Could you cut it in the fashion industry?
Certain industries are pretty hard to break into. It might take a bit of hard work but it’s definitely possible to do it though. Fashion is one that’s always had that stigma, but it can be done and just think of the glamour when you do make it!
What do these Fashion jobs actually involve?
As a graduate fashion designer, you can apply for junior design roles with retailers, brands and designers. It’s a competitive business and everyone is looking for the individuals with the strongest portfolios, so communicating your ideas well in 2D is essential.
You need to be prolifically creative, have a point of view and have strong research and drawing skills. A good eye for colour, fabric, silhouette and details, a good technical understanding and an interest in all areas of fashion past, present and future are also a big advantage. To thrive in a design studio, you’ll need to be a great communicator with excellent problem-solving skills, and be able to work well in a team.
Being a fashion designer is a lifestyle, as much as it is a job. Designers often work very long hours, including weekends, and can also travel extensively for research, fabric sourcing or factory visits. The best way to get a foot in the door is through work placements and internships.
A creative pattern cutter’s job is to interpret the designer’s sketch and create a pattern for that garment.
As well as a keen interest in fashion and trends, you need good pattern-cutting techniques, drape skills and knowledge of construction and product development. Pattern cutters need to be well-organised team workers who can solve problems and communicate well. You also need to have good computer and numeracy skills.
Pattern cutters with the right creative and technical skills are in high demand, and many students on fashion design degree programmes move into creative pattern-cutting roles. Creative pattern cutters usually work within the studio or sample room alongside the design and product development teams.
Other pattern-cutting roles include production pattern cutters, whose job is more focused on the production of finished products.
Garment technologists work with pattern cutters, product developers, fabric technologists and designers at all stages of garment development through to production.
Because of their detailed knowledge of manufacturing processes, they can be employed by manufacturers, retailers or brands to make sure everything is produced effectively and to a budget.
Garment technologists require strong communication skills and a thorough understanding of garment construction and manufacturing. The role can involve working in a design or sample studio, manufacturing unit or factory, and will often involve travel in the UK and to factories overseas.
Merchandising is the commercial and business side of the fashion industry. Merchandisers support the buyers in defining the depth of the buys as well as the pricing, margin and seasonality of ranges. They must be able to predict future fashion and market trends in order to advise a store what they should stock and how much they will need. A key part of the role is managing stock in and out of the business and managing seasonal fashion and core continuity products.
Merchandisers essentially hold the purse strings and need to be mindful of budgets. It’s a data-heavy role that requires a good standard of maths. The key skill is to work with the creatives and manage business expectations without stifling creativity itself. The merchandiser works closely with marketing to ensure the right products are promoted at specific times during the year and are in stock.
As well as internal promotions, this kind of role could lead to a managing director or CEO position.