fashion careers

Ahead of New York Fashion week (the busiest week in her calendar), our Youth editor, Sarah Owen is taking some time out to answer your questions for @Tumblr’s #AnswerTime, following in the footsteps of David Beckham, Stefano Tonchi, Tom Hanks, Miley Cyrus and Rick Owens who have all participated.

Sarah is a huge part of the WGSN team, she recently got back from Seoul, and past trips have taken her from Cuba to Afropunk Festival to Coachella to spot emerging fashion, music and youth related trends. She’s also a total pro on Instagram @sarahsarahowen in case you were wondering. Plus Grazia Magazine just voted her One to Follow in 2016 and profiled her last year, read up here.

View all the answers here!

12 Surprising Job Interview Tips

You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare? To find the answer, I looked back on my interviews, sifted through research, and most importantly, asked employees from today’s most coveted companies. I tried to find […]

By Jon Youshaei

7 Jobs for Fashion Merchandising Majors

When I decided that I wanted to major in fashion merchandiser, I knew nothing about which career paths I could pursue. All I knew was that I liked the curriculum and that it combined fashion and business- two things I have a knack for. After doing extensive research, I learned that the opportunities were endless!

Here are 7 of my favorite careers, in no particular order of awesome-ness.

1. Fashion Designer

Yes, it’s true; you don’t need to major in fashion design to become a fashion designer. It is a common misconception within the world of fashion school students. However, if one has a natural knack for fashion design, and can or has already taught oneself the basics of sewing, another major could successfully be pursued. A fashion designer with a strong background in fashion merchandising (in this case a degree) will have extensive knowledge on trend-forecasting, branding, marketing, and other key factors in the success of an already-awesome line. While it’s true that an artful eye and raging sewing and fashion design skills are at the root, merchandising knowledge will gives a designer the upper-hand.

     what a fashion designer does: study trends, sketch and design clothing, pattern-making, sew, attend trade shows, conduct fittings, communicate with clients

2. Visual Merchandiser

Although many fashion and art & design schools offer a major in visual merchandising, a degree in the more-general fashion merchandising can lead to a career as a visual merchandiser as well. You know those luminous, magnetic window displays you are drawn to when walking around downtown? The ones that no matter how hard you fight it, you just can’t resist pressing your nose and hands against? The ones that make your eyes glaze over, drool pour out, and your imagination run wild? That would be the work of the visual merchandiser, the creative mastermind whose job is to craft the most perfect window display that will draw potential shoppers and fellow dreamers into their store.

     what visual merchandisers do: create holiday displays and store displays, rearrange fixtures, move merchandise to “floor set,” dressing mannequins, selecting and organizing overall store layout, applying decals and painting

3. Fashion Buyer

To all of my Shopaholics Anonymous peope, did you know that there is a such thing as a professional shopper? The main difference between this and your typical saturday morning shopping spree is that as a fashion buyer, you are picking and choosing for the masses. The job of the fashion buyer entails choosing what will be viscously clawed over in a particular store- AKA what a store will sell. Perfect for the trend-saavy, a fashion buyer pays close attention to what is “in” at any particular moment and stocks the store with items that will not sit on the racks decaying away all season. It is a real job and a crucial one at that. A fashion buyer is at the root of the determination of success of sales, and of a store itself, and can be one a brand’s strongest weapons.

     what a fashion buyer does: meet with clients (suppliers) and maintaining a good relationship, purchase fashions, constantly follow and forecast trends, constant communication with clients, order clothes and negotiate prices, travel

4. Fashion Event Coordinator

Trunk shows, fashion week, mannequin modeling, model fittings- these should all be familiar to a fashion event coordinator. Like a conductor of a classical symphony, or the ringleader of a circus, a fashion event coordinator is what holds the big show together. Although on the outside it may look simple, this position is usually responsible for making sure every little detail runs smoothly- the creative visionary. “Fashion events” can constitute for a wide variety of things, but the most-coveted is definitely fashion week. Think Kelly Cutrone of Bravo’s Kell on Earth or MTV’s The Hills. The fashion event coordinator can have a huge impact on the success or humiliation of a designer or brand.

     what a fashion even coordinator does: hire models, schedule and oversee fittings, book fashion shows, coordinate seating for fashion shows and other important events, finalize clothing and accessories choices, handle the public, plan event

