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Can I make a career in fashion without getting a degree that is directly related to fashion?

I'm currently going into my sophomore year and I'm pursuing a degree in International Relations and History with a sequence in Data Science. While I do love these topics I am also really interested in working in the fashion industry. Perhaps going marketing or fashion writing, etc. I really want to learn more about possible jobs in the industry because I've always been passionate about fashion and clothing. #fashion #fashion-design #marketing


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John’s Answer

The fashion industry is also highly competitive Saneen.

You'll need to work hard and stand out from the crowd to make your fashionista dreams come true. But, with so many varied careers within the fashion industry, you're sure to find the perfect role to suit your personality and skills.

1.) FASHION EDITOR – Do you live for fashion and have excellent writing and editing skills? If so, you might consider combining your passion and abilities for a career as a fashion editor. This role generally involves supervising teams of writers and photographers to produce content for online and print publications, television, and radio. As with many high-paying jobs in the fashion industry, working as a fashion editor is a dream role for many people. If you're an aspiring editor, you'll need to gain years of experience as a fashion writer first. Many editors then work as editorial assistants for years before they are even considered for a fashion editor position.

A Bachelor's degree program which focuses on communication skills, as well as fashion expertise, is a must. Fashion journalism and fashion marketing are great examples. You'll also need to complete an internship to learn more about the industry and build a valuable network of contacts. As you progress to paid roles, you'll most likely start out as a contributing writer for magazines, websites or other media. You could also choose to be self-employed and start your own publication.

2.) FASHION ART DIRECTOR – Many fashion art directors work in the fashion industry as art directors for fashion magazines, fashion shows or fashion advertising campaigns. Art directors help create the visual style and design of these productions, which may require them to choose the layout of the magazine or fashion show stage, the photographs that will be used in the magazine or advertisements and other graphics or artwork that may be used. They may look over specific elements, such as design concepts, original or stock artwork, layouts and the stylistic components of written materials. They may also create budgets and deadlines, collaborate with other departments like copywriting or production and communicate with clients throughout the project's lifespan.

Fashion art director positions typically require a bachelor's degree in an art or design major such as fine art, visual communications or digital media. Depending on their industry, art directors may have several years of work experience in graphic design, photography, illustration or other fields. Some art directors pursue a master's degree in fine arts or business administration to prepare for a leadership role.

3.) FASHION MARKETING MANAGER – The role of fashion marketing manager combines advertising, marketing, and public relations. Fashion marketing managers work for boutiques or clothing companies to increase awareness of certain brands. They also track customer reactions to new products and brand initiatives. This allows them to see what works and what doesn't. As such, to excel in this position you need an excellent understanding of business and fashion, as well being digitally-minded.

Aspiring fashion marketing managers need at least a Bachelor's degree. Programs such as fashion marketing or fashion management are an ideal first step. And, some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree, such as a Master in Business Administration (MBA). As a role with high expectations and a high salary, aspiring fashion marketing managers also need at least five years' work experience to secure their dream role. As such, completing an internship is essential. This will give you an insight into the industry and help you work your way up from entry-level fashion marketing jobs.

4.) RETAIL FASHION BUYER – Buyers work with sales reps and designers to source and purchase retail stock before the new season. Buyers make buying decisions based on their consumers' preferences. But, they must also possess expert fashion knowledge to anticipate next season's trends. While your still in college you can prepare for a career as a buyer by working in an entry-level role in fashion retail. The clothing and accessories they purchase are then resold to consumers, and buyers help evaluate the quality of these products before resale. They also evaluate suppliers and work closely with suppliers to negotiate contracts and discuss various agreements, such as the delivery of products.

You can then learn more about retail buying by completing a bachelor's degree in retail management. Many degrees also include an internship program for extra insight into fashion retail. Securing a graduate role as an assistant buyer will offer you further, invaluable experience in forecasting and sales monitoring. You'll then be on track to secure a well-paid position as a fashion buyer. To stay one step ahead in the ever-changing fashion industry, it's a good idea to become a member of a trade organization, such as the National Retail Federation. These organizations also offer opportunities to gain professional certification.

5.) FASHION PURCHASING MANAGER – Purchasing managers are similar to wholesale and retail buyers and may specialize in the fashion industry. Purchasing managers also oversee complex procurement tasks, such as analyzing contracts and financial reports, and may review inventories and product performances to help guide their buyers toward specific items. As a Purchasing Manager you will also be responsible for sourcing equipment, goods and services and managing vendors. The successful candidate will be able to perform strategic procurement activities across multiple categories of spend, search for better deals and find more profitable suppliers.

