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Which fashion industry role is right for you?

So, you want to work in fashion. But with so many different sectors of the industry, how do you know which role is right for you?

To help you figure that out, we’ve put together this guide looking at some of the main careers in the fashion industry. From merchandising and buying to garment tech and design, find out which job you might suit best.

Fashion Buyer

The lowdown

It’s a buyer’s responsibility to purchase specific products for a brand. They’ll work closely with merchandisers to make sure the right stock reaches the right place, at the right time. The key to being a successful buyer is to know the brand you’re buying for inside-out. The products you choose will depend on your customer demographic, the values and aesthetic of the brand, and any budget constraints. To decide on the direction for a new season, buyers are also responsible for analysing past seasons for what sold best, and what didn’t.

The skills

Buyers need to be constantly up-to-date with the latest trends and have an in-depth knowledge of the fashion industry. You’ll be involved with stock management and analysis of sales performance, so a head for numbers also helps. While negotiating deals and visiting suppliers, you’ll need to be clear, confident and good at teamwork.

Interested in buying? Check out our Level 4 diplomas and undergraduate degrees in buying at the FRA.


The lowdown

Merchandisers are responsible for making sure the right product gets to the right customer. They control stock distribution both online and throughout a brand’s stores. Merchandisers are also in charge of planning promotions, and undertaking competitor analysis to find out what’s going on throughout the market.

The skills

Merchandisers need to accurately forecast fashion trends, so plenty of industry insight is a must. Ultimately, merchandisers maximise the profits for a brand. They need to be quick thinkers who can see the big picture but still hone in on the small details. When it comes to studying trends and competitor performance, an analytical mind is a plus.

Interested in merchandising? Check out our Level 4 diplomas and undergraduate degrees in merchandising at the FRA.

Visual Merchandiser

The lowdown

Visual merchandisers decide how products are going to be displayed to maximise sales; online, on social media and in physical shops. They create eye-catching window displays to entice shoppers into stores and arrange the order of items on the shop floor. These decisions will be impacted by things like seasonality, current trends and brand aesthetic.

The skills

Visual merchandisers, also called VMs, should be creative and inventive. You’ll understand the wider marketplace and current trends, and good communication skills will help you share your ideas. Displays may need to change at short notice, so VMs need to be strong in a team and good under pressure too.

Learn more about our visual merchandising courses at the FRA.

Digital Marketer

The lowdown

As more brands improve their online presence, digital marketers have never been so in demand! There’s a whole host of jobs available within the digital fashion sector, from content executives who manage websites to social media assistants running the Instagram and Twitter accounts. You might find yourself working with bloggers and journalists, or coding behind the scenes to create a new app. Working in digital is exciting and fast-paced, with responsibilities changing all the time.

The skills

If you want to work in digital, you’ll need a good understanding of the online landscape and current trends. You’ll know how to speak to consumers on social media, and how to get the attention of your brand’s target audience. You’ll also need strong IT skills and a hefty dose of creativity to design social media campaigns and website graphics.

Interested in digital marketing? Take a look at our digital marketing courses and diplomas at the FRA.

Garment Technologist

The lowdown

Garment technologists are in charge of making garments the best they can be. This means advising on fabric choices, making sure the right construction methods are used and getting everything finished on time and within budget. To do this, they’ll suggest suitable changes to designs, and support the design team from their initial idea through to manufacturing. They’ll also oversee the fitting process, conducting multiple fitting sessions throughout the garment’s lifecycle to make sure the shape is correct.

The skills

Garment technologists need a fantastic eye for detail. They can see what’s working and what isn’t early on, preventing any manufacturing issues later down the line. Working with textiles is key, so you should have a good knowledge of different fabrics and what works best for which products. Creativity and confidence are also important; you might need to offer feedback to designers on changes needed to their work.

If you like the sound of working in garment technology, find out more about our courses and diplomas.

Starting your career in fashion

Whether you’d like to spend your time designing products or marketing them, the FRA offers a wide range of courses to help you take the first step in your fashion career! At our central London campus, we offer diplomas and degrees which teach you all the skills you’ll need to succeed. We also give you real-world experience and industry contacts, putting you head-and-shoulders above the competition.

Visit the website to find out more!

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