5. Fashion Journalist/Editor

Another career that can surprisingly be created without major in the obvious field. Nowadays with the ever-blooming popularity of blogs, it seems as though every girl and her sister wants to be a fashion editor. It seems simple- writing about fashion and deciding the who what wear of a magazine; but in my opinion, fashion editors have one of the most difficult jobs in fashion. They must prepare each issue months in advance, oversee countless articles,pictures, layouts, etc. while juggling travel, staff, fashion news, and so much more. On top of that, as if there isn’t already enough competition in the fashion world alone, the top magazines are a whole new exclusive, dog-eat-dog realm. Although it is more work than the average person can handle, the right person, with extension knowledge of fashion, an eye for journalism form and layout, and a mammoth work ethic, can rise to the level of fashion publications such as Glamour, Teen Vogue, Nylon, and maybe even one day, Vogue.

     what a fashion journalist does: oversee publication, create fashion magazine or newspaper, investigate fashion, fact-check, up-to-date on trends, designers, and shows, forecast trends, attend runway shows and fashion week, build reputation, select demographics, prepare months in advance, in charge of staff, develop image

6. Fashion Merchandiser

Duh! A fashion merchandiser must have strong visuals insight, a deep understanding of textiles, an articulate tongue, and of course, creative mind. So what exactly is a fashion merchandiser anyways? A fashion designer is the person who chooses the fabrics, textiles, and coloring of a garment. This is who is in charge of the image of a line of clothing in a way, and influences manufacturing by artistically combining the elements of fashion as the final step to a piece of clothing. Fashion skills are combined with business and production to assure the success of a garment. 

     What a fashion merchandiser does: works closely with designer, offers fashion and textile expertise, define target market, forecasting trends, selling to stores, negotiate with vendors

7. Fashion Marketer

Not to be confused with a fashion merchandiser, although the two often go hand-in-hand. As a fashion marketer, you play a huge role in the business side of fashion. I.E. strategic marketing (the way a brand is presented and sold) and evaluation of consumer habits. Marketing is the medium between the consumer and the brand, and is a vital role in a brand’s success or failure. This position isn’t all business, however. A fashion marketer must be fashion-savvy, and have a creative eye to create a memorable and unique campaign and image for a brand.

     What a fashion marketer does: create a story for a brand, present memorable image, advertise, studie buyer habits, select and maintain specific demographic, design ads, marketing strategy

Other careers:

  • Boutique Owner. Or clothing store owner, but boutique sounds fancier.
  • Stylist. Think Rachel Zoe, minus the “I die.”
  • Costumer. Movies and concerts and runways- oh my!
  • Public Relations. Kelly Cutrone, you’re my hero!
  • Design Assistant. Every fashion designer’s best friend.
  • Store Manager. J.Crew, Marc Jacobs, Free People- the options are endless.
  • Internet retailer. Open your own store from the comfort of your laptop.
  • Pattern Maker. Cut and draw, just like in kindergarden!
  • Textile Testing Specialist. Testing, testing, 123.
  • Many, many others.


#BestYearEver: Step Up Your Career Game

Office advice and outfit ideas to help you kill it at work

We could all benefit from a little boost at work, and we’re not talking about coffee. Whether you’re on the hunt for a new job, hoping for a promotion or just want to make a great impression at work, find out how to improve your career game with our tips and outfit ideas below.

Get organized. Find a system that works for you. Buy a planner and write down everything in it, so you’ll always have something to reference if you forget about an important meeting or to-do. Or, if you prefer digital, sync your computer calendar with your phone’s so you’ll always know what’s going on.

Think ahead. Don’t put off something just because you have the time to do so. Deadlines are in place for a reason, and even if you’re constantly getting things done in the nick of time, you will always feel a little behind.

Be proactive. If you’ve been at your current job for a while, it’s easy to get comfortable with your daily routine. Pretend like you’re a new hire and impress your boss and coworkers with your go-getter attitude.

Offer your opinion. Whether it’s a technical issue that needs solving or an unprompted design idea that you came up with, your colleagues will appreciate your eagerness to help. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

Dress to impress. You’ve heard it before because it’s true - dress for the job you want. You don’t have to spend a fortune on new work clothes, but finding pieces that show your style and professionalism makes all the difference.

Office-Friendly Outfits

The Fashion Girl

Unstructured long jacket

ASOS Long Sleeve Deep V Neck Blouse

COPE Cropped Modern Trouser Pant

Crossover Sandals With Metallic Heel

Soleil Small Bucket Drawstring Bag

The Creative Girl

Denver Coat

Fitted boyfriend chambray shirt

Frida floral-print pencil skirt

Dolce Vita Wendi Heeled Sandal

Double Body City Bag

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