If you think of a typical fashion job, you might see supermodels and stylists, or a designer constructing couture in some sleek studio. The reality is that the fashion industry encompasses a lot more than just going down the runway. Fashion is one of the largest industries in the world that earned an estimated $1.5 trillion in revenue in 2020 alone. As a result, there are many jobs in the industry that you might not ever have heard of! Here are 3 unexpected areas of the fashion and textiles industry that you might even consider for your future – or at least, remind you of how much is possible in such a large industry.
1. Fashion Forecaster
They’re similar to a weatherperson, but for style! A fashion forecaster predicts trends – everything from silhouettes, textures and the colours that will be in season soon. They tell companies what to start production on in order to be ahead of the curve. They may work for large trend forecasting agencies or small companies, and they analyze customer data as well as use their own creativity to figure out what’s coming next.
If you’re interested in becoming a fashion forecaster, employers prefer applicants with a degree in fashion and 5 to 7 years of industry experience in areas like marketing, retail or merchandising, according to Fashion Schools.com. If you’re interested in this career, garnering as much hands-on industry experience as you can is the way to go. Once you’re in as a salaried employee, fashion forecasting can be one of the most lucrative and interesting jobs in the industry.
2. Designing and researching uniforms (and other functional garments)
You may have never thought about what goes into designing a firefighter’s uniform, or even functional clothing for natural disaster survivors, but those in Canadian fashion academia have. If you’re curious, practical and innovative there’s no end to potential research in the fashion and textiles industry. To give you an idea of the surprising possibilities for functional fashion research, one of my friend’s favourite professors in her fashion program was the principal investigator for research into the uniform needs of liquor store employees in the province. Who would have thought? If fashion academic is your thing, consider becoming a research assistant or teacher’s assistant as a stepping stone to your desired career.
3. Fashion Lawyer
The business of fashion needs lawyers who understand the industry and the laws that affect it. That’s where fashion lawyers come in! From intellectual property to copyright, fashion lawyers cater to the niche needs of fashion companies and related industries. The Osgoode Fashion Law Society, established in 2017, is an organization dedicated to do just that, and help people combine their passions.
Even if there’s nothing on this list that you feel fits your specific dreams and aspirations, remember that there is endless opportunity for creativity and innovation within the fashion industry – just think outside of the box!
Feeling stuck in your career and like you have a lack of direction? We’ve got you! Book a 1 hour Virtual Caree Meeting with Style Nine to Five Founder, Christie Lohr. During your meeting you can discuss your next steps and get the competitive advantage you need to make your upward professional strides.
Emma Buchanan is a fourth-year journalism student at Ryerson University in Toronto who loves reporting on lifestyle, arts and communities.
Feature Image: Adobe Stock