Building resilient, enterprising and sustainable talent for the fashion industry

We are passionate about helping you navigate your way successfully into the fashion industry. So we exist because we want to offer you our expert & honest advice to help you discover where your unique skills and talents best fit within the business, and the simple steps you can take to get hired by top fashion names or start your own fashion business.

We can’t compete with big fashion education websites (like Vogue, Business Of Fashion, Graduate Fashion Week or top Fashion schools) We don’t have the budget, or the team – not yet. But what we can do is offer you the real insight. What really happens behind the scenes – the bit that most people don’t get to see – until they are actually working in industry. The important ‘stuff’ that you need to know and will be crucial to your success and longevity in fashion – something you rarely get taught at fashion school.

We want to share with you honest stories of what it’s really like to work in fashion, the real nitty gritty stuff of what it takes to get hired in industry and what fashion brands really look for from their new recruits (we know because we have asked them!) How ‘do’ you stay calm when buyers, brands or recruiters are not returning you calls, and how do you cope with the mental health battles that being creative can sometimes bring.

We know how competitive the fashion industry can be and how difficult it can be to get hired and build your fashion career. So many of you have told us how you have struggled when leaving education to transition successfully into employment, not knowing enough about what your next steps are, how to find or apply for your first job or how to get you first foot in the door with limited exposure or experience.


Our driving force is to ensure you are equipped and empowered with the right knowledge, skills and mindset needed to work in such a high profile, highly demanding industry and prepared for the rapidly shifting world of work and accelerating pace of fashion business and innovation.

Thousands of fashion students graduate every year with 3-4 years of experience studying fashion, but many leave still unsure of the skills and knowledge of how to find a job or the right advice on what their next steps could be. Only 60% of these graduates will be working within industry in their first year. Which we find really heartbreaking, and one of the reasons we found The Trend Academy to help solve this problem. After working so hard for so many years this can be really tough. Especially if you are eager, enthusiastic and dying to get your fashion career started (and start earning some money to pay back your student loan :-)) This can so very easily make you feel lost, disheartened, isolated, unfocused. Leaving university go college can feel like you have lost your whole support network, fro your peers and tutors to the daily structure, routine, and resources. And your mental health can start to suffer.

So we are here to help – we are passionate about helping you become resilient, enterprising and sustainable talent that not only reaches your full potential in the fashion industry, but that you have the right mindset to know how to be your best self in the process. The fashion industry can only thrive & flourish when we are being our best selves.

We will also real-life stories of fashionistas just like you talking about how they got their first break into fashion, the challenges, opportunities, highs and lows they faced along the way, so you can learn from these experiences and take away top tips and advice to navigate your own successful path into the career you aspire to do (even if you don’t quite know what that career is going to be yet :-))


We want you to navigate a successful career in fashion and stay safe & sane in the process. Why?

Our Founder, Marie Oakes, was flying high in her career as a fashion designer for top fashion brands including Alexander McQueen and  Mulberry until she hit burn out. She was 32.  Without the right mindset and resilience to cope with the pressures of such a highly demanding, high profile industry, she had to leave a career and job she loved to recover from stress and burnout. Our sole mission is to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Marie says,

“I started The Trend Academy because I wanted to be able to help young people going into the fashion industry, because I had such an amazing time in the fashion industry but it is a really tough, harsh competitive environment to be in and I really struggled, I found it difficult to cope. I had all the design skills that I needed to be a fashion designer when I graduated from university. I had all the training. But what I didn’t have was the mental toughness. I didn’t realise that actually I could stand up for myself, I could say no, I had a voice. Even as a junior position within a company. So I really wanted to be able to educate and help and support young people going into the fashion industry, of how they can stay safe, and how they can look after themselves, and how they can thrive and flourish in their chosen career.”


Marie Oakes

Marie is a fashion designer who has worked for leading fashion brands including Alexander McQueen, Mulberry, M&S and Topshop. Founder of The Trend Academy, she is currently writing a new BA Hons Fashion Degree for a UK University and gets invited to speak at industry events across the country about fashion, self care and resilience. She helps students become ‘industry-ready’ and more recently is working with leaders to help them cope with stress and burn-out and is developing programmes for businesses to help their teams look after their mental health and wellbeing.

Hi, I'm Marie Oakes - founder of Trend Academy.

I'm so excited to help you get started on your fashion journey. You may not be ready to start yet, but I hope I can share some experience and insight that helps you feel fully prepared to take the next step. Let's start here; I promise that if you subscribe to the TA mailing list, I'll send you only the content that I think you'll benefit from. If not, please tell me. X

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