Fashion Careers


Choosing a Fashion School.  Don´t get scammed!

How about trying for a fashion internship?  Fashion magazines and established fashion designers often hire non-paid interns in a variety of areas. Requirements to be accepted into an internship program vary but most ask that you either have a college degree or be currently enrolled in a college or university. Look at the websites of your favorite magazines and designers. Often at the bottom you will see links for "careers" or "job opportunities". Don't be shy. Write an inquiry letter! An internship could someday lead to a paying job and it gives you a chance to gain skills and experience.  Also have a look at Truworths's Tips & Facts career page. Much of the advice offered there can be applied to any job you are looking for even at other companies.

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Careers in Fashion
Here are some of many careers in fashion for you to consider.  Enter them into a search engine yourself to find even more information about each particular career.
  • Fashion Designer
Payscale.com fashion designer salary
This is one career where you've either got it or you don't. About 25 percent of fashion designers are self-employed. If you're a real creative genius, you might be able to get by with only a high school education. But if you're smart, you'll at least get an associate degree. It also behooves you to get training in color, textiles, patternmaking and computer-aided design.
Suggested Reality Show:  Project Runway.
Quoted from Next Step a publicly funded service, helping adults get the advice they need for future skills, careers, work and life choices. (United Kingdom)
Textile designers create fabric designs and patterns for woven, knitted and printed materials used to make clothing, interior furnishings and other textile products.You will produce surface designs and colorations as found in dress fabrics, furnishings, carpets, tiles etc. They use traditional sketches and painting techniques as well as high-tech computers to make their designs. Textile design moves with current fashion and global trends and reflects many moods and cultures. International travel, to capture design ideas and trends, often becomes part of a skilled designer's work. Prospective textile designers will benefit from an interest in contemporary and retrospective movements in art, history and design. Sociological, psychological and lateral thinking is an integral part of textile designers' function, since they have society as a client. They must know and understand their clients. A feeling for fashion and new fashion trends is also important. In addition, textile designers must have a drawing ability, a "feel" for colour, a creative imagination and graphic interpretation skills.
Quoted from Fashion Schools
A fashion buyer is responsible for the products that a fashion retailer sells. The clothes you see for sale in any department store from Ross to Neiman Marcus were selected by a buyer.  Depending on how big the company is, there might be one fashion buyer or a team of fashion buyers responsible for the clothes which the company would carry. Necessary qualities include good communications skills and public relations skills.  Budget control, profit calculation, price negotiation.  In the fashion industry things move and change on a dime. The deadline is always "yesterday"so time management skills are imperative. A typical fashion buyer works with clothing suppliers to make and select the proper clothing pieces for the target market. They are responsible for deciding between the current fashion trends, as well as the classic traditional pieces which sell quite well.  This often includes attending fashion shows! As a fashion buyer, you need to think ahead of time and always be prepared - especially when the season changes. Season changes mean that there is a new collection of clothes. When applying to some fashion buyer jobs, you may find that they require a fashion or business degree. Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising are good degrees for somebody who is interested in being a buyer. Having some retail experience in a fashion boutique can also let you make better decisions when you become a buyer. Many times larger retailers have an in-house buyer´s training program that you can grow into from a lower level retail job. A typical fashion buyer buys clothes at least six months in advance; this means that you would be buying autumn/winter clothes in summer and the spring/summer stock in winter.

