I WANT TO WORK IN FASHION
“Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well”
Fashion is the largest employer of all the UK's creative industries. The UK fashion industry is estimated to support 797,000 jobs and its direct value to the UK economy is estimated at £26bn. The sector also provides opportunities to minority groups to a greater extent than most other creative industries. (British Fashion Council)
Careers related to fashion include:
- Fashion buyer;
- Fashion & textile design;
- Fashion forecasting;
- Fashion journalism;
- Fashion merchandising;
- Fashion promotion/PR;
- Fashion retail
Some of the above may require, or give preference to graduates with, a relevant degree.
Postgraduate courses are also available.
“Fashion is all about happiness. It’s fun. It’s important. But it’s not medicine”
- Breaking into the Fashion industry from the Prospects.ac.uk website
- British Fashion Council www.britishfashioncouncil.co.ukNot-for-profit organisation that aims to further the interests of the British fashion industry and its designer businesses. Its activities include London Fashion Week.
- Creative Skillset fashion and textiles careers information www.creativeskillset.org/fashion_and_textiles
- Fashion United https://fashionunited.ukFashion jobs, the latest fashion news and apparel business network for the UK fashion industry
- Fashion Industry Network www.fashionindustrynetwork.com A business network for the fashion industry including blogs and directories
- How to break into the fashion industry: Guardian live chat
- Job Profile of a retail buyer from the Prospects website
- Job profile of a retail buyer from the TARGETJobs website
- How to sell your skills in fashion buyer interviews
- See our retail careers page
Designers usually specialise in one sector of the market such as menswear or children's clothes. Most design businesses are based in London, especially Central London. There are around 4,000 fashion graduates each year and only 500 jobs, but highly talented designers are still in demand. Designers may start on £18,000 to £22,000 and senior designers can earn up to £60,000. Around half of all fashion designers are self-employed. You spend a lot of time designing on a computer, but there are also good opportunities for overseas travel.
- Profile of a fashion designer: www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/fashion-designer
- Fashion designer job information from the National Careers Service
- How to get your first job in fashion design from TARGETJobs
- Fashion Designer www.plotr.co.uk/careers/fashion-designer/job-description
- Fashion Graduates class of 2015 – article from the Independent
- Graduate Fashion Week www.vogue.co.uk/event/graduate-fashion-week
- Not Just A Label www.notjustalabel.complatform for showcasing and nurturing today’s pioneers in contemporary fashion.
- A beginner’s guide to fashion trend forecasting
- Trendzoom http://trendzoom.com fashion trend forecasting service
- The future of fashion forecasting
The ability to be a successful fashion journalist requires very specific skills relating to writing, visual appreciation and a technical understanding of fashion which touches on a broad range of influences.
- What you need to know to get into fashion writing – Vogue article by Tim Blanks
- Interview with former Cosmopolitan editor Louise Court
- Postgraduate courses in fashion journalism are available at the London College of Fashion, Central St Martin’s and Regent’s University
- See also our journalism careers pages
Fashion is not a separate legal discipline and only a few firms (listed below) have a specialist practice in this area. A good all-round knowledge of commercial law, especially intellectual property and contract law, is essential.
- Fox Williams www.fashionlaw.co.uk offers a “one-stop shop” for legal services to clients in the fashion industry
- Harbottle & Lewis www.harbottle.com/retail/fashion
- Mishcon de Reya www.mishcon.com/services/dispute_resolution/fashion_and_retail London commercial firm whose clients range from entrepreneurial start-ups to iconic fashion designers and well-known retailers including Christian Louboutin, Kering Group (Alexander McQueen, Gucci and Stella McCartney), Prada and Net-a-Porter.
- Olswang www.olswang.com//expertise/industry-sectors/retail/fashion-and-luxury-goods/
- Penningtons Manches LLP www.penningtons.co.uk/expertise/sectors/retail/fashion-and-luxury-brands “Often advises on branding and restructuring matters for high-profile fashion clients”.
- Simons Muirhead and Burton www.smab.co.uk/services/retail-fashion-and-franchising “Well known for its representation of high-end fashion and luxury goods clients: significant clients include Alexa Chung, Amanda Wakeley, Boux Avenue, Mamas And Papas, Urban Outfitters”.
- A day in the life of a fashion lawyer www.stylist.co.uk/stylist-network/work-life/justine-wilkie-fashion-lawyer
- See also our law careers pages
Fashion merchandising is a rather broad term that can be used to describe the business side of the fashion industry. Professionals with a fashion merchandising career must still have an eye for style, but they should also have a head for business as well.
