Fashion Careers

How to Get into the Fashion Industry

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23rd September 2022

Getting your foot in the door of the fashion world can be a challenge. It's an extremely desirable industry to work in, which means it’s equally as competitive. But, there are lots of opportunities out there and several things you can do to increase your chances of getting a job in fashion!

Read our guide and discover how to get into the fashion industry. From making sure you have the right skills for the job to knowing where to look for the best opportunities, the Fashion Retail Academy has you covered.

How Hard Is It To Get Into The Fashion Industry?

The fashion industry can be incredibly competitive, but there are plenty of opportunities out there. Often seen as a glamorous industry to work in, the reality is that it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, creativity and innovative thinking. To make sure you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs, make sure that your CV is up to date, you have the desired qualifications, a portfolio of work and preferably some previous work experience in the fashion industry.

What Skills Do I Need To Get Into The Fashion Industry?

The level of skills and experience you need to get a job in the fashion industry will depend on the type of role you're applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a fashion design job, you'll need to have fashion design experience or training. However, there are many transferable skills that employers are looking for that could help you stand out from the competition. These skills include:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Proactiveness
  • Professionalism
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativeness
  • Excellent time management
  • Eagerness to succeed
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Teamwork
  • Digital skills
  • Work experience 
  • Qualifications in a relevant field

Types Of Jobs In The Fashion Industry

There are lots of different job roles within the fashion industry. From fashion design to fashion buying, the opportunities are endless. Consider what type of career you might be interested in, and which areas of the fashion industry you may not be as passionate about. This will help you narrow down your search and discover your potential career path. Jobs in the fashion industry include:

  • Fashion Design
  • Fashion Buying
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Fashion Marketing
  • Fashion Retail
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Business Management
  • Fashion UX/UI
  • Data Analytics
  • Fashion Styling
  • Fashion Journalism

Find out more about careers in fashion

Getting Started In The Fashion Industry Tips

There are several things you can do to be in the best possible position to get a job in the fashion industry; some of them will take time and commitment. Getting started in the fashion industry isn’t easy, but with hard work and dedication, you’ll be able to kickstart your dream career.

Study a Fashion-Related Course

Studying a fashion course or degree can vastly improve your chances of landing a job in the fashion industry. Studying a fashion course means you can study a specific area within the fashion sector, whilst still gaining lots of transferable knowledge and experience. Although it's not essential to have these qualifications to get a job in fashion, studying a fashion course can teach you a great deal about the industry and will appeal to employers. 

Gaining a degree or diploma in fashion has lots of benefits. Not only will you learn industry-relevant skills but you’ll also study a varied curriculum that will provide you with the expertise you need to succeed. Studying at an established institution also means you’ll have access to industry connections and partnerships, which will help increase your career opportunities once you have passed the course.

At the Fashion Retail Academy, we offer a range of courses that cover a wide selection of disciplines in the fashion industry, from design and marketing to retail and merchandising. We offer Level 2, 3 and 4 diplomas, undergraduate courses, online courses and apprenticeships.

Be Present Online

Starting a blog, Instagram account or Youtube channel is a great way to be present online and share your interests with others. Whether you’re into the latest fashion trends, are an aspiring writer or are already making your own clothes, social media and the internet can be a great way of building your portfolio. 

A blog, Instagram account or Youtube channel will act as a digital copy of all of your work. It also allows others to find you online and provides you with the opportunity to connect and network with other people from the industry. 

Bloggers can also be hugely influential. Many fashion brands invite bloggers and influencers to fashion shows, work with them on collaborations and feature them on podcasts, in advertising and more. 

There are lots of ways to be present online that can help start your career in fashion, including:

  • Starting a blog or website
  • Starting an Instagram account
  • Starting a Youtube channel
  • Starting a podcast

However you choose to be present online, be sure to create and post regular content and stay true to your own style!

Get A Fashion Internship

Many fashion brands offer internships in a variety of niches including design, buying, merchandising, styling, journalism, social media, marketing and more. Internships can be a great way to get into the fashion industry and build up your work experience. They can offer invaluable on-the-job training and insight into a variety of different roles. From assisting a stylist on a photoshoot to learning how to cut patterns with a designer, you’ll gain hands-on experience from industry-leading professionals. 

It's also not uncommon for employers to offer interns full-time jobs once their internship is complete if they think they would make a good fit for the business. 

At the Fashion Retail Academy, many of our courses include three-week work placements with a major brand. When you study one of our fashion undergraduate degrees, you could get up to three months on placement!

Get A Fashion Retail Job

If you’re struggling to find a fashion job in a head office position, pursuing a fashion retail job could be a great first step in your career. Fashion retail jobs allow you to be at the forefront of the fashion industry, working directly with customers and garments. Retail jobs can provide you with a vast range of hands-on experience and transferable skills that employers are most definitely looking for. 

Working in retail gives you the opportunity to gain an understanding and experience in visual merchandising, styling, trends, customer service, communication, an eye for detail, pricing structures, time management and commercial awareness. 

Big fashion retailers are frequently looking to hire staff throughout the year, but particularly during busy seasonal periods such as Christmas. This is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and build a relationship with one of your favourite brands.

Volunteer

Volunteering is also a great option for those looking to start their career in fashion. You could volunteer at a charity shop, sorting and pricing clothes, or volunteer at London Fashion Week being a backstage runner.

This also allows you to develop a range of soft skills that will impress employers and boost your career prospects. You'll learn skill like communication, working under pressure, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and people skills.

Volunteering is particularly beneficial for those who are unsure of which area of the fashion industry they would like to work in. This way you can try out a range of different roles in your spare time without committing to a huge career change.

Network and Learn From Like-Minded People

Networking with people from the fashion industry is a great way to build your connections and confidence. Although networking might sound a little daunting at first, it has the potential to advance your career opportunities. From gaining advice and support to accessing information and finding out about opportunities, networking and learning from like-minded people in the industry could help you start your career in fashion.

There are lots of different ways to network. Try reaching out to people you admire in the industry by email, following and interacting with people on social media, joining online groups and attending industry-specific events.

Networking can be tricky if you haven’t done it before, so we’ve put together a few helpful tips that could help you make a good first impression:

  • Do your research
  • Ask questions and listen
  • Be prepared to talk about yourself 
  • Don’t expect everyone to reply
  • Don’t expect every connection to lead to an opportunity
  • Swap contact information
  • Follow up

Now you’ve got a better understanding of how to get into the fashion industry, why not up-skill and study a fashion course?

The Fashion Retail Academy is the perfect place to kickstart your career and offers an excellent pathway into an entry-level position. Browse our range of fashion courses and apply today!

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