If you’ve ever seriously considered eating ramen for a month so you can get the lace up boots that you just found on sale at Nordstrom’s, you should also think about taking your passion for clothes a step further. The fashion industry is made up of creative, motivated and business-savvy people who know what it takes to keep people looking beautiful and if you’re willing to go hungry to complete a couple outfits, you may already have what it takes to make it.
There are a number of great careers in this enormous and ever-expanding industry. Here are a few that are trending right now to get you started:
Requiring more than just great taste and a passion for accessories, fashion merchandising is a business that focuses on pricing strategies, trend forecasting, retail management, global sourcing and product development, according to CareersinFashion.net. Every industry needs savvy business professionals, and if it weren’t for marketers and buyers, fashionable clothing wouldn’t be readily accessible to the public. This career is ideal for creative and business-keen fashion lovers; it combines the right and left brain into one function.
A skill with a wide range of career opportunities, graphic design is helping the fashion industry become technological. Knowing software such as computer-aided design (CAD) is becoming a requirement, and the types of media used to showcase designers are increasingly technological. Graphic design helps designers visualize projects and create online portfolios to easily share within a team.
While it’s certainly not a requirement to attend school to become a famous fashion designer, a number of established designers (Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, David Rodriquez etc.) have jump-started their careers by doing so. Class courses in fashion design can include a little bit of everything: fashion merchandising and marketing, fashion journalism, menswear design, textile design, knitwear design and more. If you’re already well established in your career, but have always secretly wanted to design, follow the example of Kara Laricks.
Kara was a schoolteacher for a decade before attending fashion school at Academy of Art University in her 30s. She went on to win NBC’s Fashion Star earlier this year and sold collections to H&M, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Whether you want to design your own shoes or have a line of active sportswear, fashion-designing skills will never become obsolete. A fast-paced, intense and stressful field, nearly 75 percent of fashion designers in America work in New York or Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So a move might be necessary if you really want to succeed in this career.
Unfortunately fashion design is a very expensive industry to break into—especially if you want to launch your own line vs. working as a fashion designer at an already established brand. If your heart longs to work for yourself, you may need to consider looking into a loan. Thankfully, there are a variety of business loan options out there. There are minority business loans that have lower interest rates, as well as small business loans available out there. Do your research, and you’re likely to find the best fit for you.
The designers create, the models pose and the photographers capture the latest designs at fashion shows. Fashion photography is responsible for creating images displayed in magazines and on websites. Having an eye for fashion and knowing how to enhance a product with movement, angles, exotic locations and accessories is part of being a good fashion photographer.
To be a photographer in this industry, a person not only has to know how to work a camera but be able to put special emphasis on staging shots that create the right mood.
Social Media Manager
A few years ago, this position didn’t even exist. Now, brand leaders are realizing that in order to increase influence, they’ve got to have an online presence worldwide. Some of the industries most sizable companies employ teams to manage social media accounts and help the brand stay relevant.
Social media managers engage audiences and regularly introduce new fashion trends into society. Digital public relations (PR) coordinators help regulate a brand’s appearance and reputation, while content creators develop and expand the voice of a brand through online blogs, magazines and news sites. A degree in fashion marketing or communications could land you one of these positions.
What happens to be your dream job? Let us know in the comments below!
*This post was originally published on November 15, 2012.