This field involves buying, pricing, marketing, displaying, and selling certain types of garments and accessories. (Fashion Merchandising: where Fashion meets Business)
- Job profile of a Retail Merchandiser from the Prospects website
Beautiful people are not always good, but good people are always beautiful.
- Job description of a Retail Merchandiser from the TARGETJobs website
- See our Retail careers page www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sitereta.htm
- Working in fashion PR – Guardian Q&A www.theguardian.com/careers/fashion-pr-careers
- What no-one tells you about working in fashion PR www.whowhatwear.co.uk/what-working-in-pr-is-really-like/
- How to get an entry-level job in fashion PR www.glamour.com/story/how-to-entry-level-pr-job
- Career Focus: Work in Fashion PR from Rate My Placement www.ratemyplacement.co.uk/industry/fashion/advice/career-focus-work-in-fashion-pr
- FashionPR www.fashionpr.co.uk Website and blog centred on the fashion industry and all its related cousins, including photography, illustration, film, design, hair, beauty, lifestyle and the arts.
- See our PR pages www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/PR.htm
Some fashion PR agencies
The news and blog pages of these agencies’ sites will give useful background on the fashion PR industry even where they do not have any current vacancies.
- B Public Relations (BPR) www.boudoir-pr.com Fashion and Beauty PR agency in London offering fully integrated Global PR, Social Media & VIP campaigns; dedicated divisions with expertise across sectors including fashion, beauty, health & wellbeing, parenting, automotive and luxury goods
- Bright Light PR www.brightlightpr.co.uk fashion PR agency in London specialising in beauty, travel and lifestyle.
- Push PR www.pushpr.co.uk London-based independent full-service communications agency specialising in luxury fashion, jewellery, beauty, lifestyle and health & fitness brands. Offers internships.
- Task PR www.taskpr.com Fashion and lifestyle PR agency based in London and Munich.
- Whitehair www.whitehair.co Specialises in lifestyle communications including fashion, beauty, luxury, wellbeing and fitness. Offers internships.
Just like a shopaholic’s wardrobe, the choice of jobs in fashion retail is endless. From the shop floor in a sales assistant role (part-time experience in this role is a valuable first step into the fashion business), behind the scenes in distribution, or deciding what should be stocked in the first place in a buying and merchandising role, there’s something for every interest.
- Fashion retailer job description from TotalJobs.com www.totaljobs.com/careers-advice/job-profile/retail-jobs/fashion-retailer-job-description
- Arcadia www.arcadiagroup.co.uk/careers/opportunities/graduates-1 The UK's largest privately owned fashion retailer with 8 high street brands; Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topshop, Topman, Wallis and Outfit. Graduate roles include Buying and Merchandising roles as well as Finance and E-commerce.
- ASOS careers and internships https://asoscareers.asos.com
- boohoo https://careers.boohoo.com/grads-interns online fashion retailer
- Debenhams http://debenhams-careers.com
- Fenwick Graduate Careerswww.fenwick.co.uk/about/careers/graduate-careers
- H&M Careers https://career.hm.com/content/hmcareer/en_gb.html
- Harrods www.harrodscareers.com/future-talent Graduate programme, internships and placements.
- House of Fraser http://careers.houseoffraser.co.uk
- Inditex Careers: brands include Zara, Pull and Bear and Bershka www.inditexcareers.com/portalweb/en/web/joinfashion/home
- Matchesfashion.com www.matchesfashion.com/careers “Global luxury shopping destination for men and women”. Works with 400 established and emerging designers from Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Chloé and Isabel Marant to Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Stella McCartney and Max Mara. Has stores and a ‘private-shopping townhouse’ in London and a dedicated fashion-concierge team
- New Look Graduate Jobs www.newlookjobs.me.uk/new-look-graduate-jobs
- Next Retail Graduate Scheme www.graduate-jobs.com/scheme/next
- Nike http://jobs.nike.com Corporate and retail careers and internships
- Primark www.primark.com/en/careers/come-join-us Three career paths: Retail Management/ Retail Assistants, Buying, Merchandising and Head Office. “Primark might be a value retailer but we have high-calibre staff working for us. We need people with the right skills and attitude who are happy to work hard and contribute to our success and theirs”.
- River Island www.riverislandcareers.com offers a wide range of roles in stores and Head Office, including year-in-industry placements.
