An endless variety of jobs await those seeking fashion industry employment. Matching personal skills and abilities with opportunity is key to a successful fit. Carving out your niche in the industry takes time. Many industry stars began in entry-level jobs. Working your way up the fashion career ladder is the way of the trade.
Design and merchandising are the most publicized jobs within the fashion industry. There are a multitude of careers within these two segments of the trade. Fashion designers work with assistant designers. They also collaborate with illustrators and production artists who sketch their ideas, drapers, pattern makers and sample makers. While fashion designers are often able to perform these functions on their own, successful apparel companies hire employees for each function.
Merchandisers bring the goods to the public. From famed department stores to a luxury boutique, retail sales venues sell designer goods. Within retail lies a chain of command. Store managers are monitored by general managers and are aided by assistant managers. Department managers take responsibility for various categories within the store. Visual display teams dress windows, shape end caps and arrange shelves. Buyers work with assistant buyers and purchase for each category in the store. Retail sales floor positions are entryways into the merchandising kingdom. A degree in fashion merchandising is another pass into this glitzy realm.
Stylists, fashion PR experts, journalists, photographers and copywriters work in the less traditional fashion arena. Stylists work with celebrities and socially prominent clients, dressing them for events. PR experts provide press releases and generate hype around certain styles or brands. Journalists work with trade publications, describing trends and covering events. Copywriters write copy for fashion websites and catalogs. Fashion photographers catch on film fashions worn on the street, to events and for stylized shoots.
Trend forecasters work with designers keeping them on track with upcoming fads. They also report trends to the public via the Web, TV, journals, newspaper style sections and fashion magazines.
Deciding to make it on their own, fresh entrepreneurs enter the business daily. Whether opening a boutique or selling wholesale online, when going it on your own plan well, have back up funding and conduct a market feasibility study before leaving your day job. Look at your strengths and objectively calculate your weaknesses. Look at the marketplace and determine what opportunities are trending and what threats to your future business are lurking.
In the fashion business, merchandising and design jobs are most plentiful, along with garment production. Providing specialized fashion-related services is more nontraditional and requires special skills. Venturing out into the marketplace as a fashion entrepreneur requires careful planning.