For some, fashion is the final frontier of popular culture, and for others, the overly pampered lapdog of the fine arts. Fact is, too many people perceive the business to be what they see in a shopping mall or as blazoned on Instagram. Few people truly understand the real world of fashion, and its big brother – the retail industry, even less . The fashion and retail world is vast, fascinating and challenging. Here are the top 10 career paths you can consider in the fashion and retail industries:
Merchandise Planning is a systematic approach aimed at maximising return on investment, through planning sales and inventory in order to increase profitability. It does this by maximising sales potential and minimising losses from mark-downs and stock -outs. It’s all about ensuring what the customer wants is available through research, sales tracking, employee training, buying and maintaining the visual aesthetic of the store
Fashion buyers use their sense of style, knowledge of fashion trends and understanding of their target customers’ desire to create an attractive selection of apparel for retail stores. Retail buyers are the brains behind which products or garments are sourced and stocked in advance of a coming season for retail outlets.
Fashion merchandisers are on the apparel production side and analyse market trends, production cost, and previous sales numbers to determine the product direction manufacturers will need to take each season. Visual merchandisers, on the other hand, dress the stores and make it appealing to the consumer. Their function is as important as that of the fashion designers themselves. This is where the creative side of fashion retail shows itself best.
Here we have one of the highest profile roles in the industry. Designers are the creative geniuses’ who work on the design of clothing and fashion ranges. Little more needs to be said – designers are the creative backbone of fashion.
5 Trends Forecaster
The seers in the fashion industry are as important as the designers. They predict upcoming trends, and reignite trends that are on the decline. Silhouette, shoe shape, textile choice, colour schemes, skirt lengths and jewellery are all within the scope of a forecaster’s vision. To be a fashion forecaster you must understand the world of a consumer – this is one of the most challenging tasks in the fashion industry.
6 Pattern Engineer
They create the blueprint or pattern pieces for a particular apparel design. This often involves grading, or adjusting the pieces for different sized garments. Pattern Makers convert a clothing designer’s original model of a garment into a pattern of separate parts that can be laid out on a length of fabric. After discussing the item with the designer, these skilled workers usually use a computer to outline the parts and draw in detail to indicate the positions of pleats, buttonholes, and other features Pattern-makers then alter the size of the pieces in the pattern to produce garments of various sizes, and they may mark the fabric to show the best layout of pattern pieces to minimize waste of material.
7 Production manager
Churning out fashion collections twice a year is no easy job for even the most seasoned fashion designer, and without a loyal support staff, it may be close to impossible. Chief among employees attached to a fashion house is the fashion production manager, a pivotal job that calls for a person with a passion for detail and an organized mind. Production managers are the sun around which a designer’s logistical efforts revolve – so if you enjoy multi-tasking and responsibility, this could be the career of your dreams.
Fashion stylists are responsible for bringing to life a photographer or director’s vision for a fashion photo shoot, layout, commercial, print advertisement or music video. Fashion stylists often scout out locations, create the mood for the shoot by selecting and setting up the appropriate props, fashion, accessories and even models to fit the theme of the shoot. Theirs is a very creative role – fashion stylists will work with many media organisations, including editorial print, advertising, film and online.
9 Brand Manager
Here we have the main cog around which fashion and retail evolves – the brains behind the consumer’s envy and appreciation of design; the machine that follows the heart and soul of fashion as perceived through consumer eyes. Their job is to rev up fashion sales by having a fantastic knowledge of fashion and marketing techniques such as brand equity and consumer buying habits. Their mission is to create the vision, positioning, segmentation and marketing strategy for company and client.
10 Fashion Media
This the world of fashion writers and photographers, of fashion public relations specialists, publicists, journalists and bloggers, who help apparel companies and retail stores build and maintain a favourable public image.
Currently, LISOF is one of the few fashion colleges that combine commerce and style as a tutoring base. This gives our students that leading edge in a highly competitive international fashion market. If you have an eye for style, or a business passion for fashion, and, if you are in the know about the current fashion trends, both in commerce and design, LISOF is your gateway to a trend-setting future.
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