Careers in Fashion
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Fashion careers involve the designing, producing, modeling and marketing of clothing, shoes and accessories. There are numerous career options in the fashion industry for those who've got an eye for style. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is predicting a slower-than-average growth for the fashion industry, meaning that interested individuals should expect keen competition for any job openings.
Fashion designers create new styles of clothing, shoes, handbags and other accessories. Some fashion designers create fashions for the mass market, while others create custom designs for individual clients. Aspiring fashion designers must possess an excellent eye for detail, color, proportion and balance. Most fashion designers are able to sketch, sew, make patterns and use computer-aided design (CAD) programs. Many designers hold bachelor's degrees in fashion design, fashion merchandising, marketing or business.
Fashion photographers shoot, edit, develop and print photos of clothing, shoes and accessories. Fashion photographers are frequently hired by fashion houses, style magazines or clothing catalogs to take quality pictures that will appeal to potential consumers. Fashion photographers must possess excellent artistic ability and hand-eye coordination. They should also have excellent communication skills since they deal with all types of people, including clients, models, makeup artists and hairstylists. Many professional fashion photographers hold degrees in art, fashion or photography.
Fashion models display clothing, shoes and accessories for various media and audiences. Some fashion models appear at live venues, such as strutting down the runway during Fashion Week. Others appear in printed publications, including fashion magazines, clothing catalogs or newspaper ads. While a majority of fashion models are tall and very thin, there are niche markets for plus-sized and petite-sized clothing models. Fashion models of all sizes must be photogenic and physically attractive. They must also possess the ability to work with fashion designers, photographers, clients and stylists.
Fashion merchandisers research and track fashion trends and determine which apparel and accessory items manufacturers or retail stores should focus on each season. Fashion merchandisers are powerful people in the fashion industry. Most fashion merchandisers hold bachelor's degrees in fashion merchandising, fashion marketing, apparel production and fashion design. Many merchandisers also pursue additional education and earn Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. Fashion merchandisers typically work for major clothing manufacturers, fashion salons, fashion magazines, fashion consulting firms and department stores.
Fashion writers, also called fashion reporters and fashion critics, are in charge of producing editorial copy for various media outlets, such as fashion websites, television, newspapers and style magazines. A majority of fashion writers work in the editorial departments of fashion manufacturers or clothing design firms, but some writers hire out their services on a freelance basis. Fashion writers must possess excellent writing skills and be detail-oriented. Many fashion writers hold degrees in journalism or fashion merchandising.