  • Research and Develpment Specialist 
The research and development specialist is responsible for interpreting the design of a non-professional to make it feasible for production and branding. Many of today's actors, singers and sports stars have their own clothing lines. The celebrity has usually only communicated a rough idea as to what he would like his clothing line to express. Some examples are: Michael Jordan, Adam Levine, Jessica Simpson, Kanye West, Queen Latifah and on and on. This career can be very challenging and requires extreme patience as you will often be working with over-inflated personalities.The research and development  specialist (or team) is in charge of the actual production from sketches, prototypes, patterns, fashion shows, factory communications, advertising, public relations and more.
"People with a good sense of 3D form tend to make good pattern makers. Attention to detail, problem solving skills, math skills, as well as the obvious tactile and artistic skills. I am a very strong believer that if you want to be a good designer then you also need a good background in pattern making and construction or you may find yourself designing something that can't actually be made. If you love what you do then sooner or later you'll become good at it. A well qualified and skilled pattern maker can earn a great deal more than the average designer (not talking about label owners here). There is also an ever increasing need for pattern makers as these skills are being lost in our schools. Experienced patternmakers are more and more becoming subcontractors that determine their own hours of work and fees. While fashion design hopefuls compete a for diminishing number of design jobs, they fail to realize that most design positions are filled by pattern makers already known to the company!" -Stuart Anderson, Patternmaker/Fashion Designer

  • Photographer
 eGuide: Understanding Exposure for Better Photos Now: Beginner Photography Tutorials
Learn & Master Photography
Also consider becoming a:
  • Stylist  - Career advice from Stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe who began her career as a retail salesgirl.
  • Alterations Specialist: "The Alterations Specialist is responsible for completing all alteration fittings and sewing services necessary to meet customers’ needs. The Alterations Specialist suggests product options to our customers to help each one complete the overall look of her event. self-motivated individuals with outgoing personalities, and excellent technical sewing and fitting skills. They love special occasion fashion and have expertise on how to tailor a garment to ensure the best fit possible. Through the Alterations Specialist skills, vision, and informed recommendations, they will give our customers the confidence they need to choose the “one”, her dress." Job description from David's Bridal
  • Art Director
  • Trend Scouter or "Cool Hunter" See "Merchants of Cool"
  • Exporter/Importer of Fashion Products
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  • Costume Designer (Theater Arts) - Suggested Reality show: Mad Fashion
  • Chemist (Develop makeup, perfume, hair and beauty products)
  • Eyewear Designer 
  • Cosmetologist (Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist, Skin Care Specialist)
These YouTubers explain their cosmetology school experiences from choosing a school, classes, costs, financial aid and more!   J. Maxinta - The Paul Mitchell Experience  & Qcknd - The Aveda School











  • This list is not exhaustive.  There is no reason you can't create your own career and come up with a new field within fashion!

    Send us fashion news from your hometown.
    Are your writing skills a little rusty or have you never written an article before?  If you are still in grammar school or high school you have an adviser right at your fingertips.  Your English teacher!  Here are some other sources to help you out: Defining and Avoiding Plagarism and Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL).  Why not try writing an article yourself? Petit Poix is always looking for articles about the fashion industry either written by you or for links to interesting articles. We love "hometown" stories.  You will get full credit for your original articles (this means you actually wrote it yourself, not just copied from somewhere else) and retain full rights (this means that you can offer the article to other publishers as well).  We will include a link to your blog or website if your article is published on Petit Poix. It is OK to use other websites and articles as your sources of information but make sure you reference them by linking to the source. Maybe you could interview a local designer, report on a local fashion show, a new department store opening, or about the popular trends where you live?  If you´d like, go ahead and send your own original pictures and videos as well (again, not taken from another website to avoid copyright infraction).  Send links or articles to petitpoix@gmail.com. 
  • Fashion Model: Petit Poix is hesitant about listing this as a "Career in Fashion" for many reasons.   One of them being that a career in modeling is generally very short-lived and for the millions of girls and boys in the world that dream of becoming models only a handful make it and even fewer make it through the business unscathed. Among many dangers are that people may pose as "modeling agents" or photographers and take advantage of a young person's innocence, insecurities and dreams.  If you dream of becoming a model please finish high school and think bigger than just the physical.  Get an education in something outside of modeling too so that you have options in life for earning a living. While there are obviously success stories in the industry remember always that no matter what your size, shape, color or creed you are worth much more than just what is on your outside and you are not "better" or "worse" than anyone else just because of what you look like. Never allow yourself to be talked into a situation that you don't feel right about. A career in modelling does not depend on compromising your health, safety or moral values.
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