mark on the industry by creating two of her own online digital magazines; HAROLD and Sacred Lifestyle. In planning her new publications Lulu discovered how to incorporate public events and publishing companies by intertwining the two in order to help get exposure.
“I like to keep ahead of the trends but not necessarily follow them.” Keeping ahead of the trends is important in whichever business that you have. Anticipating trends is an extremely crucial part of fashion, but following them in not always necessary. “I feel that so many people constantly create the same message. I like to look beyond that and find people that are unique and are creating different types of press for readers and bring them underground.” Lulu discussed how important it is for newcomers to fully accept their differences and use them to their advantage. Being independent and thinking outside of the box is going to set you apart from others who lack creativity. “We see the same thing in every magazine. You need to bring a new edge to reality.”
Staying on top of trends is always important when looking for new and fresh content in order to be able to constantly bring in new ideas for features and issues. “Watch the street. Street style is more interesting than the runway at times.” The runway is definitely the easiest way to forecast trends, but being able to see how different people put trends to use is important. “Where do the runways get their trends from? From watching the street and seeing independent, creative people that pull together their looks; seeing young people with innovative style that creates something unique.” Lulu explains the importance of trend forecasting. Staying ahead of trends is extremely crucial for companies and designers’ so that they can use the trends but also put their own unique spin on them to separate from competitors.
Finding your own inspiration for your work is very helpful and makes being creative easier. “I’m a very visual person. I love to get inspiration through travel and looking at different cultures.” Being fully aware of your surroundings and being able to let inspiration manifest itself into something new and innovative by having an open mind will make the creative process more efficient. “I’m very inspired by vintage because it’s all being recycled and styles are coming back.” She explains her muse’s; “people are definitely a huge inspiration for me. One of my favourite people is Carine Roitfeld. I love looking at her and watching her for inspiration.”
Toronto can definitely be a fashion forward city, but it is very different compared to other fashion capitals like Milan, Paris and New York. Toronto’s fashion industry has existentially less support from other international cities. “It’s very limiting here. There is some great talent in Toronto but unfortunately we don’t have the visibility internationally that other countries do.” Lulu explains that Toronto needs to have a voice outside of Canada that really draws attention to the city. Finding a position in Toronto’s fashion industry is much more difficult than compared to entering a fashion related position in New York. Torontonians have to work much harder at making a name for themselves in their city’s fashion world. “We don’t lack the talent, we just don’t have the proper voice yet.”
Entrepreneurship in fashion in Canada is a very tough industry to get support. Canadians seem to have difficulty supporting their own, even if the talent is there. Lulu believes that there needs to be a voice internationally that will shine light on Canada’s talent.
Lulu tells fashion newbies: “feel your way through the industry to see which part of it will work for you. One position might turn out completely different than you once thought, so try as many areas of the industry that you can to see which position works best for you.” New fashion lovers know that they want a position in the fashion industry, but they have no idea what kind of position would either best suit them, or which one they would enjoy the most. Trying different positions in the industry and getting internships with multiple positions and companies will help distinguish which area of fashion would suit you best. “People are always looking for creative people and the innovators of the fashion world. Get an image of what you want and try to build your own personal style to separate yourself from others. Be unique,” Lulu concluded.