The occupations listed below are a selection of those which may interest Fashion and Textiles students and graduates:
Fashion buyers analyse customer shopping patterns, source and purchase materials, negotiate prices with suppliers and facilitate the production process and/or seek out finished products to sell.
Job profile of a retail buyer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a fashion and textiles buyer from the Creative Skillset website
Fashion designers develop and collect ideas for items of clothing to suit a variety of different sellers and retailers (e.g. high-street and/or haute couture for men, women and children) by hand sketching or using computer-software to create samples. They often work long hours and must be proficient in the technical processes behind design (such as pattern-making or sewing) while always on the lookout for new trends.
Job profile of a fashion designer from the Prospects website
Job profile of a fashion designer from the Creative Skillset website
Job profile of a freelance designer from the Creative Skillset website
Visual merchandisers help to design and develop displays, floorplans and online content to promote products, brands and services.
Job profile of a visual merchandiser from the Prospects website
Job profile of a visual merchandiser from the National Careers Service website
Costume designers design, create and hire costumes for film, television and theatre productions.
Job profile of a costume designer on the National Careers Service website
Job profile of a costume designer on the Creative Skillset website
Pattern cutters create, shape, alter, style, pin and cut material around mannequins to match and interpret hand-drawn designs, often working with machinists, computer-programs or other designers and garment technologists to meet a set of criteria and dimensions.
Job profile of a pattern cutter on the National Careers Service website
Accessories designers predict the upcoming trends and styles of new seasons, create hand drawn plans or software-based templates, then make prototypes of the accessories.
Fashion journalists research and generate ideas for a subject, editing news stories for articles and a rage of publications, making sure the content is accurate and submitted to deadlines, while also sourcing the necessary images, conducting interviews and meeting/planning with other colleagues on the news team.
Job profile of a Fashion Journalist from the Prospects website
Garment technologists advise on design alterations to clothing, the suitable fabrics to use and oversee the testing and fitting process with designers, pattern cutters and buyers.
Job profile of Garment Technologist from the National Careers Service website
Fashion stylists choose clothing items to appear in magazines, advertising campaigns, music videos, concerts, film/TV, celebrity/model appearances and photo shoots.
Fashion photographers shoot visually imaginative and stimulating images of garments, brands and clothing ranges in studios and on location for lifestyle magazines, publications, websites and company advertising campaigns.
Job profile of Fashion Photographer from the Creative Skillset website
Cutting Room Manager
Cutting room managers are responsible for accurately (and economically) overseeing the cutting up stages of fabric production to a high standard, so the material is ready to make into garments, managing a small/large team of staff.
Job profile of Cutting Room Manager from the Creative Skillset website
Costume makers interpret and put together costumes based on a brief of detailed drawings, genre, specifications and measurements given by designers in the pre-production stage of a film, TV or theatre shows.
Freelance designers work for themselves in sourcing and making materials, researching new techniques, selling their own work to galleries, shops, private customers and sometimes large manufacturing houses.
Job profile of Freelance Designer/Maker from the Creative Skillset website
Quality supervisors are responsible for overseeing the quality procedures during the production process of materials and items.
Job profile of Quality Supervisor from the Creative Skillset website
Please note that some of these careers may require further study.
For further information on these careers, see also:
People in some fashion and textiles roles may be self-employed
Thank you to Prospects for the content on these pages.
A Fashion and Textiles degree may be useful in the following career areas:
Interior and Spatial Designer
Interior and spatial designers look at the aesthetics of interior spaces and design/renovate the area(s) specified. Project management, budgeting, architectural knowledge and creative skills are utilised in this role. Job profile of interior and spatial designer from the Prospects website
Image consultants advise individuals on improving their image and personal branding in terms of clothes, make-up, voice, body language, etiquette and styling.
Online Personal Shopper and Stylist
Personal shoppers and stylists provide shopping consultations to meet the demands and budgetary needs of private customers, selecting appropriate items for them.
