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Helping you find a career in the Fashion industry

When we think about fashion, we think about flashy clothes, bright lights and frighteningly tall models - but that’s not all there is the industry. Fashion requires a dedicated team of specialists to produce the clothes we all wear and admire. It draws on talented people from all kinds of backgrounds and if you’ve got that creative passion, it just might be the industry for you!

Fashion is all about the intersection of art and business: fashion needs to be not only beautiful, it also has to sell. You’ll need an eye for trends and an experimental streak to produce the very best in fashion.

There are a varied number of roles in fashion, and some require specific degrees while other do not. For the most part, experience and demonstrative work is the key to finding a job in fashion, so you had better put together a portfolio!

Fashion is ultimately about serving customers, but different roles will have different levels of interaction with customers. Tailors will be directly working with customers, for example, while a designer may - for the most part - work with people in the industry. Consider your own personality and what would suit you best. Whatever role you take, you’ll be working with others, so make sure you’re comfortable working as part of a team.

Fashion is a competitive industry with lots of different sectors. You could look for a job in menswear, womenswear, sportswear or accessories (among others).

If you’re less interested in designing clothes yourself, there are also careers in the modelling side of the industry.


Skills & interests required for a career in Fashion
Fashion is, after all, an art, so a creative flair will be essential. You’ll also need an eye for trends. Fashions are continuously evolving and changing, so you’ll need to keep up with all the latest trends so that you can be in a position to set the next one! A close attention to detail will help you notice all the small things that come together to make a great outfit.

As mentioned, most fashion work involves working as part of a team: with designers, with models, with photographers and so on. You’ll need to be comfortable working with others and collaborating on projects.

If you pursue a more customer-facing position, you’ll also need to be able to help others and show them what kind of fashion suits them best, which may take a little convincing sometimes... People can be skittish!

Presentation is also an essential skill. You’ll need to show others how great your work is, so being able to make a jaw-dropping presentation is an invaluable skill for those working in fashion.

Increasingly, design work is done on computers, so becoming proficient with software like Adobe Photoshop will help you develop some essential skills.
- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Adaptability
- Creativity
- Leadership
- Self-Confidence
Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Fashion
After graduating, or even before, you’ll want to contact people within the industry and see if they’re offering internships or assistant jobs. This means you’ll be starting from a junior position but with hard work and dedication you’ll be able to climb up the career ladder until you reach a more senior (and better paid!) position.

Internships won’t always result in a paid position, so you may have to do several before you land a paid job, but it’ll be great experience!

As you get more experience and begin to make a name for yourself, you’ll be offered more responsibility and will begin to rise through the ranks.
Tips for getting into the field
You may have a great degree either in a fashion-related subject or something less directly relevant, but fashion is highly competitive, so getting ahead in the industry can be more about selling yourself to others, demonstrating your skills and proving your talent, than your academic background.

Developing a great portfolio, showing it to the right people and getting your name out there is the most important way into the industry. Try and show your work to people who could hire you directly so they will remember your work. If you land an interview, having a specific project to talk about will allow you to highlight all the little details you worked so hard on to make a truly fantastic piece of fashion.

Most graduates look for careers in women’s fashion, which makes this the most competitive area of the industry. Less graduates go into menswear, sportswear or accessories, so consider a career in these paths to increase your chances of landing a job.
How much can graduates earn in Fashion?
Your salary will vary depending on your experience and your position. Here are a few (just a few!) examples, starting from entry-level salaries to the most experienced members of the field:

Dressmakers - £13,500 - £22,000.
Tailor – £14,000 - £22,000
Image Consultant - £14,000 - £40,000
Textile technologist - £21,000 - £45,000.

Textile technologists typically require a degree in maths, textile science, chemistry or a similar field. However, you can work your way up from being a textile operative or technician.
What qualifications do I need for a career in Fashion?
For most positions, you don’t need a specific qualification, but a GCSE or BTEC in textiles can be a big help. An A-Level will further increase your chances.

As noted, some positions can require specific degrees, so make sure you research the requirements for the area you’re most interested in. An undergraduate or master’s degree in textiles will provide you with essential and important skills that will help you in the industry, as well as introducing you to contacts in the industry who may be able to help you find a job.
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