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Careers in Fashion

So you love fashion and want to do something working with clothing, accessories or shoes? The following are a few possible careers to ignite your passion:

  1. Fashion Designer
    Have you ever looked through a magazine or saw a fashion show and said, “I can do that.” If you have a unique style and a passion for making clothes then this career is for you. On a typical day, a fashion designer could be sketching out designs, choosing pattern and fabrics, or writing out instructions on how to manufacture designs.
    Skills: Drawing and illustration skills are helpful, but you don’t have to be Michelangelo to design clothing. (Coco Chanel could barely draw.) What's more important is to understand how clothing is made so don’t skip those sewing classes.
    Education: Most Fashion Designers have a college degree in Fine Arts, Fashion or Merchandising.
    More information: We Connect Fashion
  2. Buyer
    The buyer is responsible for deciding which clothing will show up in retail shops. On a typical day, a buyer will be going through market reports, talking to fashion consultants, or going to fashion shows to see the latest trends.
    Skills: Knowing when to predict that leopard prints or neon socks will be hot way before their time. Having a good business sense so that you understand how a store can stay within their budget and still profit from a purchase.
    Education: Become familiar with fashion past and present. Study the history of fashion and visit stores to get a sense of what is on trend. Only a high school diploma is needed, but most buyers do not get ahead without a college degree.
    More information: The National Association of Retail Buyers
  3. Fashion Illustrator
    A fashion illustrator creates visual images for print and online media.
    Skills: Advanced drawing and illustration skills along with a strong color sense. Computer skills is a must.
    Education: A college degree is not required but usually necessary to break into the field.
    More information: The Society of Illustrators
  4. Personal Shopper
    Are you the person that always makes sure you get the best sales? Do you make sure your younger sister or best friend is coordinating her socks with her sweater or your mom doesn’t leave the house without the perfect accessory? Then a career as a Personal Shopper might be for you. The responsibilities of a Personal Shopper include finding the perfect outfit, accessories, and shoes for clients. You also have to know where to find the latest styles at the best prices.
    Skills: Understanding how to make people feel special and what will look good on each body type. Keeping up with trends and having a great sense of how styles can fit individuals.
    Education: No specific education is needed to become a personal shopper but as always, a college degree always helps.
    More information: All Retail Jobs
  5. Visual Merchandiser
    The Visual Merchandiser has a knack for making that perfect dress and shoe combination seem irresistible. This person creates window and in-store displays of clothing for retail shops and department stores.
    Skills: Great sense of color, lighting, and how to visual clothing in a 3-D space. Especially with the main window displays, you should have the ability to pull together a theme or tell as story through clothing.
    Education: High School diploma or Associates Degree in the Fashion Industry
    More information: The National Association for Retail Marketing Services
  6. Costume Designer
    If you are the type of person that gets more excited about what actors will be wearing than the actual actors, a career designing costumes for stage, tv, film, or other performance art might be the perfect outlet for your creativity. 
    Flair for the dramatic. A good sense of fashion history in order to dress actors for period productions. Excellent sewing skills are a must since you will often create the costumes and have to alter them at the last minute.
    Education: A college degree in fashion, theater, or costume design.
    More information: The Costume Designers Guild

Tip: With all the above careers, doing an internship to gain professional work experience will let you know if that career is right for you and give you hands on work experience.

Further Reading:

So you want to work in fashionSo, You Want to Work in Fashion?
How to Break into the World of Fashion and Design

By Patricia Wooster
For Ages: 8 - 12
Published by Beyond Words/Aladdin on September 16, 2014.


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