There are many different employment options in the global fashion industry, which is dynamic, inventive, and even contentious. We hope this information will be helpful, whether you’re searching for a fast-paced position in a highly creative environment or you just want to learn more about the fashion business and possible career paths.
We’ll look at some of the newest trends in the fashion sector as well as how the pandemic has impacted it, what qualifications are required to work in the field, and what kind of pay to expect. Furthermore, we have selected a few courses and resources that will help you refine your fashion abilities for your future job and learn more about various facets of the industry.
Explore the Contents
- 1 The global fashion industry
- 1.1 How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted fashion careers?
- 1.2 What kinds of jobs are there in fashion?
- 1.3 What skills do I need to enter the fashion industry?
- 1.4 How do salaries compare?
- 1.5 Why choose a career in fashion?
- 1.6 How to get started in the fashion industry
- 1.7 Final thoughts
The global fashion industry
To begin, let’s examine what it means to work in the fashion industry and the state of the world at large. This is a fantastic approach to comprehend some of the prevailing trends and the prospects for individuals working in the field going forward.
What is it?
Fashion may be understood as a way for people to express themselves through their choice of clothing, accessories, and footwear. Although London, New York, Paris, and Milan are typically regarded as the fashion capitals, this inventive sector is enormous worldwide.
This is a rather Eurocentric view of fashion, though, since there are amazing designers and business people everywhere in the world. Fashion industry professionals typically have multiple job options.
High street fashion refers to the labels that are widely available and sell “regular” apparel; examples of these companies include Zara, Nike, and JD Sports in the UK. As an alternative, people might be lured to the world of designer fashion, which is more glitzy but also more competitive. Typically more costly and abstract, it caters to the elite, models, and celebrities.
How big is the industry?
The size of the global fashion industry is undoubtedly enormous. According to statistics, the value of the global apparel market is expected to increase significantly, from 1.5 trillion US dollars in 2020 to 2.25 trillion dollars in 2025.
One in eight individuals worldwide are estimated to be employed in the fashion and textile sector, which employs 430 million people worldwide. Because there are so many garment factories in Asia, a significant portion of this labor force is based there.
You may start to see why it’s so crucial to pay attention to issues like who manufactures your clothes, how to improve working conditions in factories, ethical fashion practices, and reducing textile waste once you realize how big the industry and workforce are.
Sustainability in the fashion industry
This brings up the subject of sustainability in the fashion sector, which is becoming more and more important as we work to lessen our environmental effect. The fashion sector is the world’s second-largest consumer of water and is believed to be responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions. Thus, these numbers may be worth taking into consideration if you wish to work in the fashion industry.
You can improve your own job if you are aware of the issues facing the industry, such as rapid fashion, overconsumption, unfavorable working conditions, and textile waste. Visit our blog and read the part on sustainable fashion to find out more about how to live sustainably.
We offer some excellent courses on fashion and sustainability if you’d like to study more in-depth. Our course, Fashion and Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World, offered by UAL: London College of Fashion and Kering, provides an overview of the themes, agendas, and contexts surrounding sustainable fashion.
As an alternative, take our course Fashion Values: Nature to discover how to design sustainable fashion, or enroll in our 10-week microcredential Fashion Sustainability: Shaping Fashion’s Future by Institut Français de la Mode and Kering to become an expert in sustainable fashion.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted fashion careers?
Few sectors of the economy have been able to totally avoid the pandemic’s harmful impacts. Many discovered they had less money to spend on fashion as the effects of COVID-19 began to take hold.
Moreover, lockdowns in numerous nations compelled the closure of all non-essential businesses, including clothing retailers. Clothes sales in the UK fell by 34.8% in March 2020, a fairly big reduction. Particularly hurt by the stringent lockdown procedures that shuttered physical locations were fashion retailers and companies without an internet presence.
Large online retailers, of course, did not suffer as significant losses since, if they had any, their digitally driven business models indicated that they would be resilient to physical store closures. One such company that, with the aid of astute marketing, survived the pandemic is ASOS.
