When I grow up, I want to be… in Fashion

  • Posted On: 16th Aug 2014
  • Posted in: Fashion

We all have that one friend who has a flair for fashion. Whatever they’re wearing, it’s in vogue and they look effortlessly cool. If you don’t have a friend who has a flair for fashion, then you’re probably the fashionable friend! If so, you’re in the right place. Why not make a career out of something you already have an interest in?

When I grow up, I want to be… in Fashion

Before you read this article and experience a life changing epiphany leading you to pursue a career in fashion, don’t forget…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. It’s also worth mentioning that 93.8% of fashion graduates are female…come on boys, time to step up and represent!

There are three main areas of the industry that you can get involved in:

  1. 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.

  2. In head office, if you think that you’d make a better manager than David Brent, you could be involved with everything from buying, merchandising, sourcing, finance, marketing and HR.

  3. For all you creative types who have been making dresses out of curtains since you were weeny, as a supplier you can get involved in product design and development.

Oh, and don’t forget, any or all of these can include an element of E-commerce, bringing fashion and technology together.

“The fashion industry is highly competitive – so the earlier you can get started on standing out from the crowd, the better”

Next, you need to decide if you want to work for a high street retailer (like TopShop) or a luxury retailer (like Prada), or anything in between. Like the aisles of Primark, high street retailers will often be competitive, fast-paced and see a huge turnover and volume sales. The type of retailer will depend on the target consumer – so it really depends on whether you want to cater for either your Average Joe or your Made in Chelsea types.

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:

  • Fashion
  • Design
  • Business
  • Marketing / HR
  • Languages

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!

Find a fashionable society

The fashion industry is highly competitive – so the earlier you can get started on standing out from the crowd, the better! Again, as there is no specific degree area to get into the industry, it’s important to highlight your transferable skills and your interest in the industry as early as possible.

When I grow up, I want to be… in Fashion

Look for any fashion or design related societies, and if there aren’t any, think about putting a proposal together to your Students’ Union to start one!

Which company’s a good fit for you?

Work experience is vital for demonstrating your interest in the industry and for providing you with plenty to talk about during interviews for your dream job!

As the fashion industry is so vast and there are no clear cut routes in or career paths, there’s no definitive top employers list. However, take a gander at some of these fashion employers who run work experience schemes:

You can also check out these reviews for work experience with the following companies:

Happy hunting!

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