Malie Bingham has been a designer at PVH since 2002, specializing in cut & sew knits and sweaters. In 2016, Malie founded Pick Glass, an online resource for fashion industry professionals. She uses her platform to help educate industry members on how to navigate their network and stay up to date with what is going on in the fashion world. Malie is an involved member of the YMA FSF community, and our scholars were fortunate enough to be able receive advice from her on how to approach networking in the fashion industry.
“Tell me the truth,” Malie asked, “What do you all think about networking? When people hear the word ‘networking,’ a lot of people think about networking events, reaching out to brands or influencers that you like, or having friends introduce you to someone you might like to know. The truth is, you always need to be networking.” Malie explained that networking is an important aspect of everyday life. Whether you’re looking for a new job, trying to promote your work, or just looking to stay up to date with the happenings in the industry, you need to build a strong network. “You don’t only network when you are looking for a job; you network to create a group of people that you can always turn to for support in helping you reach your goals.”
When it comes to networking, many people wait until they need something from others to reach out. Malie advised our scholars not to do so. “Don’t wait to connect with people until you need something. Keep them updated on your work; create a conversation. This way, when you do need something, it can come up naturally and won’t seem rude.” Bingham also pointed out that connecting with people who work at companies of interest to you is a good way to get your foot in the door. “It is proven that you will get more jobs through people that you know, instead of just by applying to jobs posted on job boards. Connect with humans, not a black hole, and you are more likely to see positive results.”