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.

Determinants of a Rewarding Fashion Buyer Salary

Nature of Work

Salary of a fashion largely depends on the nature of work. Opening a fashion outlet or a boutique gives a low start, but; ensures higher returns in the long term depending on the creativity and market sense of an individual. Obviously; working for a retail garment store, private fashion outlet or a fashion store adds up to the returns of a buyer, as it provides the required practical exposure and professional training.

Skills and Experience

A degree in fashion designing or fashion management is enough to start off the career of a fashion buyer. But, a good amount of relevant experience at a retail outlet or fashion outlet is always a must to get a high start in salary. Being analytical, logical, organized and strategic also increases the monetary gains of a fashion, as these skills determine the scale of business.

The creative spark present within a candidate makes him earn a large amount of money in the long run. That means, higher the creative ideas, higher the returns of a buyer. In addition to these elements, a high degree of self motivation is required to face the highs and lows of this hectic profession.

Knowledge of Market Trend

Understanding the past, present and future market and fashion trends is equally important for a fashion. Tapping the scope of innovation, launch of new fashion design, identification of new fashion apparel markets and timely elimination of the outdated fashion apparel makes up the market sense of a fashion buyer. More the fashion sense and knowledge of market trends, more the fashion buyer salary.

Fashion Buying

Fashion buyers forecast industry trends and transform them into effective business proposals. Careers in fashion buying are extremely popular and challenging.

As a fashion buyer, you need to know what trends sold in the past and what is likely to be popular in the future. It is advisable to keep yourself updated on the changes in trends. You need to have a thorough knowledge of what’s been happening with the fashion changes in the past as this will help you decide what’s needed in the future. In fact fashion buyers must work months in advance, so that the goods are ready when the season starts. It helps to have a formal degree in fashion buying. You can also opt for an internship with the major stores and established companies to gain sufficient experience.

Attend fashion shows and keep yourself updated on all the latest aspects of fashion. Make a meticulous research on the quick selling styles, fads and other trends in the past and the present. Also, be original, inventive, organized and be primed to take risks. Work on your communication and interpersonal skills, as you might have to take bold decisions.

A fashion buyer gets to know about the newest and hot trends before anybody else does. You get the privilege of setting trends and predict what the next hot thing will be. You get to travel globally and meet interesting people. You also get to order interesting items from the major fashion capitals of the world. On the whole fashion buying is a very thrilling career, after all very few get the opportunity to formulate and set trends.

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.