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Exploring Four Potential Roles to Pursue in the Fashion Industry

30-05-2024   


The fashion industry is a dynamic, exciting place to be. Constantly changing, and full of creativity and challenge, it’s a dream sector for many people who want to be at the cutting edge of new trends. 

When most people think of working in fashion, they think of designers, models, creative directors and photographers – but there are so many varied roles in this sector, to suit every skill set. The thing they all have in common is a passion for creativity, attention to detail and being comfortable with fast-moving environments. If that sounds like what you want from your career, then read on to explore some of the key roles in the fashion industry.

Buyer

If you think you’ve got a good eye for what will sell, then a role as a fashion buyer might be the right fit for you. It’s not necessarily about choosing clothes that you would personally wear – although it helps if your style is similar – but more about selecting clothes that align with the brand. You’ll usually be employed by an e-commerce company or retail business, and in bigger companies, your choices will be aligned to a specific demographic, such as teens or high-end luxury. 

The most common route into a buying career is through a university course in marketing, fashion buying, or business management, but it’s also possible to get an apprenticeship. Whilst you might think it’s just about having a good eye, there’s also a business side to buying. You’ll need to understand trends and forecasting, have good relationship-building skills, and be savvy with budgets.  

Stylist

Being a stylist is often seen as one of the most desirable jobs in fashion – but it requires a lot of creativity, patience and attention to detail. You’ll be putting together looks for fashion shows, photoshoots, website content, social media and magazine spreads, working to a brief to create a range of outfits that best showcase the brand. In some cases, you’ll be a personal stylist, working with one or a few specific clients to dress them for a range of events. 

This work can be demanding, but it’s also incredibly rewarding to see your efforts on display to the public. This can be a great role for people who have a strong sense of style, aren’t afraid of competition and are comfortable with problem-solving in a changeable environment.

Chanel window London – By JoJo Iles

Event manager

Events are a vital part of the fashion industry, even with a lot of sales happening online. Launch shows, afterparties, brand events, VIP previews and photoshoots all need to be organised with precision, to ensure that a whole host of people from designers to models are where they need to be at exactly the right time. Fashion events are glittering and glamorous, but a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes to make them run smoothly – which is where event managers come in.

You’ll need to have a lot of patience, stay calm under pressure and be incredibly organised to succeed in this role. It’s also important to be able to negotiate and be able to handle stressed clients with a professional attitude, as this is an industry where things regularly change at the last minute.

Visual merchandiser

If you don’t feel like you’ve got the eye to be a stylist, but love creating visual displays, then a role as a visual merchandiser could be perfect for you. You’ll be responsible for creating stores and displays that encourage customers to come in the door, and show off the garments to their best advantage, maximising sales. This role can offer a bit more stability and predictability in comparison to other fashion roles, as displays tend to change seasonally, and so some elements can be planned in advance. 

A degree isn’t always necessary for this role, but getting work experience when you leave school is often key. You’ll likely start your career by working for a retailer, but once you’ve got enough in your portfolio, you could consider going freelance, which can give you more flexibility. As with styling, there’s a great sense of achievement seeing your displays once they’re unveiled, and creating a destination store that people look forward to visiting. 

Every day is different

Part of the joy of working in fashion is the changing nature of the industry. It’s hard to get bored when everything is constantly changing, and new trends are emerging every day. On the other hand, this does mean you need to be comfortable with change and attention to detail – this sector isn’t for those who want a routine desk job. Good luck!

Top image: Antoni Shkraba – pexels




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