Careers in Fashion and What They Entail
A comprehensive overview of different careers related to fashion, including both the business and social aspects of the fashion world.
For some, a career in fashion may be associated with images of The Devil Wears Prada and Anne Hathaway running around New York with several coffees during the chaos of Fashion Week. Whilst this may be the media’s depiction of a fashion intern, the job itself has many more responsibilities and elements than what is shown in the media. Although internships and executive positions may be the most represented fashion jobs in the media (outside of modelling), there are many different areas of the fashion industry which are just as fascinating and important.
A job in fashion journalism involves working for a fashion-focused magazine, blog, or website. Particulars of this job depend on the publication, as processes for choosing a topic, the formatting of the article, and the ‘voice’ of the article can be regulated or unregulated. Generally, a job in fashion journalism includes forecasting trends, creating opinions on recent fashion lines, trends, and shows, and interviewing important people in the fashion industry. This job requires staying up to date with recent collections and street style trends, understanding the business behind fashion, and having discerning and detailed opinions. Fashion journalism is crucial to the fashion world, as it is the medium that transcribes trends, documents designs, and keeps the public informed on fashion-related matters.
Fashion marketing works closely with psychology and trend forecasting in order to predict the average fashion consumer’s wants, and understand the best ways to reach consumers. In recent years this has involved clothing brands exercising their influence on social media to appeal to a younger audience, including following popular trends with a fashionable influence. Additionally, brands utilize popular figures are the “face” of their brand in order to appeal to the audiences they influence and bring publicity to the brand. Celebrities such as Lily Rose Depp (Chanel), Harry Styles (Gucci), and Emma Watson (Prada) have been used as figureheads in high-end fashion companies to generate a “buzz” around new lines and re-popularize brands. Creating the “face” of a fashion line involves carefully selecting popular celebrities and models that embody the brand’s image and character to create a sense of luxury and exclusivity. However, with the growing popularity of luxury items, fashion brands have shifted their marketing to utilize popular influencers, social media stars, and social media platforms to appeal to the wider population.
This area of corporate fashion studies the psychological aspects of consumers and how to best tailor designs, marketing, and packaging to public desires. This includes studying the ways in which consumers shop for clothes, and what influences their style and streetwear trends. This information can then be passed onto design teams in order to tailor clothing lines to consumer desires. Additionally, by studying consumer behavior companies can understand the best ways to promote their clothing lines, and how to best market their products to create interest and generate “buzz”. Lastly, by studying consumer psychology a company can understand how to improve its products and packaging to be more appealing to a wider audience. For example, many high-end brands have started to use less packaging due to the current movement towards sustainability and avoiding waste. Overall, fashion is a capitalistic business that depends on consumers, therefore, fashion brands must take consumer behaviors, opinions, and interests into account in order to succeed.
This is possibly the most synonymous job when thinking of fashion. Fashion designers utilize their creativity and artistic capabilities to create clothing lines that appeal to the public while involving unconventional and noteworthy aspects. This includes sketching out potential garments based on original designs that take into account the materials, fabrics, colors, and textures of items. Then, the fashion designer must choose the most cohesive items with the highest possible saleability to turn into samples for corporate leaders and other powerful figures to organize into a fashion line. Often, a company has one head designer or a few main designers who produce and assemble the majority of the fashion line. However, it is common practice for several lower-level designers and interns to create designs for the head designer to edit or consider for the fashion line, which are then produced under the head designer’s name.
Event planners are crucial to the fashion industry as they design the events, shows, and exhibitions that present fashion lines to the public and fashion community. The events they design must be styled for the brand that is hosting the event; this entails picking venues, models, and schedules, as well as designing and arranging the space to best fit the event. Event planners often work with fundraising boards and marketing teams to create a budget and promote the event. Additionally, an event planner will supervise an event to ensure that it is memorable and entertaining, and executed with as few issues as possible.
It has become increasingly popular for fast fashion brands to take designs from small businesses and high-end designers in order to resell at a lower quality and price. Brands such as Cider and Shein will take high-quality designs and items that have sold well at a high-end price, and re-produce them with extremly low quality at an extremly low price (relative to the original). As this becomes more of a popular practice, it has become more common for these brands to be sued for plagiarization as they do not give any credit to the orginal designers and display the designs as their own. Fashion law helps to protect designers from the reproduction of their garments, which consitutues artistic theft, as well as companies through brand protection and copyright. Therefore, fashion lawyers are extremly important as they allow artists to share their designs without another company plagiarizing their work for profit.
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