When it comes to careers in fashion, there are a myriad of choices for those who want to claim their place in the fashion scene without becoming designers. Whether the retail, media, or public relations aspects appeal to you, a career in fashion marketing can take you where you want to go. As a fashion marketer, you can take on a wide variety of duties related to branding, sales, promotions, customer relations and event planning. These careers are great for social butterflies who want to share their passion for the fashion industry with the world.
What is fashion marketing anyway?
As in any industry, marketing is key to the success of all fashion businesses. Both retail outlets and design houses hire marketing teams to manage their brands, plan events, set retail store layouts and work with customers. Being a fashion marketer is all about supporting the work of designers and fashion brands by showing the latest and greatest in fashion to consumers and retail stores.
Professionals who work in this field know how to conduct consumer research, measure the popularity of new trends, and design marketing campaigns that bring big results. Of course, not all fashion marketers work for huge design houses or major stores. Because marketing is essential at every level of the fashion industry, many people in this field also work for smaller boutiques and individual fashion designers.
Marketing career paths for fashion pros
One of the most exciting aspects of a marketing career is the multitude of options it affords. Instead of being confined to one type of job, fashion marketers can take on many different responsibilities. Picking an area of focus is all about deciding which of the following positions meet your talents, skills, and professional goals. Remember that the following are popular positions in the fashion field, but they're not the only careers in fashion marketing by a long shot!
Merchandise Coordinator. Merchandise coordinators are responsible for managing a brand's products in retail outlets. They may simply set up display designs and priorities to be shared with visual merchandisers in other stores, or they may be responsible for setting up displays on their own. Depending on the size of the company, merchandise coordinators may also be expected to do some online brand management such as social media marketing and photo uploads to company websites.
Retail Manager. Retail outlets make up the biggest sector in the fashion industry, and management jobs in such outlets tend to employ experienced fashion marketers. Those students who are just completing a fashion degree program may be prepared to enter the workforce as assistant managers while those with more on-the-ground experience may be able to win store or regional management positions. These professionals are responsible for overseeing every aspect of a retail store's operations from merchandising to staffing to brand management.
Buyer. No matter the size of the retail outlet, fashion businesses rely on buyers to hunt down the season's latest trends, negotiate purchase prices, and choose merchandise for a store. Large retail outlets generally have a team of buyers, and each buyer may be responsible only for certain items. For instance, there may be separate buyers for women's wear, men's wear, and accessories. Smaller retail outlets generally employ only one buyer or require managers to handle buyer duties. Buyers are responsible for not only understanding current trends but also for introducing them to consumers.
Sales and Events Promoter. Special events and sales provide a key way for businesses to get the word out about breaking trends and attract new consumers. While some fashion companies may use a freelance event planner to manage events, others prefer to hire professionals who have industry-specific experience.
Merchandise Planner. Also known as visual planners or visual merchandisers, merchandise planners are responsible for designing displays in retail stores. They decide how clothing and accessories will be displayed on tables, stands and racks. Depending on where they work, merchandise planners may also be responsible for ensuring that their store is following any company-wide visual display standards or planograms.
Media Planner/Buyer. Digital and online marketing are just as important to today's fashion businesses as in-person marketing is in retail stores. Media planners and buyers are responsible for designing a media marketing program and buying space in print publications, online outlets and on other media such as billboards in order to advertise or promote a company’s products. Professionals in these roles are responsible both for planning and budgeting, so a solid understanding of business finance is key.
Is a fashion marketing career right for you?
Marketing careers offer one of the most promising means of entering the fashion industry. Thanks to the many different hats that fashion marketers can wear, both new and seasoned professionals can pursue a wide variety of job roles that meet their educational accomplishments and personal preferences.
If you're considering a career as a fashion marketer, remember that it's essential that you enjoy working with people. You'll spend a great deal of time interacting with company leaders, fashion industry insiders and consumers as you plan, launch, and manage marketing campaigns.
Careers in marketing are also desirable for those who want to eventually own their own fashion businesses. A solid foundation in marketing provides the knowledge needed to launch a brand or consulting service. Learn more about fashion marketing and the programs available in this area today!