Fashion is not as frivolous as Hollywood makes it out to be. It is a trillion dollar industry creating jobs and also a contributor to pollution. Due to these social and environmental issues, the fashion landscape is constantly evolving. Ever wondered about careers in fashion design and retail? From street wear to haute couture; there is a style to suit everyone. However, there are those who do not particularly aspire to create these garments yet still want to work within the fashion industry. There are ample opportunities in this field; from fashion media to retail and merchandising.
Here are our top 10 fashion career opportunities:
A garment technologist knows all about the processes and working on design and development of materials. Garment technologists are responsible for testing performance and fit of garments. They require an intimate knowledge of fibers, textiles and yarn in order to produce quality that is in accordance to the business objectives. From luxury high-end brands to fast fashion labels, garment technologists support the manufacturing arm.
Patterns and prints on material can truly be a focal feature; whether it be on a carpet or on a pair of pants. Textile designers create these patterns which are knitted, printed or woven into the desired fabric. A keen eye for the use of colour and texture is an attribute required for this career. An essential skill needed is that of trends analysis forecasting, which is a career in itself!
This career is fairly unknown and underrated, but without planners, fashion collections would not exist. Planners literally plan the budgets based on sales data, historical research, consumer behaviour and trends. This career is for the creative fashionista with a strong sense of mathematics and understanding of accounting, often referred to as the "fashion nerd".
The profitability of a store as well as the sale and promotions of stock are dependent on the merchandiser. This fashion career is one which demands organisational skills, tenacity and commitment. The merchandiser ensures that the store is well stocked with the correct quantity of garments and accessories that will appeal to consumers. Further key responsibilities include precise micromanagement of sales performance to ensure that the store has the correct products at the right time.
6. Fashion Public Relations
Not your everyday job, is it? Public relations is the backbone to successful fashion labels and a strong brand image. These communications alter the perception of people to view brands in a certain light depending on the business goals. Public Relations Officers work closely with media; managing the public image of the brand, as well as assisting with media coverage during launches and promotions. A key skill for this career is relationship management, strong written and verbal communication skills as well as crisis management.
5. Fashion Writer / Blogger
The fashion media industry is more than simply blogging. The ''influencer'' industry has grown tremendously over the years due to the advent of the smartphone. Bloggers tend to write more than just take selfies. This sector plays an important part in the world of fashion by breaking down looks, clothing and accessories into social commentary. Their opinions also shape the way their followers view products. Fashion writers often work with public relations to create and produce editorial content which can be displayed on social media, magazines, newspapers or television. They are partially responsible for media coverage and exposure during launches, promotions and even runway fashion shows. Knowledge of marketing, trends and multi-media communications will give bloggers an edge in a competitive sector of fashion.
4. Fashion Illustrator
Not all fashion designers are fine artists. Fashion illustrators often produce artwork for promotional advertising – both print and digital. These are people who work closely with the designers, in order to create concept sketches of the designer’s ideas- whether it be for clothing, furniture, accessories or shoes. Drawing can be taught and sometimes fashion illustrators use computer tech to develop their signature style which fashion brands love and want to collaborate with.
3. Fashion Stylist
In the world of fashion and design, these people are the ‘breath of fresh air’ that brings an artist’s work to life. Photographers, videographers, ad agencies or artists will hire a fashion stylist for their specific projects. The fashion stylist will have to create appealing looks when given a brief from the client. Collaboration is vital to the success of a stylist, they must be able to work with a variety of different personalities and take initiative when needed. Often stylists develop makeup skills so that they are prepared on set if the makeup artists does not arrive. Understanding of proportion, body shape and colour theory are key aspects to being a successful stylist.
2. Retail Buyer
Buyers usually sit front row of fashion shows, get invited to all the latest trade shows and travel the world. Retail buyers play an important role in the creation of a new collection and all the clothing, shoes, bags, etc. that you see in stores. They will often source the correct fabric, garments or accessories for the season to come, working closely with the planner on budgets. This can be done either for a retail chain store, e-commerce website or for a designer. It's not always glamorous, fashion buyers are hard working negotiators who must have strong business acumen.
1. Fashion Designer
When people think fashion, they think designer, models, runway and glamour. Designers are the creators who conceptualise designs to turn an idea into a tangible item that can be worn. And even though it is number one on this list, designers don't function in isolation. They need other people, including many listed here, as well as resources to make their visions into a reality. Business skills are part and parcel of making art that sits on a hanger versus a piece that can sell and be profitable. Fabric knowledge, sewing and pattern making are technical skills required in this highly competitive career.
Before you give up on fashion completely, because you can't work a needle and thread or draw like Karl Largerfeld, consider the other options listed here which just scratches the surface.
Start your career in fashion at STADIO School of Fashion formerly LISOF, internationally accredited and renowned for producing top notch graduates who go on to populate the world in various sectors of the industry.