Ever since you were little, you loved making clothes for your toys. Whether you were creating your own designs for your teddy bears or cutting up your Barbie's outfits and making new ones, you have always had a flair for fashion and a keen eye for design. Out of all your friends, you are always the one on the cutting edge of fashion, a standout who does not define his or her style in one word.
You were made for a career in fashion, but what exactly do you want to do? Where do you want to end up? Consider a few of these amazing careers in fashion forecasting, buying, design and technology and you will always know which prints will be hot before they ever hit the stores.
Small Business Owner/Repair and Maintenance Workshop Employee
When you purchase an article of clothing, do you pay attention to the stitching? Do you want to repair broken seams for clients or help brides fit their perfect wedding gowns? If so, then you may have the makings of a career as a tailor.
When it comes to making clothes fit and look polished, a tailor can be a miracle worker. When a lawyer needs a suit tailored for an important meeting or a bridesmaid needs her dress let out, a tailor knows how to work with the fabric so the client wears the clothes, not the other way around. You can operate your own small tailoring business right out of your house.
You can also go to work for a department store, bridal store or any other business that has its own tailor on staff. These employees work with clients to help them visualise changes that can be made to a garment or explain how a damaged article can be repaired. They are also responsible for making those changes and repairs.
You may also find your calling in the manufacturing industry. Large scale retailers have factories to produce their clothing. Though this career usually involves more mechanical work, a working knowledge of sewing and dressmaking can make you a valuable asset to any retailer.
Needed: Certificate III in Clothing Production
Opportunity for growth at Certificate IV and Diploma levels.
Retail Store Visual Merchandiser
When you are strolling through a department store, you notice how the mannequins are placed, what clothes and accessories they are dressed in and how they are staged. None of this is done by accident. It is all planned and put together by the retail store visual merchandiser.
The retail store visual merchandiser is responsible for designing the look and layout of the store. It is up to this person to create striking displays that will delight customers and showcase the fabulous items they could be buying.
This may sound like an easy job, but a lot of work goes into designing window and store displays. From the lighting to the props to the flow of the store, the visual merchandiser creates an experience for each customer that highlights the many beautiful garments and encourages a sense of want in consumers.
Needed: Diploma of Visual Merchandising
Opportunity for growth with further studies in Visual Merchandising or Fashion Textile Merchandising.
What lies ahead in the future of fashion? Is it all stripes or are animal prints making a comeback? The right prediction can set any retailer up for success, so having a knowledgeable style forecaster is a strong asset.
A style forecaster deals only in the future of fashion. It is his or her job to predict what is on the fashion horizon, including what will be trending on the runway as well as what will be sold in store in the upcoming seasons. Their skills and expertise can be applied to all levels of fashion, such as haute couture, mass produced and street wear.
The best style forecasters have an intimate knowledge of fit and sizing, needed to assess how well a garment might look on the average person. They should also be on the lookout for successes and failures in quality and specifications. If a mass-produced garment is made of a certain weak material, trend forecasters should know to advise buyers against it.
Forecasters should also think in terms of business and market. They should understand supply chain logistics and be able to assess the quality of a product based on its product makeup, meaning its fabrics and stitching. With this knowledge, a great style forecaster will be able to help local and international markets stock their stores. After all, what is the point of selling bikinis in Siberia and parkas in Egypt if no one in those regions will ever need those types of garments?
Needed: Diploma of Fashion and Textiles Merchandising
Opportunity for growth with an Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology and the Advanced Diploma of Fashion and Textile Merchandising.
Assistant Fashion Designer
No fashion designer would get anything done without a loyal assistant fashion designer to help and support him or her along the way. If you have a good eye for the right colour and pattern and can manage your time flawlessly, this may be the perfect 'fit' for you.
Most assistant fashion designers specialise in one area of fashion - knitwear, silks, footwear, accessories and so on. With this product knowledge, assistants are responsible for cutting patterns to create new prototypes as well as tailoring garments already in existence. It will be your job to make sure that each piece is designed correctly and produced on time.
You will need to sharpen several skills including:
- Product sketching
- Pattern cutting
- Communication, as in explaining your ideas to other designers
- Creating trend, mood and shape boards
- Managing time effectively
Needed: Certificate IV in Applied Fashion Design and Technology
Opportunity for growth at the Diploma level.
Remember, the foundation of any great career is education. You can start with one certification
and build up to your dream job. The important thing to remember is that you hone the skills needed to succeed in the fashion industry. Those skills will be something no one can ever take away from you.
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