The fashion industry is vast and dynamic. It requires all sorts of expertise to present the final product, even after the final product has been presented, we need another team of experts to get it out to market and make it look amazing. Technological advancement and the need to keep up with the latest trends, has helped create a number of different areas of expertise that fuel the fast turning wheel of fashion. There are a wide variety jobs, I will only be covering the ones that are relevant to the South African growing Fashion industry.
A trend forecaster focuses on upcoming trends. They gather information on colours, textiles, prints, accessories, footwear etc. They put together a report on what will be on the runways, which will intern influence what we will see in retailers. Big fashion houses and retail chains have a forecasting department as the starting point for seasonal fashion direction.
Merchandise planners are responsible for controlling product. They plan their merchandise according to budgets allocated. Once they have all the information form the forecasters, they allocate a budget for which the retailer will use towards their seasonal production lines. They work closely with buyers, and offer a guideline for buyers to follow when on their buying trips.
Buyers determine what items will be stocked in the retail space. They work closely with designers and manufactures. Buyers attend trade events, fashion shows and wholesale showrooms. They are basically responsible for putting together the seasons range of products for a retailer or retail space. Buyers travel extensively so be prepared to be away from home most times of the year.
Know as VM, they are responsible for the floor plan of a retail space, and the 3 dimensional displays to maximize sales. VM aim to display merchandise in such a way that customers are enticed and have full view of whats on offer. They make sure that the window display is optimized to attract passer bys, and work hard at changing the store lay out ever so often to keep things fresh and dynamic. VM is a physically demanding job, so be prepared to lift mannequins and store props around.
Writing about fashion used to the job of fashions elite club of ‘it girls’, however things have changed. If you studied journalism you can specialize in fashion writing. We live in the times of 1001 fashion blogs, if you are great at researching and coming up with innovative topics, you can freelance for a publications or have your own fashion blog.
Personal styling is a huge part of the fashion industry. Some individuals need fashion guidance when it comes to their personal style. Wardrobe consultants, stylists and personal shoppers do a great job. They help come up with a style that suites a specific individual and help find those particular items to put the look together on a daily basis.
STREET STYLE PHOTOGRAPHER
Street fashion is a real commodity, these photographers document street style on a daily basis, because fashion never sleeps! Publications, fashion houses, marketers buy these images an use them as resource. Street photographers need to have the ability to work fast, because fashionistas are on the move and off to their next destination. Street fashion photographers have the street as their backdrop and use their ability to recognize personal style from a mile away.