29/4/21

Revolutionising the fashion career scene: an interview with Dior Bediako

Founder of Pepper Your Talk and The Junior Network, Dior Bediako is singlehandedly revolutionising the fashion career scene one sherbet-hued Instagram post at a time. She’s garnered a loyal following of new and established industry professionals thanks to her easily digestible and addictive advice on how to navigate your career. In the recent period of job uncertainty and worry, Dior has remained a beacon of positivity and hope with her fresh and fun approach to career support. 

Words by Joanna Standley


Dior! Tell us about why you founded Pepper Your Talk?

When I landed my first industry job at a luxury fashion house after I graduated, it was a dream come true but I was not prepared for it (despite studying a fashion-related degree) and the reality of working in the industry was very different to the dream. 

After two and a half years there, I felt ready to share what I had learnt. I was by no means an expert but moved forward with the mindset that I would be a funnel; passing along any new insights and strategies as soon as I learned them. I wanted to help people on my level and the graduates who would be soon entering the industry. This is why I say PYT is a big sister because we’re not here to be an authority figure as such, but more of a friendly and relatable voice that listens and doesn’t judge because we still remember what it was like to be in that position! 


Why did you want to help people start and grow their career in fashion as opposed to other industries?

The company has been founded on my experiences and I’ve only ever working in fashion, whether that be on the shop floor as a retail assistant or when I was at Burberry as a Press Samples Assistant.  


What does it mean to be a young professional starting out in fashion right now?

Despite what the current landscape looks like, I think it’s an exciting time to be starting out in the industry because there’s a real shift taking place on all levels - be it mindsets, who sits on senior leadership teams, garment production and models. There’s so much newness all around us and the next generation are entering the industry at its inception, which means everything that’s happening will be their ‘norm’ so they won’t pass on the archaic ways of previous generations to their successors. 


We absolutely love The Junior Network! Tell us a bit about it…

The Junior Network is a club for people already in the industry. TJN is my direct attack on nepotism because it gives everyone who wants to join access to a network of peers and seniors, as well as keeping them connected to the next generation.


How do you find the time to run two businesses as well as be a powerhouse in your own right, and look good while doing it?

The lines between Dior, PYT and TJN are quite blurred…but in a good way! I’ve intentionally cultivated flow and harmony in my life and both businesses, which means I don’t feel the need to overwork or prove my worth through my productivity. Also, a lot of the content I produce comes to me when I’m just out and about, being present and listening to people, music or having some quiet time.

The looking good part is a compliment I’ll gladly accept! Ha - Thank you. I have always said that I’ll never look like my problems, so I guess I’m doing a good job at that too.


We know you’ve got some exciting projects in the pipeline for 2021, can you give us a sneak preview of what to expect?

This summer is going to be a big one for PYT! Pepp. Rally is an event series I’ve had planned since the summer of 2018 - can you believe that! It’s finally happening, which is exciting and scary. There will be events for people at various stages in their career - graduates, newbie professionals and those looking to level up.

In 2020, we released an Anti-Racism in Fashion paper and will continue to bring awareness to the experiences of Black professionals within fashion. If all goes to plan, we’ll host a big event around that in June.

 

So, as you can see, there’s loads going on! I’m pushing myself harder than I ever have and know I can do it. 2021 is all about taking things to the next level.

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