Job Profile of Personal Stylist from the National Careers Service website
Wardrobe assistants help to buy, hire, clean, mend, fit, alter, store and return costume items and accessories for film, TV or theatre productions.
Job Profile of Wardrobe Assistant from the National Careers Service website
Fashion Sales Executive
Sales executives sell and promote products and services for companies, either to customers by advising on forthcoming promotions or other businesses through building relationships and researching the market. Job profile of a sales executive from the Prospects website
Clothing Retail Manager
Clothing retail managers make key decisions for the running of store departments and are responsible for stock control, maximising profits, dealing with staffing issues and responding to customer service issues.Job profile of a retail manager from the Prospects website
Clothing Franchise Owner
Clothing franchise owners have obtained a licence to run their business under another company’s brand, tasked with meeting set instructions on signs, logos, colour schemes, legal/safety standards and staff training. Job Profile of Franchise Owner from the National Careers Service website
You may be interested in graduate roles outside of fashion and textiles. There are many employers who are looking for graduates with good degrees but that don’t have a preference for the subject studied. To explore different career options see:
As well as subject-specific knowledge and skills, a graduate in fashion will typically have gained:
- problem solving skills that allow differing kinds of learning to be applied to shifting contexts or frameworks
- team-working skills that allow the collaborative generation of ideas, proposals solutions and arguments
- decision-making skills for thinking in a divergent and independent way when observing, investigating or visualising ideas towards a material outcome, as well as handling ambiguous or uncertain situations through anticipation and adaptation to change
- organisational skills to monitor and achieve a balance between intention, process and outcome
- commercial awareness skills that allow resourcefulness and entrepreneurial practice
- creativity in imaginatively using materials, media technologies, methods and a variety of tools while observing good working practices
- research skills that allow independence during study or goal setting, as well as dealing with workloads and deadlines
- leadership skills in analysing information and experiences effectively, making independent judgements, as well as clearly articulating carefully-reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation, and identifying personal strengths and needs
- persuasion, influence and negotiating skills when effectively interacting and collaborating collectively with others, as well as visually or orally articulating and communicating ideas, information, writing or work to audiences from across a range of different situations
- research and critical thinking skills when sourcing, navigating, selecting, retrieving, evaluating, manipulating and managing information
- IT skills when selecting and employing information technologies
- practical skills in pattern cutting, garment making, industrial sewing machines, digital and screen printing, hand textile techniques (such as batik and embroidery), and skills in Computer Aided Design (CAD) based digital presentation.
This is not an exhaustive list of skills - you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience. You can find out more about the skills employers look for and how you can develop them.
Find a job
The Careers and Employability Service provides information and advice on job searching to University of Kent students and recent graduates. This includes a vacancy database advertising a range of graduate jobs, sandwich placements and vacation work/internships and online resources.
Article on how to get a job in fashion in London by Lyst.com’s Editorial Director, Katherine Ormerod.
These websites may be useful in job searching and for providing further information on careers and employers related to Fashion
- British Fashion Council
- The Design Trust
- Wallpaper Direct - So, you want to be a designer?
More websites offering graduate jobs, internships and placement years
You may also find useful reviews and application/interview tips for specific organisations on the following websites:
The Job Crowd
Most fashion graduates reach full employment (85.4%) going into areas such as design and media (28.0%), marketing and PR (18.2%) or secretarial and clerk roles (6.9%) with the most popular job titles including clothing designers, marketing associates, professional buyers, and merchandisers (source), yet 3.6% go into further study specialising in Master’s degrees that range from childrenswear to embroidery, theatrical costume to textiles, millinery to shoe design as well as more broadly the social, economic and ethical aspects of fashion (source).
According to the Prospects website BA degrees in textiles, design, knitwear, marketing, clothing technology as well as some industry experience are all useful starting points for progression towards future employment and/or further study (source), but there is a variety of postgraduate courses in fashion and textile design to choose from.