Fashion Careers

Fashion Careers: Guide to Fashion Management

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14th October 2022

Fashion management is integral to the inner workings of the industry. Fashion managers make sure operations run smoothly, predominantly dealing with the business side of fashion.

In this challenging and rewarding role, you will take into account internal and external factors to make key business decisions. Read our guide to fashion management to discover how you could become a part of this exciting industry.

WHAT IS FASHION MANAGEMENT?

Fashion management deals with managing the business side of brands. This involves overseeing the different departments and operations of the business in line with company aims and objectives. 

Fashion managers are tasked with building brand image and awareness, as well as working with departments such as marketing, merchandising and retail to meet business goals. It requires a high level of organisation, planning and communication as well as strong leadership skills.

WHAT DOES A FASHION MANAGER DO?

The overarching aim of a fashion manager is to align different departments and operations to reach common goals. The role can be extremely varied and may differ from business to business. There are however some duties that every fashion manager will have to undertake.

DETERMINE BUSINESS GOALS

Fashion managers will work with directors, owners and departments in order to put together goals to help drive the business forward. These goals could include revenue and profits, products, visibility, brand positioning and more. They will have to communicate these goals to the wider team, monitoring progress and ensuring all departments work together for a common purpose.

REACT TO THE INDUSTRY LANDSCAPE

As with all businesses, fashion brands must adapt to the industry landscape. Factors such as demand, socioeconomic changes, supply chain issues and costs can all have an impact on business decisions. Unlike many other business types, fashion brands must also take into account additional factors including trends and the impact of popular culture (celebrities, influencers, film, music etc). 

It is a fashion manager's job to adapt business goals and strategies in line with industry changes. They will also communicate with relevant departments to make any necessary internal changes.

OVERSEE BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Fashion managers oversee a wide range of business operations in their day-to-day role. As fashion manager you can help to bring creative ideas to fruition through your business knowledge and skills. You will manage and assess budgets, reviewing the performance of different business areas and projects. You will also assess risk and analyse the industry landscape to make key business decisions.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD FASHION MANAGER?

Because a fashion management role requires involvement in many different areas, you must have a wide range of skills to manage the duties of the role. You must be able to understand the creative industry whilst still being extremely business-minded.

FASHION MANAGER SKILLS

1. Business Acumen

As a fashion manager, you'll be a key decision-maker in the business. Often the outcome of a project, and even the success of the company, can rely on your decisions. You must understand all areas of the business from the creative and design side, right through to finance. Your ability to integrate departments will help to make sure business runs smoothly.

2. Personable

Within a fashion management role, you'll work with many different people across a business. You may also be required to work with external sources such as investors, suppliers and journalists. You must be personable to be able to inspire a shared vision to achieve business goals and get the best out of your team. 

3. Leadership

A good leader can be the difference between success and failure in business. As a fashion manager, your leadership style will determine the direction of the business through the decisions you make. Not only do you have to perform in your role but, you must also work to ensure the success of everyone else in the team. You'll have to be encouraging and motivating, whilst setting an example of the company values and goals. This can often be a balancing act between efficiency, profits, staff well-being and creative vision.

4. Analytical

Although fashion is a highly creative industry, data still plays a huge role. Data is used to make business decisions and assess the performance of marketing campaigns and business areas. As a fashion manager, you may be required to analyse data and make adjustments to operations off the back of this. You may also need to utilise data to identify new opportunities for the brand.

FASHION MANAGER SALARY

The salary of a fashion manager can range from around £27,500 to around £50,000 depending on experience.

  • Entry-Level: around £27,500
  • Mid Management: around £36,000
  • Senior Management: £50,000-£70,000

In some areas of the industry, such as luxury fashion houses, a fashion manager’s salary could be upwards of £80,000.

HOW TO BECOME A FASHION MANAGER

To become a fashion manager, you must have a thorough understanding of the industry. You may have to work your way up a business in order to build relevant experience. Employers might also require you to have qualifications, as well as experience in a relevant fashion business area.

Qualifications

Fashion management roles are often extremely competitive so making sure you have relevant qualifications is essential. We offer a range of fashion business courses that could help you to take the first step towards a career in fashion management.

Our online Fashion Business & Retail course can help to prepare you for a career change, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the fashion business landscape. We also offer an undergraduate degree in Fashion Business giving you an overview of multiple business areas to prepare you for a role in fashion management. It can also help you to develop your management and leadership skills and build a fundamental understanding of fashion business. 

Internships and Work Experience

Experience for this role is extremely important; nothing else compares to building a thorough understanding of an industry. It's especially useful for fashion managers as they must understand all aspects of a business.

It's useful to have work experience in a range of fashion business areas and could help you to stand out in a competitive job market! With all of our courses, we offer a three-week work placement to allow you to put your knowledge into practice. We also work with over 140 retail partners, who set our students live briefs throughout the course.

Think fashion management is right for you? Take the first step to your dream career and study with the Fashion Retail Academy.

If you have any more questions about any of the courses on offer at the Fashion Retail Academy, send us an email at info@fra.ac.uk. We’d love to hear from you!

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