A career in fashion is an attractive prospect for many. 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. Read on as we take a look at what’s out there, considering some careers you mightn’t have thought of:
This skill is usually something that people learn at the start of their experience in fashion, but it can be turned into a career too. This role is largely about quality control and investigative work with regards to the materials that are used to create fashion pieces.
Garment technologists focus on improving materials and the efficiency of the production process. 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.
Another day to day task 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.
You’ll need to 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.
Most fashion companies require a pattern grader, and that’s why it’s a role not to be missed out on. 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.
What are some general tasks that pattern graders carry out? 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 are some of the things you can expect to do as a pattern grader.
Mathematical skills are a must when it comes to this job. You must be able to take accurate measurements and make calculations in order to scale the patterns correctly. This is important for fitted garments for example such as morning suits. 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.
There are generally no degree requirements to pursue a role like this. 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.
You have probably seen fashion drawings and illustrations before, and it’s the fashion illustrators who create these. 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.
When it comes to what they study before progressing in a job like this, most fashion illustrators have a degree in graphic design or a related subject. 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.
As a fashion journalist you can be expected to create content around the latest styles and trends.
With the rise of the digital stratosphere, a fashion journalist is no longer limited to securing a job for a print publication. 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.
What would put you in good stead of becoming a fashion journalist? A creative flair, love for writing and an interest in fashion will help, 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.
Building your own writing portfolio can also impress 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.
Bring together your finance skills with a love of the fashion industry in this role.
You might be surprised to learn how many opportunities like this there are in the industry — 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.
When it comes to your education, 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.
Good luck for whichever fashion route you decide to take!