Want to work in the fashion industry? Find out what you can do beyond modeling clothes on a runway.
Contrary to what quite a few people may think, there are many ways to work in the fashion industry beyond simply modeling clothes on a runway. Essentially, fashion is concerned with original design, a variety of arts and crafts and different ways in which to promote creative presentation. Here are a few examples of what you can do if working in the fashion business is your aim.
Just as architects have to be knowledgeable about a wide range of construction materials when designing a new building, so a fashion designer has to familiarize themselves with the fabrics that are used to make clothing, jewelry, shoes and purses; the accessories are just as key to achieving the required ‘look’ as the garments the top designers commission. If you have design skills, or can draw well, you might like to consider attending a school of fashion or design academy, or applying for internships with fashion houses.
Examples of college programs include schools attended by Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs, Parsons School of Design, New York and Oregon State University where the design and merchandising courses are feeders for top sportswear brands, including Nike and Adidas.
Arts and crafts
In this bracket you will find the makers, those talented individuals who physically create fashion items based on the work of the designer. There are pattern makers, tailors or seamstresses, shoemakers (who will often also craft belts and purses or other leather goods), and jewelers, many of whom both design and make their own work. If you already make jewelry in your spare time, why not approach a friendly local outlet to see if they can sell some of your creations? It’s a good way to test the market.
Following the New York Fashion Week in 2015 the online site purseblog lamented the dearth of American luxury handbag brands. Maybe there’s a great market opportunity waiting to happen here if shoes and bags are in your areas of interest.
Last but definitely not least is presentation. All the creativity of the designers and the skills of the makers are as nothing unless the presentation is right. Stylists and makeup artists have to make models look great, and in turn models have to know how to wear clothes so that audiences focus on the garments just as much as they might be admiring the model. Great fashion photography is key when shooting for magazines, or you could use high quality online photo stock sites such as www.dreamstime.com. If you already love taking fashion photos try submitting some of your work to sites such as this, as once one or two images are accepted for publication you will be on your way to building a great portfolio.
Whether you want to model, design, make or present, there is likely to be a career path in the fashion industry that’s right for you. Think hard about how and where you want to focus then go ahead and check out how you can enhance your skills and educate your way to your dream job.
Eain is a freelance writer specializing in the fashion industry with many years of experience.
“I think what’s so interesting for people is that I don’t take it so seriously and yet I am still immersed in the [fashion] industry.” — Leandra Medine
© All images are copyrighted by their respective authors.
Love this post? Share it with your friends! Follow us for more fashion inspiration: