Turn Your Fashion Hobby into a Career|Turn Your Fashion Hobby into a Career

Turn Your Fashion Hobby into a Career

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Putting together a stunning outfit is harder than it looks! If you have a flair for fashion and are the trendsetter in your community, you may be on track for a career in this dynamic industry.

Glamorous, but Hard Work
The fashion industry is without a doubt considered one of the most glamorous industries to work in. However, getting a foot in the door is tough, and once you're in you can expect to work very hard to build a career. Earning an associate or bachelor's degree from an art or design school can boost your chances for landing a job. Depending upon your interest, you may choose to earn a degree in fashion design, fashion merchandising, or fashion marketing.

Fashion Design
As a fashion designer, you'll use your creativity and vision to set the tone for what people will wear each season. You'll need to have strong observational skills and knowledge of textiles, as well as a good eye for color, style, and shape. You'll also need to understand the fashion needs of your target demographic. Whether you choose to work for a company or launch your own clothing line, you'll benefit from learning about marketing and business. Expect to pay your dues working as an assistant for another designer before striking out on your own. Courses at design or art school may include textiles, sewing techniques, fashion history, and pattern making. Your portfolio will be crucial to landing jobs.

Fashion Merchandising: The Management Track
Fashion merchandising requires knowledge of advertising, marketing, and retail strategies. It's important to be able to stay abreast of customer preferences and make buying decisions based upon them. People with fashion merchandising degrees may find management positions at clothing manufacturers, retailers, or distributors. Choosing the right merchandise to buy is important, as is communicating with others in the fashion industry. You can use a fashion merchandising degree to get a job as a store manager, product developer, fashion advertising agent, or fashion event planner.

Fashion Marketing
A good fashion marketing program will teach you to take a design or product from concept to completion. Business knowledge is crucial in this area. Courses in fashion marketing may focus on merchandising strategies, product development, consumer behavior, management skills, advertising, and promotion. Getting an internship can help build a resume. By putting together a portfolio, you'll boost your chances for getting a foot in the door of a fashion marketing or merchandising career.

Fashion is a competitive field and some jobs have somewhat low pay, so it may take a while to increase your earnings. According to the Princeton Review, the average starting salary for fashion designers is $35,550.

Sources
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Fashion Merchandising Schools & Colleges
Princeton Review

About the Author
Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Financial Makeover: A Practical Guide for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.

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