They claimed that the pandemic actually caused a 1.5 million increase in the number of active customers, demonstrating that COVID-19 did not have a detrimental impact on every aspect of the fashion sector.
Impact of COVID-19 on the global garment industry
When examining the industry globally, garment workers have been severely impacted by COVID-19. According to recent data, more than a million garment workers have experienced suspension or termination as a result of multinational brands canceling orders from their suppliers. This indicates that work has been lost as a result of the production halt. Women from poor nations make up a sizable fraction of these workers, and they would find it difficult to support themselves without employment.
This demonstrates the true effect of international fashion brands’ actions. Stakeholders in the garment business must ensure that workers are safeguarded in times of pandemic and other emergencies. The health of garment workers is also at jeopardy because of their working circumstances, which are dangerous, claustrophobic, and lack social distance.
What kinds of jobs are there in fashion?
You have a wide range of employment options in the fashion industry, which is quite diverse. We’ve included details about a handful of the most well-liked fashion careers below.
Fashion designers are among the most in-demand professionals in the industry. You will be generating concepts, gathering inspiration, designing, and planning the production of clothing in this position. Though frequently you’ll have a crew to assist, you might handle all of this on your own. You might focus on one particular niche, like children’s, men’s, women’s, or shoe sales.
Illustrators need to be very skilled in design, drawing, and visual perception. They collaborate closely with designers, go over specifications, and use computer software, paint, or draw sketches of the clothes. Illustrators of fashion may also assist with designing and producing marketing materials.
In the sector, fashion stylists are also in high demand. They collaborate closely with art directors and photographers to style looks that adhere to a certain creative brief. They might operate in settings like a red carpet event, TV or movie set, photo session, or catwalk show.
Media companies frequently employ stylists, although personal stylists have more freedom to work on their own. Try our Hopenclass course, Art Comes First: Exploring the Intersection of Style and Identity, to learn more about developing your unique style.
You’ll be studying, designing clothing, and sketching like a fashion designer. But since you’ll be working more to a set brief, having good research skills will come in handy so you know how to make accurate costumes.
Enjoying history may even be beneficial if you’re creating historical clothing. To sample historical costume design, enroll in the University of Glasgow’s A History of Royal Fashion course or visit Historic Royal Palaces.
In this position, your duties will include selecting textiles, planning the practicalities of each item, supervising the manufacturing process, and seeing that quality control is executed. Improving the production process is the ultimate goal of your work as a garment technologist.
A pattern cutter will build pattern templates based on drawings and utilize a dummy to ensure that clothing has the proper structure. Additionally, they will use digital software to design patterns and collaborate with machinists to produce apparel samples.
In this highly technical position, you will work closely with fashion designers to generate 2D patterns for fabrics. Knowledge of all facets of textile production, such as various fabric kinds, embroidery, printing, and dyeing, is required by textile designers. This kind of work most likely requires professional training beforehand.
This can be the ideal position for you if the business and commercial aspects of fashion fascinate you. Fashion buyers are the ones who choose which things to source and stock because they know what sells. They have to take into account elements like the season, target market, budget, and brand aesthetic in addition to current trends.
Our Fashion Business microcredential from Institut Français de la Mode is a fantastic option if you want to become an expert in the fashion industry or are considering a career in fashion buying. You will learn about fashion marketing, branding, product creation, sustainability, and entrepreneurship during the course of the 11-week program.
Trend forecasters assist designers and retailers in determining what will sell by analyzing historical trends and spotting emerging ones. A variety of trends are examined, such as particular materials, forms, objects, silhouettes, colors, and patterns. Being trend-aware and forward-thinking is beneficial in this profession.
- Wardrobe helper
- Boutique owner
- Fashion model
- Fashion marketing
- Fashion and visual merchandising,
- Fashion blogger
- Fashion writer
- fashion photographer
What skills do I need to enter the fashion industry?
The abilities required for success in this field will mostly depend on the nature of your particular position. Nonetheless, there are certain abilities that can help you stand out to employers and be very beneficial if you want to work in the fashion industry.
