Seeking a Career in Fashion Industry: A How To Guide for Fashion Job Seekers

This article is for anyone seeking a career in fashion. The best way to start your career in the fashion industry depends on who you ask. 

Some might say you should start your fashion career by being an intern and starting from scratch. Others may say, the best way to jump into fashion is by starting your own fashion label and growing your business until you are a major player in the fashion industry. While still others may say that the best way to break into the fashion industry is by becoming a celebrity, model, or other public figure and then starting a fashion label. Whatever road you chose, you will find that there are others who have chosen that same path and found themselves happy with their career in the fashion industry.

Deciding on one out of many fashion jobs can be a complicated task. There are quite a few different opportunities in the fashion industry but you may not be sure which one is best for you. With the high demand for fashion jobs, you need to be sure of what it is that you want to do so you can get started on pursuing your dream in this competitive industry. Down below we've compiled fashion job descriptions for many fashion jobs and, with a little luck, be one step closer to establishing your career in the fashion industry.

1. Fashion Designer

Thanks to shows like Project Runway, there are many people whose curiosity has been rised towards the fashion industry, particularly, fashion design. A career as a fashion designer seems alluring and rewarding but it takes a great deal of work. A fashion designer must be educated of the latest trends (and sometimes even be ahead of them) and have the creativity to conceptualize new designs. A fashion designer creates sketches, whether by hand or with computer-aided design (CAD) software, of their designs and must be familiar with fabrics and materials in order to create samples that show what the final product would look like. As a fashion designer you can specialize in clothing design, footwear or accessories. Fashion jobs like that of a fashion designer are prolonged with grueling hours of intensive work and lots of traveling if you want to promote your designs. Fashion designers work under pressure to meet deadlines and wow fashion buyers and other potential clients. As a fashion designer you would need not only talent and creativity but also thick skin and determination.

2. Fashion Merchandising

Fashion jobs in merchandising can be very tricky. A fashion merchandiser must know what consumers want, how to present it to them, what they want to pay for it and how to entice them to purchase. A fashion merchandiser is not just an expert in fashion but must also have strong business, financial and advertising talents. As a fashion designer you might find yourself creating budgets, tracking profits and losses, tracking inventory, developing marketing strategies and even putting together creative visual displays to catch the attention of consumers. It’s a career that entails many different roles but also has many opportunities to expand and advance in.

3. Fashion Buyer

Fashion buyers are among the most significant people for brands and companies. They must have very good communication skills, be aggressive, organized and calculated. As a fashion buyer you work hand in hand with designers, merchandisers and other key people to select what pieces to present to consumers and ensure that best-sellers are always available. Buyers must be knowledgeable of of both current and future trends so they can make the right choices of clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. to ensure high profits. Working with suppliers to negotiate prices indicates that a fashion buyer must have good interpersonal skills, be educated in market costs and also in consumer demands. Fashion buyers must be ready to work under pressure, travel and research and analyze in order to make practical decisions on what products to offer their target customer base.

4. Fashion Director

Fashion directors, commonly known as creative directors or fashion coordinators, are in charge of the image and look of a store, magazine or a fashion house. They are responsible for that first impression given when people look at ad campaigns, shoots and even fashion films. A fashion director must ensure that the models, photographers, location and concepts signify the store, brand, or magazine in the best and most appropriate way. One of the most renowned creative directors in the industry is Grace Coddington who, alongside Anna Wintour and other industry professionals, are a part of American Vogue. In the documentary “The September Issue” we are able to see Coddington showing us her best work and the steps she takes to produce the extraordinary spreads in Vogue. Now, don’t think it will be a piece of cake landing one of these fashion jobs. Be prepared for long hours of work, creative stumps, frequent traveling, crazy deadlines, and being willing to go back to the drawing board time and time again. Remember, as a fashion director you are responsible for the image of a brand; you produce something that the whole world will notice. People will base their thoughts on what you present to them. As one of the top fashion jobs in the industry, the pressure is on!

5. Fashion Forecaster

Probably one of the highest ranking careers in the fashion industry, fashion forecasters do just that, forecast the approaching trends and styles. This is much more tricky than forecasting the weather. Not only does a fashion forecaster need to have in depth knowledge of fashion but he or she must also be creative and surely have the skills necessary to research and analyze potential trends, colors, fabrics and patterns. Fashion forecasters seek motivation in everything from movies, music, even science and technology. Attaining a position as a fashion forecaster is one of the most prestigious of all fashion jobs you could aspire to.

