For many of us, a career in the fashion industry is an attractive thought.
There are a wide range of options available aside from the ones you may expect, such as designers and models. From a career in fashion-related finance, to discovering a role in communications, the opportunities are varied.
How to become a fashion journalist
If you became a fashion journalist, you can expect to write about the latest news in clothing, trends and accessories.
Unlike in the past, this role is not limited to writing for print publications. With a range of online magazines out there, there are more opportunities available. You could also go freelance, but work isn’t guaranteed here. As part of the job, you’ll likely be required to travel and meet new people to conduct interviews and get the latest on fashion stories. You might find yourself writing about the new trend in navy suits, or what the celebrities are wearing on the red carpet.
You must have some important skills to progress here. Having a creative flair, love for writing and an interest in fashion will put you in good stead to becoming a fashion journalist, but there are some educational choices that you can make to better your chances of getting a career in this field. Choosing A-levels such as English Language will further your creative writing skills, for example. There are specialty degrees out there too, such as the Fashion Communications course which will teach you more about the sector and increase your employability.
Start creating your own portfolio to attract employers. Start your own fashion blog to write about the latest news in the sector and approach editors for freelance opportunities. Networking is also a great way to get to know about future vacancies. Try to secure unpaid work in relevant positions to build your experience too.
How to become a fashion accountant
A fashion accountant is an ideal role for someone who enjoys fashion and finance.
You might not have considered this as a job, but there are a wide number of roles available in this field. From retail accountants to accountants in textiles who ensure that a budget is adhered to when buying materials. Roles like this allow you to be involved with designers and the garment-making process, whilst keeping finances under control.
Understandably, a background in maths is essential. Start by taking Maths at A-level and progress to studying a financial role at university. This might be Economics, Accounting or another form of Financial Studies. As part of your degree, take up the opportunity to undergo a year in industry — this can give you an insight into the field that you’re going into and give you some invaluable experience to put on your CV.
How to become a garment technologist
A garment technologist is highly important in the fashion industry. This role is largely about quality control and investigative work with regards to the materials that are used to create fashion pieces.
Responsibilities of a garment technologist include working on the design and development of new materials. Through testing new combinations of materials and fibres, people in this role look to find the best type of fabric for what’s to be made. These people work closely with designers, pattern graders and buying teams to find the right type of fabric for what’s to be made.
They’re also responsible for improving production techniques and helping the company become more efficient. This might be to do with price and would involve liaising with buyers and suppliers to negotiate a cost that’s within the budget of the project. Or, they might be looking to make the company more sustainable, and therefore the technologist would investigate the production of the fabrics.
What do you need to be successful in this role? You must be aware of the textiles and manufacturing process and have an interest in the creative work that goes into clothing production. Employers may also expect you to have a degree in a related topic, such as garment technology and production, or you may complete a module around this as part of a wider subject. Or, look out for apprenticeship schemes and junior roles, where you can work your way up to this role.
How to become a fashion illustrator
Fashion illustrators are the individuals behind the design of fashion drawings and diagrams that represent the garment. They work closely with designers to create conceptual sketches and illustrations of fashion products. In addition to this, they may produce advertising copy and images for promotional material for print and online coverage. To succeed in this role, you need to be able to use computer design, as well as drawing by hand and have an eye for fashion.
Which qualifications do you need? Most fashion illustrators have a degree in graphic design or a related subject before progressing in this career. To get accepted onto a degree of this kind, you will need GCSEs and potentially A levels, or entry based on passing a foundation course. Alternatively, you can build up a strong portfolio and gain experience in relevant positions to impress prospective employees.
How to become a pattern grader
Pattern graders play another important role in the fashion design process. They focus on producing scaled-up and scaled-down versions of design patterns, which enables the manufacturers to produce the same patterned piece of clothing in different sizes.
Some day-to-day tasks may include; tracing the outline of a pattern with scanning equipment, quality checking to ensure that the final pattern is in-line with the original design and creating sample garments from the pattern to send to prospective buyers.
In addition to being interested in design and textiles, you also need some mathematical skills. You must be able to take accurate measurements and make calculations in order to scale the patterns correctly. It’s also important that you enjoy being part of a team, so to cooperate with others in the design process, and be able to confidently use IT to work with a digitising table.
What about qualifications? You don’t need to be degree qualified to become a pattern grader. Instead, you could take the apprenticeship route through college by studying subjects such as fashion or textiles. Or, work your way up from an assistant or pattern cutter to become a grader in a fashion company.
Take time to consider the roles above! To succeed, it’s all about being proactive and showing potential employers what you’re capable of. Good luck!
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