- Schuh www.schuh.co.uk/careers
- Superdry http://careers.superdry.com
- Ted Baker www.tedbaker.com/uk/careers jobs in stores and at “Tedquarters”, in the UK and internationally
See also our Retail careers page www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sitereta.htm
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated”
Fashion CVs must embody style, flair, knowledge of the fashion industry and evidence of creativity. At the same time, as with any CV, they must set out the information that the employer will need to make a decision as clearly as possible and be tailored to the needs and ethos of the company and the particular job you are applying for.
If you are applying for “creative” roles, such as design, you will need a CV that shows your creative flair and a Portfolio of your work. See our pages on How to Write a Creative CV www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/creativeCVs.htm
The Creative CV Guide by Jan Cole, published by the University of the Arts London, University of the Creative Arts and University College Falmouth is a superb resource for fashion CVs
CV, covering letter and interview tips from a fashion recruitment agency www.fsrl.co.uk/cv-cover-letter-and-interview-tips
A Master’s degree is not normally essential for entering many areas of the fashion business, but may be helpful in showing your commitment and focus and developing contacts within the industry – especially if the course includes opportunities for internships. The courses listed below are designed for, or will accept applications from, graduates in subjects other than fashion and textiles.
- London College of Fashion www.arts.ac.uk/fashion/courses/postgraduate Courses include Graduate Diploma in Fashion Management; MA in Fashion Design Management; MA in Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation; MA in Fashion Retail Management; MA Strategic Fashion Marketing; Postgraduate Certificate in Fashion Buying and Marketing; Graduate Diploma Fashion Media Styling; MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion; MA Fashion Journalism and MA Fashion Futures
- University of Westminster MA in Fashion Business Management
- Heriot-Watt University MSc in International Fashion Marketing Developed in partnership with George Davies, founder of Next, George@Asda, and Per Una, this MSc focuses on all aspects of the fashion retail experience, from design right through to the shop floor
- Nottingham Trent University MA in Fashion Marketing & MA in Fashion Communications
- University of Manchester MSc International Fashion Retailing
- Domus Academy, Milan www.domusacademy.com/en/area-of-study/fashion Masters in Fashion Styling and Visual Merchandising; Fashion Design; Fashion Management and Luxury Brand Management
- IED (Istituto Europeo di Design), Milan www.ied.edu/milan/fashion-school/master-courses/fashion-marketing/MPA1355I MA in Fashion Marketing - From Strategy to Branding
- Instituto Marangoni www.istitutomarangoni.com/en/fashion-courses/postgraduate Masters and short courses in Milan, Florence, Paris, London and Shanghai. Courses include Fashion Design; Fashion Promotion, Communication and Media; Contemporary Fashion Buying; Fashion and Luxury Brand Management; Fashion and Law and Fashion Entrepreneurship.
- Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design & Marketing Based in Florence, Polimoda offers Masters including Fashion Brand Management; Fashion Entreprise; Fashion Marketing and Communication; Fashion Merchandising and Buying; Fashion Styling; Fashion Trend Forecasting;
- Fashion Institute of Technology, New York www.fitnyc.edu/gfm/index.php Masters in Global Fashion Management
- Esmod www.esmod.com the oldest fashion school in France. Offers short courses and a Masters in the Fashion Business
- University of Boras, Sweden Masters in Fashion Marketing and Management Two-year programme taught in English
- Christian Bassett www.christianbassett.comrecruits into retail management, buying and merchandising, allocation, operations, design, PR & Marketing, field-based roles, human resources and visual merchandising opportunities for luxury and leading contemporary designer brands,
- DrapersJobs.com www.drapersjobs.com/careers Fashion jobs, careers advice, news and profiles of people working in all areas of the fashion industry
- Four Seasons www.fsrl.co.uk specialise in recruiting for Fashion and Retail jobs from Graduates upwards.
- Profiles Creative www.profilescreative.com/fashion-retail-jobs fashion, retail, marketing, PR and design roles
- Fashion Personnel www.fashionpersonnel.co.uk Site includes fashion news, advice and a blog.
- Fashion United www.fashionunited.co.uk Fashion jobs, the latest fashion news and apparel business network for the UK fashion industry including internships and traineeships
- Fashion Workie www.fashionworkie.com Free portal for finding Jobs, Internships, Work Placements etc in a wide range of roles within the Fashion & Beauty industry.
- InRetail www.inretail.co.uk/graduate Graduate jobs in retail
Last fully updated August 2016