The fashion sector employs 156,000 people in the UK, with 20,000 using design skills as part of their work. There are 35,000 businesses. Businesses involved in design include in-house designers, design consultancies, freelance designers, couturiers and bespoke tailors and independent design labels. The main centres are London, the North West and the Est Midlands where Leicester is a major centre.

There are about 2,000 design consultancies employing about 4,000 people. Most businesses tend to be small, employing 250 staff or less. Forecasts suggest that there may be a 14% decline in staff in this sector over the next few years.

Careers related to fashion include:

Fashion buyer; Fashion & textile design; Fashion forecasting; Fashion journalism; Fashion merchandising; Fashion model; Fashion promotion/PR; Fashion retail; Fashion stylist.

Some of the above may require, or give preference to graduates with, a relevant degree.


Beautiful people are not always good, but good people are always beautiful.


General information

Fashion buyer

Fashion & textile design

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. About 500 new designers are needed each year and about 4,000 graduates leave fashion and textile design courses, but highly talented designers are still in demand. Designers may start on £12,000 to £14,000 and maximum salaries for top designers can be up to £60,000. You spend a lot of time designing on a computer, but there are also good opportunities for overseas travel

Fashion forecasting

Fashion journalism

Fashion law

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.

Fashion merchandising

Fashion promotion/PR

Fashion stylist

Fashion retail

Roles include buying, merchandising and store management. Clothing wholesaling has grown rapidly in recent years. This involves sourcing garments abroad and selling them on to UK retailers.

See also our Retail careers page www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sitereta.htm

Fashion CVs

Fashion CVs are different from normal CVs - they must embody style, flair, knowledge of the fashion industry and evidence of creativity. See our pages on How to Write a Creative CV www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/creativeCVs.htm

You will also need a Portfolio, so you should see our page on how to prepare one www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/portfolios.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 http://careers.falmouth.ac.uk/sites/default/files/files/CreativeCVGuide(1).pdf

CV, covering letter and interview tips from a fashion recruitment agency www.fsrl.co.uk/cv-cover-letter-and-interview-tips


The courses listed below are designed for, or will accept applications from, graduates in subjects other than fashion and textiles.


Recruitment agencies


Last fully updated 2014