There is no shortage of options when looking at jobs in the fashion industry. Whether you want to try your hand at designing, buying, or merchandising, there is a fashion job for you.
Here, we spotlight some of the most popular jobs in the fashion industry.
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A creative director working in fashion is responsible for creating and leading the conception, design, and execution of a brand’s collection.
The creative director begins their work in collaboration with fashion designers, merchandisers, and other key stakeholders. Together they create an overall arch for what that year will look like in terms of color palette, theme, inspiration, and styles. From there, they map out each season’s collection.
This person is keyed into current trends and consistently rolling out new ideas. As a leader, they are expected to be able to motivate and direct a team.
Merchandising can be viewed as an intersection between fashion and business. And while the role of a merchandiser may vary depending on the needs of the brand or organization, the person working in this fashion job must understand, predict, and respond to consumer demands and behaviors to maximize sales and revenue.
There are typically two types of merchandiser jobs in the fashion industry: a creative merchandiser and an analytical one. Creative merchandisers work closely with design and typically come from a creative background. An analytical merchandiser comes with more experience in planning and buying and focuses more on the analytical side of planning the overall footprint for an entire line or each season.
However, professionals in both roles are responsible for ensuring the right products are available at the correct stores and that there is enough quantity to meet the demand. For example, if a merchandiser works for an apparel line chain, they will want to make sure seasonal apparel is stocked in advance, further they would likely consider local weather patterns, so they would have more winter jackets stocked in a Minneapolis location and fewer in Los Angeles.
When you think of fashion jobs, this might be one of the first to come to mind.
And while we can’t all be the next big-name luxury design icon, becoming a fashion designer isn’t as out of reach as one might think.
At their core, fashion designers use their creative vision to design new styles for target customers. However, this can vary greatly depending on the industry. For example, high-end fashion designers can think of the styles they design as pieces of art. (Consider some of the designs and outfits you see on the runway during New York Fashion Week.)
However, not all designers will work for luxury brands; most of these professionals will design for brands whose apparel has a more affordable price point. While they may use the work of high-fashion designers as inspiration, their bigger focus will be on creating designs with mass appeal. Is it on-trend? Functional? Comfortable? Flattering?
Technical designer is a critical job in the fashion industry as their primary goal centers around making sure garments and apparel fit correctly.
Technical designers are the liaisons between the design and product development teams. Once the design team communicates a creative vision for a piece of apparel, the technical designer determines which stitches and hem finishes those pieces need. From there they communicate those sewing guidelines to the factory along with any necessary measurements. The factory will then send samples which the technical designer reviews to ensure sewing patterns, quality, and fit are up to par.
Throughout the process, they are in regular communication with designers, factories, and any other key stakeholders to ensure products are made from concept to shelf.
This role oversees all elements of the apparel manufacturing process from the first sample production to final delivery. This includes but is not limited to fabric testing, cutting, sewing, and the final apparel look and packaging.
The production manager and/or developer can be employed by an apparel brand or a manufacturing plant. They are responsible for negotiating cost, quality, and delivery lead times with vendors as well as ensuring manufacturers are complying with all legal and ethical requirements.
Depending on the company’s structure there could be both a product manager and a product developer, or the roles could be combined into one.
Retail buyers work for a retail or department store and choose what brands and merchandise those stores will sell.
Like a merchandiser, buyers look at market demands, current trends, customer shopping habits, price points, and quality when selecting the merchandise their store will offer.
Buyers also need a keen understanding of retail math as they analyze year-over-year sales when deciding how much of an item they need to buy. For example, if a certain cut of pants was really popular last fall, a retail buyer would factor that into their plan for the next fall season.
Simply put, this person is responsible for ensuring inventory meets the demands of its customers and remains competitive within the market.
Inventory planners work at the start of the apparel development cycle to determine the quantity required for various product types. The person in this role takes into consideration current inventory levels, seasonal needs, historical sales data, commercial forecasts, and geographical data to predict consumer demand for a product type.
And with that information in mind, a planner is responsible for allocating and distributing merchandise to both warehouse suppliers and storefronts.
Throughout the selling season, planners are typically expected to analyze and track inventory levels and communicate product performance to key stakeholders.
There are typically two types of account managers. Wholesale account managers work for major department stores. Specialty account managers work for, you guessed it, specialty stores. Think of an eyeglass store or your favorite local boutique.
Both wholesale and specialty managers work for companies or brands that sell products to other organizations, stores, and businesses. They are responsible for building a positive and mutually beneficial relationship with clients.
This person is a representative and brand expert who specializes in promoting products to an entity as opposed to an individual, building the brand’s client portfolio.
For example, an account manager for a denim brand is responsible for building relationships and selling products to various major department stores. Whereas an account manager for a shoe brand is responsible for selling products to specialty stores that only sell footwear.
A graphic designer working in fashion is responsible for creating logos and screens for apparel. They use a combination of hand drawing and/or computer-aided design to create individual images that are printed onto items. This could be a logo on a pair of running shoes or a pattern printed on a dress.
Graphic designers should have a strong grasp of color theory and design aesthetics to help in creating visually appealing graphics.
CUSTOMER SERVICE SPECIALIST
Have you ever had to email a company after your package didn’t arrive? Or after your sweater shrunk even though you followed the exact directions on the tag? Or really anytime you had an issue with a product?
The person on the other end of your concern was most likely a customer service specialist. And with the increasing popularity of online sales, this fashion job is in high demand.
In addition to dealing with individual customers, this person might also work cross-functionally with sales, credit, and distribution centers to ensure orders flow in line with business and customer requirements.
Customer service specialists should be experienced and well-versed in a variety of computer systems and programs. However, true to their title, most importantly they are expected to have a high level of customer service skills, great communication, as well as the ability to solve problems and multitask.
RETAIL SALES ASSOCIATE
If you’re looking to get your foot in the door, a job as a retail sales associate might be one of the best jobs in fashion to get your start. Retail sales associates usually work on the floor of a brick-and-mortar storefront and are responsible for the customer’s overall experience.
While responsibilities may vary, retail sales associates working in fashion should expect to:
Greet and assist customers
Help find correct sizes, offer recommendations and suggestions based on customer’s needs
Process payments, exchanges, returns, and refunds
Serve as brand advocates and product experts
Manage opening and closing responsibilities
Handle deliveries, inventory, and stocking
WORKING WITH A FASHION RECRUITMENT AGENCY
Now that you know some of the hottest jobs in the fashion industry, how do you get one? Well, one way is by working with a specialized fashion industry recruiter.
And you’ve come to the right place! 24 Seven is a leading fashion recruitment agency with more than 20 years of experience in the fashion industry. The specialized recruiters at 24 Seven have created a legacy of finding fashion professionals their dream job at some of the biggest names in the industry.
Our team is tapped into a wide network of employers in the fashion industry looking for full-time and freelance professionals today.
Whether you’re looking to get your start as a fashion sales associate or want to launch your career as a fashion designer or creative director, the recruiters at 24 Seven do the job search legwork at no cost to you.
Browse our open jobs in the fashion industry and contact a recruiter today!