How to Start a New Career in the Fashion Industry

If you’re passionate about the glamourous world of fashion and are looking to break into the industry, you’re not alone. About 90,500 people in the United States work in the fashion industry and textile production.

Whether you’re a recent graduate or considering a career change, the fashion industry can be both competitive and rewarding. In this guide, we’ll provide you with valuable information about the educational paths, key skills, and career opportunities in the fashion industry. We’ll also share expert tips and strategies for creating a professional resume that will help you stand out to potential employers and set you up for success in the fashion industry.

So, let’s get started and help you turn your passion for fashion into a successful career!

What Education Do I Need for a Fashion Career?

To build a successful career in fashion, it’s important that you choose the right educational path. Here are some of the options that can set you on a road to a career in fashion:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. Enrolling in an accredited university as a fashion design major will provide you with a well-rounded education in the technical, creative, and business aspects of fashion. You’ll take courses in design, garment construction, textiles, fashion history, and industry best practices. A bachelor’s degree can prepare you for a wide range of careers in fashion, from design and production to retail and marketing.
  1. Pursue a specialized fashion program. While at school, you may choose to follow a more specialized area of study such as haute couture, sportswear, footwear, or accessory design. Specialized fashion programs are perfect for those with a strong passion for design and a desire to develop their creative skills.
  1. Consider online learning. If you’re someone who values flexibility or prefers to learn at your own pace, consider the wealth of online courses and certifications in fashion that are available. Many reputable institutions and platforms provide these options, covering a broad spectrum of fashion subjects, from design and styling to business and marketing. Here’s a list of some of the best online fashion programs.
  1. Apply for internships with fashion companies or design houses. Internships are an excellent way to immerse yourself in the fashion industry. You’ll work alongside fashion professionals, designers, and marketers to gain real-world experience. Internships also provide the opportunity to build important connections and may lead to job opportunities in the future.

What Career Opportunities Exist in the Fashion Industry?

There are many different jobs that contribute to the creative and commercial success of this trillion-dollar industry.Fashion designers, of course, sit at the heart of the fashion industry. These creative individuals are responsible for dreaming up the garments and accessories that we all love to wear.

Those on the production team take the designs and sketches from the designer and turn them into actual products that you’ll see on runways and store shelves. They manage the production process, the supply chain, and the quality control to ensure that the products are delivered to the market on time.

Stylists are the creative visionaries who bring fashion to life. They pull together looks for editorial spreads, ad campaigns, or runway shows. They work closely with photographers, models, and makeup artists to create the perfect image.

Like any other industry, the fashion industry has marketing professionals. These professionals strategize and execute marketing plans that create excitement about the fashions coming from the brands they work for. These campaigns will often include social media messaging, print ads, in-store advertising, and more.

Retail workers are also part of the fashion industry. Those who work for stores are the link between the fashion designers and the public. They select products to sell, track inventory, and provide excellent customer service, ensuring that the public has a seamless and satisfying shopping experience.

These are just a few examples of the diverse career opportunities available within the fashion industry. With a professional resume that highlights your skills, experiences, and passions, you can position yourself for success in this exciting and ever-evolving field.

How Do I Break Into the Fashion Industry?

Even after you have the right education and you know what type of fashion job you want, breaking into the fashion industry can be both exciting and challenging. Here are a few steps to help increase your chances of landing your first opportunity.

  • Network. Networking is just as important in the fashion world as it is in any other industry. Attend fashion shows, connect with fashion professionals on LinkedIn, and go to other industry events. That’s where you can meet fashion professionals who can answer questions, link you to job opportunities, or be willing to mentor you as you start your career. Be sure to craft an elevator pitch before attending any events so you can introduce yourself quickly.
  • Create an online portfolio. When applying for internships or jobs in the fashion industry, you’ll be asked to show a portfolio. Create an online portfolio to highlight your best projects, including sketches, designs, photography, or styling work. Regularly update your portfolio to show your growth and development as a fashion professional.
  • Leverage the power of social media. In addition to creating an online portfolio, set up social media accounts that are solely dedicated to your fashion work. Be sure to share your fashion-related thoughts and follow relevant fashion influencers and brands. Building a strong online presence can help you gain visibility and attract potential opportunities.
  • Consider freelancing. Your entry into the world of fashion may come in the form of a freelance gig. Freelance gigs offer the opportunity for you to make some money, get your foot in the door at a design house, and help build your resume. 

How Do I Create a Standout Resume for the Fashion Industry?

If you want a job in the fashion industry, then you absolutely must create a winning resume. Here are some tips to help you craft a great resume that will impress potential employers:

  • Highlight relevant experience. Whether you’ve worked in retail, had experience modeling, or completed an internship, it belongs on your fashion industry resume. List your accomplishments as well as your day-to-day responsibilities.
  • Include your education. Be sure you list your degrees and certifications. Any employer will certainly want to know that you have the right education to work in fashion.
  • Shout out soft skills. Remember to shine a light on those soft skills. These are the versatile abilities that would be valued by any employer in any industry. Communication skills, leadership abilities, collaboration, and the ability to solve problems are all considered soft skills.
  • Use relevant keywords: Sprinkle your resume with the right keywords, especially in the skills section. You can usually get a sense of what keywords to include by reading the job description. For a job in the fashion industry, you want to make sure to include words such as design, fashion, merchandising, retail, styling, and more. Including the right keywords can help ensure your resume makes it past the Applicant Tracking System.
  • Contact a professional resume writer. Of course, the best way to get a great resume is to contact a professional resume writing service. A professional resume writer knows exactly what today’s employers are looking for. They’ll craft a strong resume for you that showcases your accomplishments and abilities to employers.

Your Fashion Career is Within Reach Remember, breaking into the fashion industry requires dedication, persistence, and a willingness to learn and adapt. By following these strategies, you can increase your chances of success and land your dream job in this co