A bachelor's degree program with an emphasis on both fashion and business is typically offered through a university or a college with a set of standard requirements, regardless of major. For this field, in particular, a demonstration of work experience or a portfolio may aid admission likelihood. The courses in fashion management and marketing degree programs focus on business strategies, principles of management, visual merchandising, and aspects of the fashion industry.

Fashion is not just about the glitz and the glamour Saneen. It’s also about empowering people of all genders and ages. Having a brand that aims to serve and help people find the right pieces that they are comfortable and beautiful in, allows you to impact the world positively.

Hope this was Helpful Saneen

Thank you so much, John! This was so helpful, I really appreciate it. Saneen K.

You are Welcome Saneen, It was my Pleasure. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible.” John Frick

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keng chon’s Answer

Hi, Saneen

In my point of view, the potential of fashion industry is full of surprises, as you are willing to pursue the degree in International Relations and Date Science, you might need to expend your social circles and people connections first, build up more relations with more people.

If you have extra time within your college, try to apply some jobs related to fashion such as design assistant, assistant buyer, fashion magazine intern, event assistant etc. As long as you started to explore more about the fashion path, you will find what is the most passion about in the fashion industry.

Also, keep your fashion senses up to dated, by understand difference brands' positioning and found out which brand's value will fit your vision.

Hope you can achieve your goal! :)

Thank you so much for your response! This is so helpful. Yeah, my main concern has been whether I should transfer to a school that offers more fashion-focused majors as mine really does not. Right now, I'm hoping that I can find opportunities to explore the path more... Saneen K.

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Kaitlyn’s Answer

Hi Saneen- Great question! I was also highly interested in pursuing a career in fashion, particularly fashion marketing and journalism, before deciding to major in finance. Obtaining a high-earning career in fashion is a combination of hard-work, experience, luck and networking! To answer your question, I think if you put your mind to it, you could absolutely become involved in the fashion industry without necessarily obtaining your degree in "fashion". What I would recommend is networking as much as possible and pursuing any experience to improve your resume, even if that might mean working for free for a little while. It only takes one person to recognize your hard work and passion and decide to give you a chance! I would actually advise you not to change your major/minor they are great areas with valuable skill sets that may either help you in the fashion industry and/or later on in life. Use those skills to differentiate yourself from other candidates and find how you can relate them to fashion in a way that will benefit, innovate, or improve an existing company, method, technique, etc.!

Thank you so much! It's good to know you think that because my school doesn't offer any fashion (or really any business), related majors. I really appreciate your feedback. Saneen K.

Of course! Happy to give my guidance. Good luck with everything! Kaitlyn Keeler

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Katie’s Answer

Hi Saneen- I would recommend trying to find an internship in the fashion industry. A great way to find an internship is through networking. The classes from your major/minor will help you stand out among other applicants.

Hi! Thank you so much for your response. I definitely will try to find an internship. Saneen K.

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Dennis’s Answer

Absolutely! Experience tops education any day. Often times you see people with degrees in unrelated areas working in something they're passionate about. What you study is not as important as getting real-world education through internships, mentorships, working (even part time) and exposure in the real world. A degree is important, yes... but it doesn't necessarily need to be related to what you want to do. Follow your passions and get as much practical knowledge as possible!! GOOD LUCK!

Thank you so much! I'll be sure to try to gain more experience. This eases my stress a lot!! Saneen K.

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Faith’s Answer

Hi, Saneen!

Why yes, the art of fashion world has a lot of things, a lot of creative things where ideas are unlimited. In this case, I would recommend to try pursuing a career in fashion by exploring and learning in the academy of fashion or have a meetup discussion with the same interest as yours with people who are also pursuing it :)

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Faith’s Answer

Hi, Saneen!

Why yes, the art of fashion world has a lot of things, a lot of creative things where ideas are unlimited. In this case, I would recommend to try pursuing a career in fashion by exploring and learning in the academy of fashion or have a meetup discussion with the same interest as yours with people who are also pursuing it :)

Thank you so much! I will make sure to do that! Saneen K.

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Casandra’s Answer

Hi,

You would definitely still be able to pivot - I would recommend marketing because you can really do a lot with that degree in the fashion world.

If you were still interested in international relations there are a lot of international marketing jobs running global campaigns etc.
I would recommend an internship or start looking at brands you like and their careers page, see what requirements they are asking for and what the day - to - day job description looks like.

xx

Thank you so much! The only problem I'm having is that my college doesn't have many majors like that. The closest I can really get is Economics. Do you think I should consider? Or consider transferring? Saneen K.

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Ereka’s Answer

I would use online resources to learn about fashion industry and see if you can get a certification.
I found two that may help:

https://www.onlinestudies.com/Certificate/Fashion/
https://misahyltonfashionacademy.com/

Thank you so much! I'll look into these! Saneen K.

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