LIM College

The LIM College Blog


Career Paths in Fashion

posted by Jessica Styles

It is important to research, explore and identify career paths in fashion that you like before making the plunge. Conducting informational interviews, shadowing, and interning are all great ways to explore career paths in fashion before jump starting or changing careers.


Photo taken by Fernando de Sousa

Read on for the main career functions in fashion and related industries:

Fashion Merchandising


  • Work closely with account executives and store managers to select the right merchandise that a particular store should sell
  • Execute department/division level marketing strategies
  • Partner with the business analyst to prepare monthly class forecasts
  • Travel nationally and internationally to stay current on global fashion trends
  • Stay abreast of costing, sourcing, and buying fabrics and trims
  • Develop and buy trend-right products based on established division or department strategies
  • Generate, develop, maintain, and document vendor relations and negotiations
  • Develop and support strategies and plans to maximize sales


Marketing Coordinator / Marketing Manager

  • Create retail marketing campaigns to drive store traffic
  • Manage and execute all aspects of executive marketing plans including in-store promotions, street fairs, local event sponsorships, etc.
  • Create and support initiatives relating to client services
  • Supervise the firm’s promotional activities, including advertising, design, identity, public/media relations, etc.
  • Develop and strengthen partnerships with national/international print and non-print media, local event coordinators, community movers and shakers
  • Ensure strong presence of product[s] for television news and special events
  • Provide public relations insight and expertise
  • Identify business development opportunities
  • Develop a cohesive marketing strategy for the organization
  • Exhibit entrepreneurial spirit


Merchandise Coordinator

  • Act as liaison between account representatives, buying offices, and store managers
  • Communicate current trends and perform competitive analysis of trends and customer preferences
  • Maintain current knowledge of customer lifestyles in order to understand market needs
  • Motivate sales associates thru frequent merchandise updates
  • Ensure prime real estate, product assortment, and appropriate standards and staffing for retail stores
  • Compile customer profiles, product requests, retail sales and merchandise needed to establish the ideal product assortment within the store
  • Create merchandising strategies to ensure product sell-thru


Personal Shopper

  • Exhibit strong interpersonal skills which reflect confidence
  • Service the customer by pre-selecting merchandise for a variety of clients
  • Show the consumer how to combine fashion items to enhance personal and/or professional images
  • Plan and manage a client’s wardrobe and purchases


Showroom Coordinator

  • Maintain visual presentation of showroom
  • Keep line organized
  • Maintain sample log for styles being borrowed


Beauty Business

Beauty Account Coordinator

  • Travel frequently for special and promotional events, as well as for trade shows and conferences
  • Plan and conduct cosmetics and/or fragrance special events
  • Interact with a diverse group of models, sales associates, retail executives, and customers
  • Hire and train employees in the beauty industry
  • Develop and implement procedures to monitor productivity and streamline internal processes


Beauty Advisor

  • Represent a cosmetic line in a department, specialty, or discount store
  • Provide customer consultation
  • Exhibit strong knowledge of the product line and individual item uses and benefits
  • Perform make-up and skin care demonstrations


Marketing Coordinator

  • Prepare written materials including website copy, annual reports, client profiles, proposals, brochures, email news alerts, press releases and other publications
  • Coordinate internal and external communications
  • Assist in the planning and executing strategies to the public and print and non-print media
  • Provide support to the marketing department and assist staff in developing and preparing marketing materials



Fashion Forecaster

  • Interpret and evaluate what is current and trend-setting internationally
  • Develop written fashion forecast reports for designers, retail and textile buyers
  • Predict long-range fashion trends
  • Act as an informational fashion resource for designers, buyers, and members of the press


Fashion Editor

  • Travel to fashion shows, presentations, video productions, catalog shoots around the world
  • Analyze the global fashion scene and interpret it for readers
  • Sample and select the fashion items that will be featured in articles
  • Determine the direction; set the tone; and control the quality of a publication’s content
  • Communicate frequently with designers, buyers, stylists, publicists, and other trend-setting professionals


Costume Design

Costume Designer

  • Create costumes for the theater, film, and television
  • Work closely with the Director and Producer to enhance their productions
  • Perform research analysis to authenticate fashions that represent the time period
  • Determine the selection of garments
  • Oversee model and actor fittings
  • Perform sketching duties
  • Develop the design concept for the project


Costumer / Film & Television

  • Shop retail stores, manufacturers plants, fashion designer studios to pull clothing from existing collections
  • Make certain that the models and actors are dressed appropriately for each shot / scene
  • Maintain wardrobe stock
  • Work on the set with models and actors


Wardrobe Stylist

  • Coordinate wardrobe to support and show off products or to enhance the film project
  • Trend research
  • Shop for clothes for commercials, tv projects, film, and private clients


Apparel Manufacturing


  • Produce a business plan
  • Secure funding
  • Own your own business
  • Define and drive the creative vision of your company
  • Establish successful business models and best practices to ensure success
  • Develop a reputation for excellence in fashion design and manufacturing
  • Create high visibility with an understanding of design, manufacturing, branding, retailing, product development and licensing
  • Work with all staff and independent contractors



