Careers in the Fashion Industry: Which Career is Right for You?
Interested in fashion but not sure which fashion career is right for you? Fashion designer might come to mind first, but did you know that there are many different fashion career paths you could follow? The global fashion industry provides a broad selection of careers that fashion-minded individuals can pursue, which equally fulfill a creative passion, a business mindset, and an interest in style and apparel.
Peruse our list of careers in the fashion industry, read a little about them, and learn about the personality traits and interests recommended for each career path.
Fashion Careers Included Below:
- Fashion Design
- Fashion Merchandising
- Fashion Marketing
- Visual Merchandising
- Fashion Journalism and Fashion Media
- Fashion Trend Forecasting and Data Analysis
Of all the careers in the fashion industry, Fashion Design is one of the most common and most competitive. Pursuing this career will test your dedication, commitment, and passion for the industry. Fashion design is a long, arduous road and a very competitive field, so you need persistence and resolve in order to succeed here. Fashion designers imagine and develop new forms and styles of clothing, accessories, and shoes. Some designers specialize in one-off pieces for special events or purposes. Others work on a team to develop collections for large brands. Fashion designers usually work in a studio or small workshop.
What Does a Fashion Designer Do?
As a fashion designer you’ll immerse yourself in the world of fashion, sketching designs by hand or computer, traveling to fashion shows, planning and participating in exhibitions, hunting for materials, and visiting clients or buyers. Fashion designers work for designer labels, as part of in-house design teams for retail chains, and for clothing manufacturers. Depending on who you work for and your level as a designer, the responsibilities vary.
- Sketching and producing design concepts
- Developing patterns
- Overseeing production
- Analyzing trends in fabrics and colors
- Sourcing suppliers
- Selecting and buying materials
- Adapting existing designs for mass production
- Quality control
Due to the challenging nature of this career path, you should have a burning passion to create and a strong drive to make your creations a reality. This drive will at times be your only friend during long nights, fierce competition, and harsh criticism.
Fashion Business Careers
There are plenty of other ways to pursue a career in the fashion industry that will still let you use your creativity and passion. The business side of fashion includes many different careers that support the steps that need to be taken to manufacture, market, and sell designs once they are created.
When most people think about the fashion industry they immediately think of fashion design. Yet there’s so much more that needs to happen for the latest designs to get out into the world and into the hands of the customers who will wear them. In addition to being designed, clothing items need to make it into a retail store, they need to be displayed and marketed to customers, and they need to be properly stocked as items are sold. This is the business side of fashion - this growing field is generally termed fashion merchandising and management.
What Does a Fashion Merchandiser Do?
Typically, a fashion merchandiser will have several potential areas of focus and is used to juggling different responsibilities. As the name implies, the role of a fashion merchandiser combines fashion and merchandising, which requires a strong sense of style and fashion in addition to business acumen. What does a fashion merchandiser do on a day-to-day basis? Here are a few key responsibilities of a fashion merchandiser.
- Fashion trend analysis and forecasting
- Fashion buying and merchandise price management
- Product development
Fashion merchandising is a good career choice for those with an entrepreneurial spirit and an interest in business. Without merchandisers thinking about how to move fashion products, the designer’s creations would just sit in a warehouse somewhere. If you’re willing to dig into the numbers and play with the engine that makes the fashion industry run, then you’re a good fit for this career.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS FASHION CAREER:
Fashion marketing and fashion marketing management are the practice of connecting potential customers with brands and fashion products. Like any other kind of marketing, you have to research the preferences of different target groups and find creative ways to present products in a way that inspires customers to buy. Fashion marketers have to be creative and in tune with their target customers, while also being focused on the business side of fashion with the goal of driving sales and profits. If done well, fashion marketing balances the creative side of fashion with the needs and desires of customers and the need to make a profit.
WHAT DOES A FASHION MARKETER DO?
A fashion marketing manager wears many hats. What might a fashion marketer do on a day-to-day basis? Market research, media planning, s and branding all fall within the purview of fashion marketing. Fashion marketers may also be involved in public relations or event planning. Read on for a few key responsibilities of a fashion marketer.
- Market research and analysis
- Brand design and development
- Develop and manage advertising campaigns
- Pricing and distribution
Marketing is fast-paced and demanding, particularly in the fashion industry, where products and trends are guaranteed to change every season. This demands people who can stay on their toes and think quickly and creatively while managing deadlines. You should be prepared to wear many hats and also have an analytical side for planning and evaluating your marketing campaign’s performance.
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Mannequins, window installations, and wall displays are all examples of ways visual merchandising is used to get a customer’s attention and guide their purchase decisions. If you’ve ever walked past or inside a retail store, then you have seen visual merchandising at work. While a person in this field may wear multiple hats, the general definition of visual merchandising is a marketing technique that employs the use of floor plans and three-dimensional displays to entice customers, project a positive store image, and maximize sales.
