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7 Different Fashion Careers Explained: Which One is Right for You?

So, you want a career in fashion, but you’re having trouble figuring out exactly what that would be? You’re not alone. It’s tough to know which fashion career is right for you, especially if you have little to no experience in, well, anything. We’ve listed 7 of the most popular types of fashion jobs and translated some of the lingo you may have come across in job listings to help you narrow it down.

Fashion Design

Perhaps the most well-known area of fashion, designers are the minds behind your favorite clothes, accessories, shoes — you name it. That said, there are so many areas of specialization within design. You could be a clothing designer, handbag designer, textile designer, the list goes on. If you’re looking to become a designer, consider what types of items you’d like to design as well as your ideal clientele: luxury, mass market, or something in between?

Fashion Merchandising

If you’ve ever stepped into a store and been like, wow I want literally EVERYTHING in here, give a big kudos to their fashion merchandising team. Fashion buyers are the people who choose which items get sold in a retail or online store. If you think you know what items will sell faster than Danielle Bernstein’s Macy’s collab, you may have a future in buying. Buyers don’t make judgments on intuition; there’s actually a ton of trend research and forecasting in a buying role. Speaking of data, if you’re good with numbers, you might also be interested in what’s known as sales planning. Sales planners use data (in the form of a lot of Excel spreadsheets) to decide how many items a store should order based on supply and demand.

Visual Merchandising, Store & Events Display

Popup stores and experiential retail have exploded, so tbh, it’s a great time to get into visual merchandising and events display. Lavish, ‘grammable displays have taken over storefront windows and guess what? Someone had to come up with the concepts for those and make them come to life! If that’s what you’re into, you should totally do a visual merchandising apprenticeship.

Fashion Styling

Wanna be the one who puts together outfits in a fashion editorial? If you’ve got an eye for style, consider teaming up with a seasoned fashion stylist or production studio to learn the ropes. If photoshoots aren’t your thing, there’s also personal styling, where your clients are people rather than brands or publications. For more insight on the type of work a personal stylist does, take a peek at Danielle Goldberg’s Insta feed.

Fashion Marketing

Every major fashion brand has a marketing arm. That means there’s a dedicated team of people responsible for writing all of the copy (that’s business speak for words) you see on a brand’s Instagram posts, the email newsletters in your inbox, and the product descriptions on a website. Social media management and brand strategy also fall into the fashion marketing bucket. If your goal is to be the driving voice behind your favorite brand, a role in the marketing department is the place to be.

Fashion Public Relations

If you’re a people person, PR may be your jam. In a fashion PR role, your responsibilities include but are not limited to securing press placements for your clients (translation: having editors write about your clients and getting celebs and influencers to wear/be photographed with your clients’ products), writing press releases, establishing and maintaining and relationships with key industry players, and (it’s not glamorous but it’s the truth) shipping packages. A LOT of packages.

Fashion Editorial

Do you have Vogue, WWD, BoF, and Daily Front Row as your most visited websites? Have you tried your hand at fashion blogging? It might be a sign that you’re destined for bylines. When going after internships or freelance gigs at fashion publications, think about the type of voice and audience you’d like to write for. For example, articles for the Seventeen girl are very different from those written for the Refinery29 woman.

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