Often when people think about working in the fashion industry, they only think about working as a fashion designer. However, there are loads of great careers for fashion enthusiasts to go into in the fashion industry! I’ve listed some of the main career paths in fashion below:
#1 – Fashion Design
Fashion design covers a whole range of different jobs. There are many different specialisms under the umbrella term ‘fashion design’. A designer can specialise in haute couture, ready to wear or high street fashion. They can work for an independent designer, supplier, retailer, work freelance or have their own label. A designer may also specialise in specific garment types or in menswear, womenswear or childrenswear. Regardless of which specialism a designer belongs to, they are responsible for coming up with ideas for garments or collections to sell to customers. Their role includes research, concept development, sketching and reviewing samples.
#2 – Garment Technology
A technologist’s job varies depending on the company they work for and the products that they work on. A garment technologist is mostly responsible for ensuring the quality and fit of garments. They may also be expected to work on the quality of the fabrics that garments are made from. Technologists may also work on innovating new fabrics and garments to improve quality, fit and durability.
#3 – Trend Forecasting
A trend forecaster is responsible for predicting trends for upcoming seasons. They often work very far in advance. They may work for trend forecasting agencies such as WGSN, or for specific brands, advising designers on what different customers will want to buy in different seasons.
#4 – Accessory Design
This role is similar fashion design, but with the focus on accessories. Designers can specialise in footwear, bags, hats, jewellery, socks, gloves or scarves. They can either work for (or start a brand) that is solely focused on selling accessories, or a certain type of accessory, or they can work for a fashion brand that needs accessories to compliment their fashion collections.
#5 – Textile Design
Textiles designers are responsible for designing textiles for garment or accessory production. They may be involved in the production process of textiles if they work on woven or knitted fabrics, choosing the colours and designs before the fabric is made. They could also work on surface textile design, where the focus is on the print or embroidery that is applied to the fabric after it has been produced.
#6 – Fashion Production
Fashion production is concerned with converting raw materials into finished garments. A job in fashion production may include producing, dyeing or treating fabrics. Or, a job in fashion production could be focused more on garment production. This could include pattern cutting, pattern grading or sewing final garments.
#7 – Fashion Buying
A buyer working for a small brand or boutique may be responsible for purchasing branded merchandise from designers to fill a store for their specific customer. In a bigger retail company, a buyer may be more concerned with working with the designers and on the development of garments. They are responsible for researching into trends, fashion shows, and looking at what other competitors are doing in order to make decisions about what garments should be made/bought for their customer.
#8 – Fashion Merchanding
A fashion merchandiser decides how many of each garment should be bought and which stores they should be stocked in to ensure their customer is able to buy the garments they want to buy. This is a very business oriented role and is focused on maximising sales and profit. They are expected to analyse previous seasons sales, know their target customer and work with designers and buyers. They may also be involved in the product pricing process.
#9 – Fashion Communication
There are many jobs that fit under the umbrella of fashion communication. Overall, jobs in fashion communication are concerned with informing the public about what clothes are available each season. One job in fashion communication is fashion PR (public relations). They are focused on getting public exposure for fashion brands. Another area of fashion communication is marketing, they are concerned with getting customers to buy the products in a more targeted manner, such as creating ad campaigns. Other jobs that are included under fashion communication include fashion photographer, fashion magazine editor and fashion journalist.
#10 – Fashion Styling
Stylists may work in magazines, television, music or catalogue styling. They are concerned with working with individual clients on the look they want to create, rather than imposing their own style on the client. They need to have a good knowledge of trends in stores and on the catwalk.
Of course, there are many other job roles and career paths available in the fashion industry, if you would like to read more about these roles, I would recommend looking at this book for more information.