  • Work with the design staff to develop and execute merchandising plans for a specific or multiple set of product lines
  • Develop a skill set that includes product development, seasonal calendar trend
  • etting strategies, company profitability tactics, and fashion planning
  • Analyze competitive wholesale and retail business
  • Develop seasonal merchandising plan
  • Maintain a high level of creativity


Sales Representative

  • Visit key stores to establish a one-on-one relationship with the retailer
  • Ensure stock is in a presentable condition
  • Set up Sales Events and new fashion deliveries following store manager directives
  • Provide consistent feedback and outstanding customer service to stores
  • Conduct seasonal training seminars for sales associates and store managers
  • Motivate store sales staff to sell the product[s]
  • Develop new business prospects
  • Interact with existing customers to increase sales of the organization’s products and/or services
  • Travel nationwide
  • Maintain fashion savvy knowledge of product


Showroom Manager

  • Organize designer’s / manufacturer's collections
  • Show the line to buyers, print and non-print media
  • Handle multiple accounts
  • Take inventory of the merchandise
  • Process orders
  • Motivate the sales force
  • Establish a strong working relationship with department and specialty store buyers
  • Present line to print and non-print media


Visual Communication

Fashion Director

  • Work with sales directors to market and give presentations to retailers and clothing manufacturers
  • Provide design direction to design teams of multiple brands
  • Ensure a creative and inspirational awareness of market trends of fabrics, colors, silhouettes, and styling
  • Provide information reports and strategic planning to Senior Management
  • Exhibit exemplary people management and interpersonal skills
  • Travel extensively


Event Coordinator

  • Conceive, plan, develop, and coordinate all aspects of events
  • Execute precision and detail orientation from pre-event activities to post-event follow up
  • Interact with a variety of independent contractors such as caterers, prop houses, publications departments, celebrity agents, etc.
  • Handle logistics for print and non-print media, celebrity appearances, internal and external guests


Fashion Show Coordinator

  • Produce and direct live and video fashion shows
  • Develop fashion show concept; design storyboards; write script; determine music needs
  • Conduct auditions and fitting with models
  • Choreograph entire show including staging, music, and lighting
  • Participate in all promotional activities duties and functions


Public Relations Coordinator

  • Conceptualize and direct public relations and tradeshow activities
  • Direct and implements a company’s public relation strategies
  • Arrange tours, set up appointments for new product introductions, and follow up on day-to-day activities of events and promotions
  • Develop close relationships with print and non-print media representatives
  • Generate positive publicity to enhance the reputation of the client[s]
  • Provide news for the mass media journalists, as well as independent contractors
  • Manage media relations, announcements, editorial placement, and speaking engagements
  • Write press releases; hire models; book photographers
  • Handle requests for information and interviews
  • Create and develop special events programs
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously



  • Organize and direct fashion show productions
  • Work with the Advertising Department to select the appropriate props to be used in photos
  • Strategize with Special Events personnel to select fashions and accessories to be used in videos, tv, movies and live performances
  • Prepare fashion merchandise for photographic representation using print or non-print media
  • Coordinate wardrobe for personal clients, celebrities, and models


Product Development


  • Plan product categories
  • Determine the merchandising budget and set sales goals
  • Establish markup targets and potential profitability
  • Plan and direct all aspects of an organization’s product development policies, objectives, and initiatives
  • Research new products, product enhancements, and product redesigns
  • Evaluate the potential and practicality of products in development
  • Determine the quality level and price points for the goods to be carried
  • Provide information reports and strategic planning to Senior Management


Product Designer / Product Specialist

  • Participate in the conceptual development of all product lines
  • Provide direction for color, silhouette, fabric and trim stories
  • Maintain responsibility for the entire product design process including market research, mood board creation, design processes, sketching, specing, and fit
  • Recommend seasonal themes; edit lines; develop innovative concepts
  • Research global markets in order to identify trends, fabrics, and techniques
  • Develop products from research to production to distribution to presentation and finally to the customer…for acceptance
  • Assess the competition and plan for future product lines
  • Strengthen the brand


Product Manager

  • Utilize your creative problem solving techniques
  • Determine effective and efficient methods of mass producing garments
  • Maintain knowledge of the global fashion markets and international trade
  • Develop marketing, creative and product direction
  • Identify new products and vendors
  • Manage, develop, and implement product management activities to maximize sales of an assigned product line
  • Manage the product development process from concept through introduction
  • Conduct ongoing market research and identify new product extensions and new line development opportunities
  • Follow up with vendors on all details and timelines, both domestic and overseas
  • Provide information reports and strategic planning to Senior Management


Showroom Manager

  • Provide information reports and strategic planning to Senior Management
  • Organize designer’s / manufacturer's collections
  • Show the line to buyers, print and non-print media
  • Handle multiple accounts
  • Take inventory of the merchandise
  • Process orders
  • Motivate the sales force
  • Establish a strong working relationship with department and specialty store buyers


Information from:

- Jessica Styles, Career Advisor

Topics: fashion careers, Student Advice, Career Services