The popularity of television shows like Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model has added even more glamour to the fashion industry, and many people are wondering if a fashion career is right for them.
A fashion career might be a good fit for you if you have the right combination of creativity and business acumen. The fashion industry isn’t based just on making sketches of beautiful clothes, which is why many people are surprised at the hard work that goes into getting a degree in either fashion design or fashion merchandising. The truth is, you can’t just be a designer. You also have to be a great business person, which is why four-year Bachelor’s degrees are becoming increasingly sought after in the fashion industry.
A Bachelor’s degree in either Fashion Design or Fashion Merchandising covers a wide range of skills that can be used in the industry whether you end up designing apparel, organizing fashion shows, coordinating events or managing your own chain of retail stores. The in-depth education you’ll receive will include hands-on courses as well as internships and classroom work taught by industry professionals and professors in disciplines such as accounting and business. As a fashion designer, you can’t succeed today on pure genius. If you can’t address the realities of cost and practicality, someone else will overtake you.
Typical coursework will include a variety of interesting subjects, including the history of fashion and how fashion impacts society. You will gain an understanding of fabrics, textiles and ornamentation, as well as cutting, sewing and pattern making. You will also gain valuable exposure to the growing field of computer assisted design (CAD). Fashion merchandising and sales, accounting, business management, business technology and accounting are also studied. Consumer behavior is focused upon, giving you valuable insight into how to appeal to your potential clients.
There are actually two popular Bachelor’s degrees available for those interested in the fashion industry. If you earn a degree in Fashion Design, you’ll be prepared to work in any design house. You can work your way up from the cutting floor to becoming a design assistant. And eventually, you will be a designer in your own right. You may also coordinate and plan fashion shows or become an events coordinator for fashion houses and department store chains.
With a degree in Fashion Merchandising, your focus will be more on the retail and marketing side of the industry. You can become a buyer for a retail store or private label fashion house, traveling around the world to watch fashion shows and choosing which lines they will carry in the coming year. Other options include becoming the merchandising coordinator in a particular store, designing the display of merchandise to its best advantage. Window dressers are also in demand in large cities, where high-end department stores compete for the title of “best dressed window”.