Visual merchandising begins on the outside of the store, often with attractive window displays, to entice the customer to come inside. Visual merchandising in the store, including interactive displays or seasonal decor, can be used to set a mood and introduce customers to new or featured products. The visual merchandiser will also consider in-store traffic flow patterns to identify the optimal placement of displays and new products.
What Does a Visual Merchandiser Do?
A visual merchandiser in fashion oversees and coordinates the display exhibits and decor in a retail store. This begins by deciding on a theme for the store and then evoking that concept visually through design techniques. A visual merchandiser may choose a color theme, tell a story, present a lifestyle, or evoke a particular emotion. Corporate messaging and product branding will also be taken into account. The visual merchandiser will then execute their strategy, relying on their knowledge of fashion marketing and design theory.
- Window installations
- Shelving layouts
- Interactive displays
- In-store displays
- Point-of-sale displays
- Mannequin styling
- Graphic design and placement
- Seasonal decorations
This career suits those who are creative and prefer hands-on projects. Most of the time you’ll be able to to step back when you’re done and see the finished product. This career requires a keen attention to detail, ability to think like a consumer, and a passion for presentation.
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A fashion journalist keeps their finger on the pulse of the fashion industry and shares the latest stories with the world - either on behalf of a fashion brand or a publication. As a fashion journalist you might also be a photographer / photo journalist / video producer, since fashion often needs to be shown to be appreciated.
Fashion journalism is going through a significant transition. With the advent of digital media, publications are no longer the sole gatekeepers to coverage of the fashion world. The internet is teeming with fashionistas and style-makers with impressive followings on their own blogs, Instagram accounts, and YouTube channels. To keep up with this paradigm shift, big-name publishing and fashion houses are following suit. They are hiring content creators and editors who thrive in the digital space and understand their online audience.
What Does a Fashion Journalist Do?
As a fashion journalist, you’ll be responsible for writing articles and covering assigned stories or developing your own material. Here are a few of the responsibilities you can expect as a fashion journalist.
- Develop story ideas
- Write pieces according to a publishing calendar and deadlines
- Attend and cover fashion events
- Research the fashion industry independently to stay up to date on trends
Your passion for writing matches your interest in fashion. You have writing and / or photography skills and are prepared to be part of a fast-paced environment where you’re always hunting for the latest story in the fashion world. You’re willing to travel wherever necessary to get that story, but will likely have to cover the smaller stuff earlier in your career. Ready to go for this career? Why not start a personal fashion blog? Shoot to post one new piece per month to start.
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FASHION MEDIA & FASHION JOURNALISM SALARY GUIDE
The fashion industry creates a ton of data - all rich with insights that could provide clues about what might happen next year. That is, if you know where to look. A fashion trend forecaster compiles and uses data from many different sources to piece together a story that’s used to make important business decisions.
A fashion trend forecaster may work in-house for a fashion brand or label, at the corporate headquarters of a retailer, or at an agency that works with many different brands and clients. Fashion trend forecasters and other data-driven positions in the fashion industry are in high demand, so you’ll likely find a wide variety of positions and settings. When working for a brand or label, your job may be more about influencing design, aesthetics, and marketing, while at a retail store, your role may center more around buying and marketing decisions.
What Does a Fashion Trend Forecaster Do?
A fashion trend forecaster organizes data collected from a multitude of sources and translates it into meaningful patterns and stories that are used to make business decisions. Day-to-day, a fashion trend forecaster may be doing any of the following tasks.
- Compiling and organizing data in spreadsheets
- Putting together formal presentations
- Sharing findings and insights with key players in the organization
- Construct systems that help automate data collection and decision-making
You can’t be afraid of data if you’re interested in becoming a fashion trend forecaster. In fact, you should probably love it. Being tech-savvy is also a must, since you may need to build programs or systems to compile and analyze data. Don’t think this is a data entry job - far from it. This position requires creativity and a powerful mind to analyze data and turn it into compelling stories.
5 steps to a successful career in fashion
A love for fashion is only the beginning. Learn about the 5 practical things you should know about having a successful career in the fashion industry. Take the first step and download the free guide.
Find Your Career & Chase Your Dream!
So, which fashion career is right for you? If something here catches your eye, dive in and go get it! The most important part is getting started. Even if you decide to change your path, you’ll still be on your way to entering the exciting world of fashion. At LIM College, we offer an education that can launch you into many different careers in the fashion industry. The best part is that all our degree programs include fashion internships that provide invaluable hands-on experience in the fashion capital of New York City.
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