In order to make the fashion world go 'round, there are many aspects, roles, and careers to the industry. So many, in fact, that there are probably a bunch of fashion jobs you never knew existed. After going to college, studying fashion, having a fashion-related internship or reading, and studying a lot about the industry, there surely isn't any more about the fashion world to learn.
Not everyone can be Eva Chen or Leandra Medine. Turns out, there are quite a few jobs in the industry that are so crucial to making the fashion world go round. Real talk: Breaking into the fashion industry is hard. It's very difficult to get noticed, and as soon as you actually get inside, you're not going to want to leave for a while. These jobs, since they're less in the spotlight, are ever so slightly easier to find openings for.
Apart from general odd jobs that exist in the world, these are focused directly on fashion and beauty. Between being a part of runway shows or unconventionally writing about fashion, consider these jobs before your first fashion class or, if it's not too late, choosing your major.
1. Fashion Forecaster
Predicting upcoming fashion trends is actually a career. According to Style.com, a forecasting company named K-Hole is credited for forecasting the Normcore trend we saw in celebrities this past fall. It's more difficult than the title sounds, however. Unfortunately, it's not at all like sipping coffee with designers and artists talking about what people are liking/disliking. The trend forecasting is based on science, looking into how people think and shop. It also involved a lot of cutting out models and glueing them onto mood boards.
Responsibilities: Predict what people will be wearing next season. Offer advice to designers on what to curate as well advising business what clothes they're going to want in their stores. Additionally, predict what trends are moving out, moving in, and how people will be shopping.
2. Fabric Librarian
Ooh, doesn't this title just sound so hip? Fabric librarian is actually a popular job for those just starting out in the fashion world. Not only does it make you more familiar with fabrics, it also provides great contacts to companies who use the fabric, like designers and fashion houses. Usually a degree in fashion and/or textiles is required, however. According to Fashion Schools' website, library technician experience is also accepted.
Responsibilities: Keep data on what fabrics have been used in the past by certain manufacturers and designers. Know information about fibers (yarn, brand, demographic, type) to create a resource list. Organize and send out samples.
3. Wrinkle Chaser
After buying the excitement of buying a new pair of shoes wears off, do you ever wonder how the fabric on stilettos always looks immaculate (well, maybe until the thirtieth wear)? You can thank the wrinkle chasers of the world. It's their job to make sure the fabric on shoes, bags and accessories are wrinkle-free.
Responsibility: Use a special iron on delicate fabrics and be thorough in erasing all wrinkles after they arrive from the factory, and before shipping to stores.
4. Closet Organizer
It may not be a full-time career, but it is a job to organize someone, or a company's, fashion closet. In fact, it may be my dream job. Some complaints may be that the job is "methodological," but it's important to develop a system of how you organize closets, especially if you plan on hoarding all those free clothes. Plus, you will be able to work with a lot of great contacts and many people. Most importantly, it is their closet, so you can develop different systems of organization.
Responsibilities: Develop an organization system. Organize closets based on a person's personality and their vision for their closet. Know what is in trend and what people will no longer be wearing. Be flexible with other's hours.
5. Fit Model
Being a fit model is just a little different from a supermodel. Instead of walking the runway, you will visit designer's stores or company to try on the clothes they curated. You will help designers see how their garments look on different types of body shapes. Think of it as a supermodel for ready-to-wear clothes, instead of fashion week.
Responsibilities: Be comfortable trying on multiple clothes in one day. Give your honest opinion about how each garment fits on you. Have knowledge about how garments should fit and why stitching, sizing, and shapes are making it work or not work for your body.
6. Personal Shopper
This job is not really a secret, but I was surprised to learn that it is still around. There are a few variations of this particular career: You could be a personal shopper for someone or a boutique. Or, you could be a secret shopper, working for a company to rate how retail store are with customer service, cleanliness, and overall products. In each situation, it's important to have a sense of a type of style you're shopping and stay within budget provided by your employer.
Responsibilities: Have knowledge of current trends. Stay in a budget given to you by an employer. Keep up on trends so your company can have the latest styles. Offer advice of how to wear certain pieces, and sometimes pre-pair the pieces for the employer. Offer an honest, un-biased review of retail stores.
7. Runway Technician
If you love fashion and love technology, then this job is for you — and is in high demand. The job of runway technicians are exactly what it sounds like: doing technical things for runway shows (and that sentence shows how much I know about sound and lighting equipment). A runway technician can range from scenographers to sound, music, and lighting technician during the show. This is no entry-level position. A technician has a lot of responsibility and can literally set the mood or ruin the show. But no pressure.
Responsibilities: Have knowledge and much practice into the particular technological facet you are working (camera, videographer, sound technician, etc.) Be flexible on hours. Come with ideas to make the show memorable. Follow direction well.
This is the ultimate invitation into the fashion world. Being a stand-in is like being the understudy in the school play. You may not have been chosen first, but you were asked to be available in case you need to play the main role. AND NOW YOU DO. Being a model understudy is actually a career, probably best suited for those who either have flexible schedules or lots of practice being selected last for sporting teams. When you stand in enough for photoshoots or runway shows, you can rise up enough to be chosen first, just like if you were to practice softball more in fifth grade.
Responsibilities: Runway, modeling, styling, or makeup experience. Flexible hours.
9. Sustainability Expert
A fair trade tee from Helpsy.
In contrast to standing outside of runway shows and protesting not-so-eco-friendly-products, you can be a part of making those products eco-friendly from conception. Companies need help realizing what is eco- or fair-trade friendly. Again, not an entry-level position.
Responsibilities: Research into fair-trade and/or eco-friendly products, sciences, garments, textiles, etc.
10. Online Stylist
A pretty website makes you want to buy all the clothes, right? Online stylists are required to help conceptualize products on retail websites as well as styling a few pieces together. Stylists now compute data and information on products to be sold online. More and more, these positions must actually be available to "chat" with shoppers.
Responsibilities: Must be computer-savvy. Able to chat with shoppers in a friendly-manner. Knowledge of CMS and HTML. Able to compute data into a computer. Styling experience. Photography.
11. Fashion Colorist
As a fashion colorist, it will be your responsibility to differentiate and explain the difference between macaroni and mustard yellows. Determining the shades and hues of certain colors can be hard, but fabric colorists are experts on the varying colors. Along with differentiating hues, it is their responsibility to come up with new ones as well. According to The Fashion School, in some cases, a designer will have a color in mind, and it will be up to the fashion colorist to actually make it exist.
Responsibilities: Knowledge of RGB and CMYK and how to mix them. Follow direction well. Test different colors without wasting them. Offer advice on what colors are for certain brands, styles, or garments.
Images: McKay Savage/Flickr; jovannig/Fotolia; Helpsy.com; Getty (8)