Fashion internships, placements & work experience: expert career advice & insights into the fashion industry
Find the latest internships, placements and insight jobs with top employers in the fashion industry
If you're interested in working in the exciting world of fashion, from designing next season’s must haves to marketing the latest collections, we've got all you need to know and the essential jobs to get your career started.
“According to a 2015 Mintel report, £12.4bn was spent online on fashion in the UK during 2015, up 16% from £10.7bn in 2014.”
Why choose a career in the fashion industry?
There’s a lot more to a career in fashion than just fashion itself! This industry is huge, contributing nearly £26 billion to the UK’s economy and supporting 800,000 employees in dynamic and creative roles.
There are three main areas of the industry that you can get involved in:
Reasons why fashion is a great career
- If you love chatting away to fashionistas looking for a bargain, you can start off in a store and hop up the ladder from shop floor to store management and beyond
- In head office, if you think that you’d make a better manager than David Brent, you could be involved with everything from buying to merchandising, sourcing to finance, ecommerce, marketing and HR
- For creative types, you can get involved in product design and development in all areas of the business
How can you get your dream job in fashion?
People employed by the fashion industry come from a very wide range of backgrounds, with many different degree areas and qualifications accepted. However, if you want to go into product design, a design related degree will be necessary. Typical, relevant degree areas include:
- Marketing / HR
It’s worth keeping in mind that this a global industry we’re talking about – because of this, people with an additional language are highly sought after. It’s all about ‘transferable skills’. For example, if you study science or maths, you might be great at analysing figures and advising on the business side of things!
Fashion Internships and Placements
While you ultimately want to settle down into a fashion job, there’s likely to be strong competition for these graduate roles. Gaining experience in a fashion company or similar as an undergraduate will make it easier to eventually shimmy over into your dream job.
You should look into fashion work experience or relevant undergraduate placements, summer internships or insight programmes (if you’re a first year undergraduate) to find out what this vibrant and ever-changing industry is like. Many companies will be on the hunt for willing worker elves during London fashion week, the UK’s premier designer event, so this is an easy way to see what the industry’s like at its busiest time.
You could work for market-leading companies like ASOS, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer in exciting roles like PR, merchandising administration, as a buyer or design intern in order to set you up for a graduate role as a marketeer.
If you’ve ever read a glitzy magazine, read a newspaper fashion supplement or seen a celebrity papped at a swanky do, you’ve seen PR officers doing what they do best. Public relations is about exactly that: making sure companies and individuals come across well in the media and that the brand’s reputation is always flying high.
What does PR in the fashion industry involve?
As part of fashion communications, people working in PR jobs, or at a PR agency, have to spin a lot of important plates that contribute towards the success of the fashion label.
For example, if you’re in public relations on the client side for a designer label, you’ll have to manage tasks like arranging photo shoots and liaising with designers, stylists and editors, as well as letting fashion writers know all about the brand’s latest collections. If you’re after more variety, such as working with various different fashion houses, you may be interested in working for a PR agency.
Recently, the popularity of advertising and marketing sector has soared. A career in marketing remains a popular choice, with around 38% of top UK employers searching for graduates to fill jobs in their marketing departments. You can become a successful marketer across all industries, but a popular choice is to enter the fashion industry.
Why enter fashion marketing?
Whether you’re looking for an internship at Uniqlo - a huge fashion brand - or for a placement year at a smaller fashion company, marketing within this industry is varied, incredibly creative and stats led.
Offline fashion marketing would involved getting stuck into their in-store magazine, from content to design, or helping to run in-store events. Online marketing in fashion would see you sending segmented emails, running demographically targeted digital campaigns and blogging about the latest fashion trends. Affiliate marketing and influencer marketing are also key in this industry.
You could be working with external marketing agencies, or with in house teams. It’s an industry you could create a great career out of.