Bang On Trend: What You Need to Know About Fashion Careers

May 19, 2016

You love style, and nothing invigorates you more than when aesthetics and concept come together to make something truly special. So, why not develop this passion into a fully fledged career and make this love a driving force for your success?

Fashion Careers

Not only fashion careers are ideal for style-oriented types in terms of job satisfaction and motivation, it can prove to be highly advantageous in terms of salary too. Information released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015 showed that the mean annual salary for a fashion designer was $73,180, rising well above the $100,000 mark with experience. If your stylistic brilliance is more geared towards the retail side of things, a store management position could help you play to your own unique set of strengths. Remuneration packages typically start at around $40,000, and the sky is the limit when entering into the management structure of larger firms. These are just two of the career options at the fingertips of a fashion-minded individual. Read on to discover more about how far fashion careers can take you, and the moves you need to make to put yourself ahead of the pack.

What Are My Options?

Graduates exploring fashion careers find themselves on the threshold of the diverse world of opportunities. The path you decide to take really depends on your own set of skills and interests and how you plan to apply them to the industry. As mentioned above, those with a flair for retail may find a position like a store manager or visual merchandiser ideally suited to their personality and to their ambitions. On the other hand, if creativity and writing are your things, a social media marketing, fashion journalism, or editorial role could be just what you need to set your career aflame.

Fashion Clothing Store Manager

If you are a fashionista with a silver tongue and business acumen to match, becoming a brand representative or a sales executive will put your skills to good use. However, if you prefer the grassroots creativity of fashion, building styles with the loving care, attention, and expertise of an artist at work, then a career in design may be your perfect professional outlet. While opportunities in the fashion industry abound all over the country, the nature of the sector means that certain roles are concentrated in certain locations; i.e. in the recognized ‘style capitals’ of the USA. For example, New York and Los Angeles have long been the established fashion hubs on their respective coasts, but they have been joined by San Francisco, Nashville, and Columbus. Each year, $250bn is spent on fashion products in the USA alone, illustrating the opportunities available in this ever growing industry.

Learning from the Best

Passion, aptitude, knowledge; these three things are vital to the world of fashion careers. They will be shared by anyone who has carved out their own niche in the field. However, they are not everything; these elements alone will only get you so far. Young graduates taking their first step into the jobs market or young students selecting the ideal degree course for them, need guiding hands to help them get on the right track. When selecting a degree course, an internship, or an entry level position, it is this guidance and coaching which will help you progress to the next level. Award-winning and internationally recognized designer Aviva Stanoff knows this very well indeed. Aviva was a student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco when she learned first hand the importance of top quality mentoring and support.

“I learned from people who think outside the box – my mentor Simon showed me that as long as it was beautiful, what I was doing could be different,” Aviva said. “He also taught me that I should take note of the past, know my history, but focus on being innovative and trying to stop people in their tracks with beauty. He really taught me to be fearless.” As a rising star in the world of fashion careers, it is up to you to find those voices and personalities which are going to shape you as you become what you need to be. They will be found through your university courses, at the internships you embark on, and even among your co-workers in that first paid position you land. Seek out these mentors, learn from them, and always be aware of the steps you must take to succeed.

What About Extracurricular Activities?

Even the most successful figures in the world of fashion and design will tell you; fashion careers are far more than just a profession. Without passion and without zeal, even the most talented candidates will struggle in this highly competitive business. Fortunately, this passion and drive can give you a real head-start as you enter the fashion jobs market. Bear in mind that prospective employers will be looking at hundreds of applications, all of which display consistently high grades, solid academic reviews, and a good aptitude for work in this field. They will want to see something more from the best candidates. This is where your passion comes into play. The internet gives us all an unprecedented platform to have our voices heard, to get our ideas out there, and to join the global interplay of concepts and inspiration. An increasing number of budding players in the fashion world run their own blogs and websites while harnessing the power of social media to fuel their aspirations. Being able to show an employer what you have done, how you have made it work, and how you have translated raw passion into something creative and meaningful, will really make you stand out from the crowd. But this is certainly not the only way to turn passion and enthusiasm into creativity. Getting involved with fashion shows at university and college, handling styling duties for performance artists and musicians, or chairing a society all help to display your deeply held love of fashion. And all of these activities will help to showcase your ability to plan, organize, manage and put your ideas into action. Being successful in fashion is all about laying the groundwork early on and giving yourself the tools you need to proceed. It is imperative to receive a high quality education, listen to the right people, and nurture a personal love of the industry. Pulling all those things together will give you a solid foundation upon which you can build. From here, there really is nothing stopping you.

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