Finding Careers in the Fashion Industry

The vibrant, ever-changing fashion industry is always looking for brilliant minds with an idea of what comes next in design and merchandising. Could you be that visionary voice? What does the future hold for jobs in the fashion industry?

Check out some of the top fashion industry jobs, and learn what you can do to work your way into one of these exciting careers.

Fashion & Retail Management

If you love fashion and you’ve always wanted to own your own business, a degree in retail management could be right up your alley. You already know what shoes to pair with that little black dress for the perfect night out, but you need to learn the details of management as it relates to fashion. Courses in fashion sales, retail history, and more can give you the experience you need to enter the field with confidence.

Management Salary Points. In 2007, retail sales managers and supervisors saw mean annual earnings of $39,210, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Management positions at high-end boutiques and specialty stores might earn more, depending on location and experience.

Fashion Merchandising Careers

If you stand behind your brand, you have to be able to sell it. Fashion merchandising is an umbrella term that covers a range of careers, including: Merchandise managers ” Fashion buyers ” Fashion marketers ” Fashion sales

Even those who specialize in creating window dressings for department stores fall under the category of fashion merchandising.

Fashion merchandise managers see a lot of use in today’s fashion economy. “Today it’s the merchandise manager who carries the weight,” Marvin Traub, a retail consultant, told the New York Times. “He has an eye to the numbers.” While a degree or certificate in fashion merchandising may not be required for all careers, it can help to have the technical knowledge you can pair with you existing passion.

Merchandising Salary Points. Wholesale and retail buyers earned $53,580 in 2007, the BLS reports. That same year, purchasing managers across all industries earned mean annual wages of $90,430. While that figure goes well beyond the fashion industry, it should give you an idea of the kind of salary a skilled manager in the field might expect.

Fashion Designers

When you first think of jobs in the fashion industry, you might picture famous fashion designers like Donatella Versace or Michael Kors. While it’s true that most work can be found in fashion hubs California and New York, designers typically work all over the country, running small businesses and boutiques. Whether you’re dreaming of small-town success or a big-city dream, training in fashion design can get you there.

Fashion Design Salary Points. Fashion designers saw mean annual wages of $71,170 in 2007, according to the BLS. Most designers worked in New York or California, cementing the notion that your best chances for employment are on the opposite coasts.

While competition is keen for many careers and no degree can guarantee a job, graduates of fashion schools are still finding a viable job market. Research fashion schools to get a better idea of your potential future.

What Does It Take to Be A Fashion Buyer?

Fashion buyers have to travel to different places frequently, pay attention to the latest fashion trend, purchase all sorts of clothes, hats, shoes, jewelry items and conduct business transactions with different commercial organizations and clothes suppliers. It is an occupation a large number of people want to have. What does it take to be a qualified buyer in clothing industry?

A majority of students majoring in costume design aim to become a designer after graduation; however, many of them realize that it is the fashion buyer that plays a crucial role in the research and development process of clothing products. It is an ideal occupation second only to costume designer to some extent.

First, buyers in fashion industry must possess a strong sense of fashion. This is the most fundamental prerequisite in being a qaulified buyer in clothing industry. Generally speaking, world reputable clothing brands have cultivated a large number of experienced fashion buyers who are able to create fashion trend for others to follow.

Second, buyers in clothing industry must have the ability to conduct accurate market analysis. People from different age groups pursue different styles of fashion items. People in western countries attach more favor to simple styled clothes while people from oriental countries tend to like colorful clothes more. Therefore, buyers are expected to be objective when conducting apparel merchandising.

Third, buyers should have the capability to predict correctly future fashion trend. Traveling to different parts of the world to visit world-class fashion weeks is a significant channel through which fashion buyers could be inspired to predict the next popular fashion trend. The fashion buyers of Zara will return relevant feedbacks to the headquarters of the company on a daily basis so that the company could adjust in time the styles of the clothing items to win a larger market share.

Fourth, buyers must possess desirable physical strength and mental endurance. This job looks like a decent occupation, but its actual workload is considerably enormous. Buyers usually have no choice but fly frequently to different places, select clothing items, conduct business negotiation and communicate with relevant parties. A majority of people working in this industry are generally under high pressure.

Sixth, fashion buyers are required to be able to comprehensively accommodate different aspects in the apparel merchandising process. Fashion buyers have to formulate some feasible strategies when conduct apparel merchandizing in order to lower the cost and maximize profits. Buyers are believed to play a decisive role in the profitability of fashion stores.

Those who attempt to become buyers in clothing industry could refer to the above mentioned information.

Fashion Week Begins! How to Start a Career in Fashion

For all you fashionistas out there, this is the week you’ve long been waiting for. New York Fashion week kicked off on September 9 at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, with the entire fashion world holding its breath to see what clothes we’ll be wearing in Spring 2011.

The final products you’ll see over the next few days are the result of months of hard work and collaboration between a variety of players in the fashion industry. From the designers who make the clothes, to the models who wear them, to the stylists who use them for celebrity clients, everyone has a role in bringing the newest styles to the public eye.

If one of these jobs sounds like your dream career, now might be the time to consider a career in fashion. Whether you’re watching coverage of the shows online, or you’re lucky enough to be attending, there are a variety of careers you can consider as you watch the latest looks roll down the runway.

It all starts here…
Fashion Designer Careers
Days, weeks and months before Fashion Week begins, fashion designers begin sketching, planning, and designing clothes for upcoming seasons. With an extensive knowledge of fashion history, designers combine past trends, beautiful fabrics, and their vision of the future to create wearable works of art. The clothes they display on the runway eventually influence what we wear to work, to school, and even to the beach.

On the runway…
Modeling Careers
It’s not enough for clothes to look beautiful on the rack-NY Fashion Show attendees need to see how clothes move, hang and appear when they’re worn by real live human beings. That’s where fashion models come in. Although their jobs might appear easy on the outside, professional models have to cultivate their look, walk and attitude to help designers showcase their creations and make them appealing to stylists, editors, and merchandisers.

In the audience…
Fashion Stylist Careers
At Fashion Week, celebrities, style editors, and fashion stylists alike are in the audience to preview next season’s looks and trends. Attendance is extremely important for anyone in the styling world, as it gives them a chance to scout outfits for their clients, network with designers and other fashion insiders, and stay up-to-date on the hottest new designs.

From the runway to your closet…
Fashion Buyer & Merchandising Careers
As the hottest new looks are unveiled, fashion buyers and merchandisers get to work, deciding which designs and styles are right for their customers. Whether they work in large department stores or small, exclusive boutiques, fashion buyers and merchandisers are in charge of monitoring and predicting trends, deciding how much merchandise to order, and keeping an eye out for hot new items.

Ready to get started?
In addition to a passion for fashion, all of the careers listed above require an extensive knowledge of design principles, fabric and textiles, and fashion history. A fashion design degree can be a great place to start.