When the fashion industry emerged during the mid-19th century, clothing was mostly custom, hand-made products by tailors and dressmakers. The 20th century gave birth to Industrialization with new technologies like the sewing machine which allowed the mass production of clothing in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices, creating an industry of opportunity for a new workforce. The modern fashion industry consists of many levels like Textile Design and Production, Fashion Design and Manufacturing, Fashion Retailing, Marketing and Merchandising, and Fashion Media and Marketing, each offering many different job opportunities. Circles Magazine visited The Stitch Factory and learned about some of the many careers that make up the fashion industry today.
The Fashion Designer Fashion designers create the design. They can be generalists, though some focus completely on a specific area like sportswear, children’s wear, women’s wear, and men’s wear. There are also designers that specialize in knitwear, foot wear, and jewelry. There are over 22,000 Fashion Designers in the USA today .
The Pattern Maker
Patterns are technical instruction plans on fabric. The Pattern Maker creates patterns based on an approved design brief, using software driven systems like CAD etc., ensuring that patterns and grading are produced to the required business standards.
Graphic designers produce visual solutions to communicate messages for their clients. The range of creative work produced are two-dimensional using a range of media, advertising campaigns, book covers, magazines, posters, corporate communications and websites, three-dimensional designs, product packaging, exhibitions and displays.
The Product Developer
Product Development is the management of design stage through to shipment and monitoring sales once the styles are in-store. Product developers distribute technical packs to relevant factories, manage samples, trims etc. Ensure fit is approved and comments sent within the desired timeframe.
The Production Assistant supports the management of the production cycle, from concept to delivery, to ensure its success. The production assistant organizes and monitors samples. They also place production orders and keep factories updated while managing strategies in order to carry out the production process.
The Account Manager
Account Managers handle the costing of products, market research, price comparison and negotiation, and briefing designers on customer requirements. Account Managers develop and maintain a broad base of suppliers to create successful network relationships and should continually explores new supplier opportunities to get the best results for their customer. They need to have a good level of commercial awareness, effective communication skills, and a sharp eye for using the right product.
The Merchandiser plans and develops strategy to enable a company to sell a range of products that will deliver sales and profits. They work closely with a Buyer helping them choose and purchase products that will achieve the sales plan. The Buyers purchase the goods that a store sells to its customers.
The Marketing Team, with the leadership of the Head of Marketing, create marketing materials to communicate brand values to consumers. They also manage all PR activity including International Trade Shows. These are only a few of the career opportunities the fashion industry offers. So if you have an eye for style and a head for business apply for a job at the nearest department store where you can learn the ropes from the ground up. Everyone has to start somewhere.