Nancy Ortiz and Her Unconventional Path to a Fashion Career [Video]

Nancy Ortiz- Latin Business Today

Learn the fundamentals and put the time and work in to learn as much about the position you want

Entry level jobs in the fashion industry may not be glamorous but they are incredible opportunities to learn the foundation of careers in fashion. There are many different types of careers within the fashion industry and many paths to get you there.  Nancy Ortiz took a bit of an unconventional journey and found her place as Co-Director at The Lions Management in New York City.

Her love of the fashion industry and passion for learning kept her rising up through the industry all while maintaining her business relationships which led her on an interesting journey and landed her a top position at this talent management agency.

The Lions is a talent management, branding, PR and creative services agency that focuses on talent that’s more than just a beautiful face. They empower their models who have something to say and want to be more than just a mannequin. They help their clients and brands develop and tell stories which inspire and celebrate diverse thoughts, backgrounds and cultures. The Lions hopes to amplify their talents’ voices making an impact in the world.

Nancy says the talent they represent is not the traditional standard of beauty and her role there is to connect brands to their models, strategizing with the models to determine what their goals are.  She helps to manage the models’ contracts hopefully making their talents’ dreams come true. She enjoys meeting their talent and clients from all over the world and learning more about them. She says it keeps things exciting and diverse.

With 30 years of experience in the fashion industry, I asked Nancy to share her thoughts on what it means to be a “professional”, putting in hard work and moving up the ladder in the fashion industry.

Tina: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Nancy: I’m from Washington Heights, NY and grew up in New York, New Jersey and Miami.

Tina: How would you describe yourself?

Nancy: Real, humble…I choose to be an optimist.

Tina: What did you dream of doing when you were a kid?

Nancy: I always knew I would be in the fashion Industry. I was obsessed with models in the 90’s.

Tina: What is your educational background?

Nancy: I left my first year of college to pursue fashion in NYC.

Tina: Describe what you do for a living.

Nancy: I manage fashion models’ careers.  I connect brands with my models, while overseeing contracts; managing their schedule and strategizing to help our models achieve their career goals.

Tina: What do you love the most about it?

Nancy: Helping to make dreams come true; meeting & connecting with new people from all the over the world.

Tina: Do you wish you could change anything about it?

Nancy: This business is consistently changing as is! I need to stay open and flexible to keep adapting along with it.

Tina: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Nancy: After thirty years of working in this industry, I’m still here!

Tina: What is a challenge you’ve faced in business?

Nancy: The pandemic was a challenge but we as a community overcame it.

Tina: If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Nancy: Take up space… you matter! Deliver what others cannot.

Tina: What does being a “professional” mean to you?

Nancy: It means you show up and deliver on everything you know you can do.

Tina: How has being a Latino/a influenced your career, created opportunities or challenges, etc.

Nancy: I was lucky to have a mentor/boss that loved my Latina style and celebrated my culture. I never hid my Latina side to make it.

Tina: If you could give young professionals some advice, what would it be?

Nancy: It’s OK to start at the bottom and it’s OK to stay at the bottom until you learn. It takes time and hard work to understand all the components of your job before jumping to the next level.

View the full interview here:

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