Fashion Careers: which one is for you?

aIf you, like many, are looking for a career in fashion, you might be wondering what’s out there. You’ll be pleased to know that there are a wide range of options available aside from the ones you may expect, such as designers and models. From a career in fashion-related finance, to discovering a role in communications, the opportunities are varied.

Retailers of Charles Tywrhitt suits, CT Shirts and providers of advertising design degrees, Cleveland College, take a look at what’s out there, considering some careers you mightn’t have thought of:

How to become a garment technologist

Although not as famous as other roles in the industry, garment technologists play an important part in the manufacturing process. This role is largely about quality control and investigative work with regards to the materials that are used to create fashion pieces.

Designing and developing new materials are the main responsibility of garment technologists. Through testing new combinations of materials and fibres, people in this role look to find the best type of fabric for what’s to be made. These people work closely with designers, pattern graders and buying teams to find the right type of fabric for what’s to be made.

Garment technologists also look to improve the efficiency of the fashion house. This might be to do with price and would involve liaising with buyers and suppliers to negotiate a cost that’s within the budget of the project. Or, they might be looking to make the company more sustainable, and therefore the technologist would investigate the production of the fabrics.

Understandably, knowledge of textiles and manufacturing are essential for this sort of role. Employers may also expect you to have a degree in a related topic, such as garment technology and production, or you may complete a module around this as part of a wider subject. Or, look out for apprenticeship schemes and junior roles, where you can work your way up to this role.

How to become a pattern grader

Pattern grading is another profession that is valued in the industry. They focus on producing scaled-up and scaled-down versions of design patterns, which enables the manufacturers to produce the same patterned piece of clothing in different sizes.

Pattern graders have a lot of responsibilities, including tracing, quality checking and communicating with prospective buyers.

Being skilled in design is not enough for this role though, you’ll need to be knowledgeable around mathematical areas. You must be able to take accurate measurements and make calculations in order to scale the patterns correctly. It’s also important that you enjoy being part of a team, so to cooperate with others in the design process, and be able to confidently use IT to work with a digitising table.

A degree is not required for this position. Instead, you could take the apprenticeship route through college by studying subjects such as fashion or textiles. Or, work your way up from an assistant or pattern cutter to become a grader in a fashion company.

How to become a fashion illustrator

You will find that fashion illustrators work closely with designers to create conceptual sketches and fashion drawings. In addition to this, they may produce advertising copy and images for promotional material for print and online coverage. To succeed in this role, you need to be able to use computer design, as well as drawing by hand and have an eye for fashion.

Most fashion illustrators are qualified to degree level in graphic design for example. To get accepted onto a degree of this kind, you will need GCSEs and potentially A levels, or entry based on passing a foundation course. Alternatively, you can build up a strong portfolio and gain experience in relevant positions to impress prospective employees.

How to become a fashion journalist

Fashion journalists are presented with more opportunities than they used to have due to the growing side of the industry. A fashion journalist is no longer limited to securing a job for a print publication — with a range of online magazines out there, there are more opportunities available. You could also go freelance, but work isn’t guaranteed here. As part of the job, you’ll likely be required to travel and meet new people to conduct interviews and get the latest on fashion stories.

What do you need to become a good fashion journalist? A creative flair, love for writing and an interest in fashion will put you in good stead, but there are some educational choices that you can make to better your chances of getting a career in this field. Choosing A-levels such as English Language will further your creative writing skills, for example. There are specialty degrees out there too, such as the Fashion Communications course which will teach you more about the sector and increase your employability.

Create a strong portfolio to impress employers. Start your own fashion blog to write about the latest news in the sector and approach editors for freelance opportunities. Networking is also a great way to get to know about future vacancies. Try to secure unpaid work in relevant positions to build your experience too.