A solid grasp of business and commerce in the fashion industry is a very universally useful ability to have, particularly if you’re managing your own fashion company or working for a high street brand or online retailer. Knowing who your target market is and what your branding efforts are can be quite helpful, even if you don’t work in management or marketing.
Working in the fashion industry requires having a keen eye for detail and the ability to think visually because you’ll be dealing with visual notions. In light of this, having design skills is beneficial. Whether you’re an excellent drawer, a graphic designer, or you can use fabric to bring ideas to life, having design talents will help you.
When it comes to more specialized abilities, some occupations will call for proficiency with sewing, pattern cutting, finding fabrics, and operating machinery. In addition to these hard skills, the following list of soft skills will also help you flourish in the fashion industry.
- Knowledge of and inclination towards fashion
- Exceptionally creative
- Outstanding communication abilities
- Time management and organization skills
- Networking abilities
- Presentation abilities that work
How do salaries compare?
Fashion occupations have wide salary variations based on experience level, type of work, and country of employment. The average pay for fashion jobs in the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia are listed below. PayScale, Indeed, Salary.com, and Glassdoor are the sources of this data.
It’s important to remember that, depending on an individual’s level of accomplishment, wages for fashion occupations might vary significantly beyond what these numbers indicate. Although these figures may not accurately represent the wealth of extremely successful fashion designers and models, we still made an effort to offer some perspective on the realities of many fashion-related professions.
Why choose a career in fashion?
You could wish to work in the fashion sector for a variety of reasons. Many of these are unique to each person, however there are a few noteworthy ones that are worth mentioning:
- Potential for self-employment and flexible work hours. There is a lot of flexibility in your work if you are a seamstress, designer, or someone similar and operate your own company. Those who don’t desire a regular 9–5 employment may find this appealing.
- The world is your oyster.Since the fashion industry is so creative, it’s common to be encouraged to pursue success and explore your alternatives.
- You want to meet people from all walks of life.A diverse range of personalities are drawn to the fashion industry, and it can be an excellent way to meet different designers, artists, models, and like-minded individuals.
- There are plenty of exciting opportunities.Opportunities to attend different events, work on different projects, and in certain cases, go overseas, are abundant.
- You’re passionate about self-expression.In the end, fashion is one of the best mediums for expressing oneself, and being involved in the business may be a fantastic method to do so.
How to get started in the fashion industry
Making sure you gain experience doing what you enjoy is the most crucial thing to keep in mind when you’re first starting out in the fashion industry. Experience is invaluable, whether it’s from designing and making garments on your own at home, completing an internship or work experience program, or working in a retail setting to broaden your commercial viewpoint.
There has never been a better moment to launch your own brand if you do choose to go it alone. Social media has made it simpler than ever for small businesses to market themselves and establish their brand—as long as they have a differentiator. The British Fashion Council in the UK offers a number of programs to assist individuals starting a fashion business, making this process easier.
Aspiring students often choose to major in fashion at universities or colleges, particularly if they wish to acquire specialized skills like textile design, fabric fabrication, or more commercial parts of the sector. A degree may provide you with a really solid foundation when you first start out, and there are many excellent art and fashion universities in the UK and around the world.
Our online fashion courses, however, can be a great choice for you if you don’t want to commit to a full degree, want to learn in addition to your current employment, or want to advance your knowledge and abilities to better your own company.
Discover the business of fashion with our Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture course by Institut Français de la Mode, or learn how designers and companies can make more compassionate decisions to create fur-free, sustainable fashion brands in our Compassion in Fashion: Sustainability and the Global Fur Trade course by ACT Asia.
Where to look for fashion jobs
Apart from the typical job search websites, there are several amazing sites that focus only on positions in the fashion business. These resources are enumerated below:
- Fashion Worker
- United Fashion Jobs
- Fashion Industry
That concludes our detailed look at the fashion industry. As you can see, it’s a highly varied, Our thorough examination of the fashion industry comes to an end now. As you can see, there are chances in this incredibly diverse, dynamic, and creative business all around the world. There is a wide variety of employment roles to choose from, so there is likely something to suit almost everyone. You may launch your own profession in the fashion sector if you have the necessary abilities, education, and drive.