6. Fashion Stylist

A fashion stylist has the basic (or is it?) task of making someone look good. A stylist must be familiar with what colors, fabrics and styles work best to flatter someone’s shape while also knowing ways that to accessorize and complete the perfect outfit. Fashion stylists are responsible for deciding on the best pieces for photoshoots, events, etc. and putting them together for the final product. A stylist’s reputation lies on how good the client looks and, in the case of ad campaigns, whether or not the stylist can communicate the image and vision of a product. Don’t be surprised if, as a fashion stylist, you find yourself traveling for inspiration or shopping for clothing, or even spending a day (or a few) revamping a client’s closet. Finding fashion jobs for stylists can be as very simple as working as a personal shopper or styling photoshoots for websites or local magazines or newspapers.

7. Fashion Photographer

It’s not just about knowing exactly how to take a good picture. Fashion photographers basically have two fields to be good at: fashion and photography. The photography part consists of knowing what angles, lighting, etc. As far as the fashion, photographers need to be experts in that as well. A fashion photographer are required to know what the best trends are, top designers, top fashion events and any other heavy hitter aspects of the industry. Fashion jobs in this field can normally include taking pictures for model portfolios, ad campaigns, and fashion shows. Fashion photographers are responsible for producing a shot that requires excellent technical skills and extensive fashion knowledge. For example, when a fashion photographer goes to shoot at a fashion show he or she must know exactly when to snap the shot of that model wearing the flowing dress. The picture must showcase how the fabric moves and flows instead of displaying a dress that falls limp and drags on the floor. A fashion photographer works hand in hand with stylists, makeup artists and models to ensure that the final product is efficient in sending a visual message.

8. Fashion Editor

Fashion editors supervise the direction of a fashion publication, website and other media. They are trusted for editing a fashion writer’s work, making suggestions, and analyzing the potential of future stories. Fashion writers must be aware of trends and classics to make certain that coverage is provided for the target audience. A fashion editor works under the pressure of meeting deadlines, supervising writers, discovering features and fresh ideas all while staying current on the industry and scanning the opposition. Some of the qualities necessary for one of these fashion jobs are being organized, punctual, able to communicate verbally and have impecable writing and journalistic skills. Being one of the most competitive fashion jobs in the industry, a fashion editor needs to be ready to put some time and energy in and spend long nights brewing up good quality, creative content.

9. Fashion Writer

Being a fashion writer is not as uncomplicated as picking up a pen and paper (or laptop, tablet, etc.) but includes extensive amounts of research. Fashion writers must be current on their knowledge of fashion and creative when drumming up writing ideas. Of course, excellent writing skills are a must and meeting deadlines are also crucial in this career. Fashion writers can execute interviews, cover fashion events and present reviews of products. You have a choice of working as a freelance writer, with television shows, websites, blogs, smaller publications which include local magazines and newspapers or with major publications such as Vogue or Elle, among others. This is one of those fashion jobs where you can find many opportunities and can be fairly simple to get started.

10. Fashion PR (Fashion Public Relations)

Creating a positive consumer opinion is of the utmost importance for this fashion job. Where advertising and marketing can create a consumer desire to purchase a distinct fashion item, public relations manages the image in its relation to the public eye. Public opinion can determine the success and longevity of a company. Out of all the fashion jobs mentioned, fashion pr is the piece that ties it all together.

11. Fashion Retail

Many people choose to start their careers in sales. Its a bit easier to start your fashion career at Abercrombie& Fitch, Macy's Saks, H&M or some other fashion retailer. There are opportunities to advance. Once you have been working for the retailer for a while, you will find that there are opportunities to train and advance into retail management, Marketing and display, and window dressing. 

Whatever one of these fashion jobs you decide to make your career, remember that in such a aggressive industry it’s important to put in a lot of hard work and to be determined. All employers look for something that make their next hire special and capable of making their publication, line, show, or website shine amongst the rest. What is it that you have to offer that others don’t have? How motivated are you? Tell us, which one of these fashion jobs appeal to you the most?

To understand more on this subject, visit the Fashion Jobs List

If you are seeking a career  or job in the fashion industry and you don't have a lot of contacts already, the best place to start your job search would be through a fashion related website that posts ads for interns or entry level positions in fashion. Here are a few good website that can help you find jobs in the fashion industry:

Job Listings for Careers in the Fashion Industry

Stylecareers is the largest fashion-only job listing website on the internet.
They also have a fashion career fair every year around October in New York City.

Provides fashion jobs listings and fashion career advice.


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