Business

Turn Your Passion into a Career

Interested in a career in fashion? Here are eight fashion-related roles to turn your interest into a career opportunity.

Fashion designers can either work for a company, as a freelancer or independently on their own fashion label. While some designers are generalists, working across a wide range of products, others focus completely on a specialist area.

 

Apparel designers design anything from fashion to functional clothing (lingerie, sportswear, lounge wear, ready-to-wear, maternity wear, haute couture etc.) for men, women or children. Other areas of design can include costume design for theatre, ballet or film.

Footwear designers create designs for shoes, boots, sandals and flip flops for one or more of these markets: sportswear, luxury or mass market.

Accessory designers have a broad area of specialism to choose from that includes jewellery, handbags, leather goods, eyewear, hats, gloves and scarves.

Seamstress/pattern cutter: This role requires years of training to master the art of making patterns and sewing clothes. A pattern is a template of the garment one wishes to sew, which is drawn up on paper. It is then used as a guide when cutting and sewing the final garment. Usually the first drafts of the pattern are made in paper while cardboard is used for the final pattern, to withstand multiple uses. Once the final pattern is made, it can be reproduced in different sizes – a process known as grading.

Textiles manufacturers/fabric suppliers:The prior work in textile mills creating a variety of fabrics, while the latter purchase fabrics from various manufacturers to sell to consumers (who require a few yards for individual use, for instance to commission a handmade iro and buba) and fashion companies.

Fashion model” There are different types of models which includes; fitting, runway, swimwear, editorial, catalogue, plus size  including models who specialise in particular body parts such as hands or legs. Models can fall into one or more of the above-mentioned categories depending on their physical attributes. It is common ‘fashion’ law that fashion models are generally 5 feet 9 inches or taller.

Merchandising is a broad field and forms the crucial link between fashion as an art and fashion as a profitable business. Merchandisers conduct research to determine and analyse fashion and market trends relative to what their target customer wants. This role (which includes sales and marketing) requires an up-to-date knowledge of the latest industry developments as well as good numeracy, management and marketing skills. Another discipline within merchandising is advertising, using images and text intended to communicate a compelling and persuasive message to a targeted audience, in a bid to attract and maintain new, existing and loyal customers. Experience and a solid education are strongly advised for this role.

Public relations which bridges the gap between product and consumer. PR specialists maintain a strong public image for companies in an ongoing pursuit to create, maintain and protect their reputation.  Great communications, networking and interpersonal skills and a degree in Communications, Management or Marketing are essential for a successful career in this field.

Fashion journalists are the voice and influencers of fashion and traditionally known to write articles for newspapers and magazines. In this modern digital world, a new brand of fashion journalism has emerged – fashion blogging. Some requirements for finding success in this field include a degree in English writing or a good command of English.

Fashion stylists help select outfits for people (such as celebrities), publications (photoshoots for editorial or advertising purposes) and for fashion brands who may require their services in preparation for look book and portfolio photo shoots or catwalk shows – assisting them to style each outfit and ensuring that they are cohesive, desirable and appealing. This discipline is very influential as it is a stylist’s responsibility to educate the public at large by informing and inspiring them.

 

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Ihesiulo Grace

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