At the word "fashion" the mind makes an involuntary blow and starts contemplating the image of a model while she walks the catwalk proud in the spotlight, surrounded by glances concealed by large dark glasses. The work behind this image is immense, both at communication and marketing level and at the level of creation. The fashion industry is a wonderful world made up of artists, managers, creators, craftsmen and artisans. Can you be part of it? Of course, just figure out which direction to take. The rest is sweat and constancy!
In order to become part of the fashion world, in any area, some features are needed:
- To know very well the English language and also a second language.
- Being used at using technologies such as PCs and smartphones. Online communication is crucial in this area.
- To know the world of fashion, its history and its protagonists.
- To possess a good aesthetic design attitude.
There are work areas where certain skills are not required, such as the use of the English language or the in-depth knowledge of the field in which you are involved. In the fashion industry, however, there is no space for carelessness, everything must be in line with the ideals of professionalism, art, creativity and precision. This is one of the reasons that has made the fashion industry a real institution. Taking part is not impossible, you just have to roll your sleeves and study (see "Work and training: how to bridge the gap between skills and work experience").
But how many are the fashion professions? Much more than you can imagine. Let's start by saying that there are some professions that deal with more fields and are called cross-professions. As for the other, they can be grouped easily into three large groups:
- Product Section
- Communication Section
- Retail section
This figure is defined as transversal because it collaborates with many sections of the company to accomplish its business goals as well as the goals of the brand itself. His work revolves around the product and its image. In fact, this professional figure has the task of implementing accurate market research to define plans and objectives based on concrete data. Market research allows you to have a clear view of how the product is perceived by the public and how the various competitors behave. Based on the collected data, the Brand Manager will:
- Develop specific brand strategies.
- Develop a plan for launching new products.
- Collaborate with marketing departments for the planning and implementation of advertising and promotion campaigns.
- It will also have to cooperate and co-ordinate with production departments to optimize the brand plan.
Like the Brand Manager this figure is not limited to one job but it must be able to work on different aspects of marketing, ranging from promotion to products launch. The ultimate goal of the Marketing Manager is to bring the company to success, and to do this, it is necessary to have a constant work on both the image and the communication it proposes. The Marketing Manager must:
- Carry out market research to get to know the ideal customer, understand why and how it reacts to brand and marketing campaigns.
- Create marketing campaigns using collected data as well as organize the launch of new products on the market so that they are immediately competitive (eg, create expectation).
- Renew communication continuously so that it is always in line with the brand and seasonal trends.
- Cooperate with other company departments (Sales, Production) to better communicate the image of the company to its customers.
This is a newly formed managerial figure as it is still being broadcast, especially in Italy. Many companies are looking for this kind of professional figure, but why and what does this professional do?
The CSR Manager - where CSR means Corporate Social Responsibility - is primarily concerned with the sustainable side of companies. The green factor has become an integral part of today's society - we think of the electric revolution of the car or the growing use of organic and ecological beauty products - so all companies are forced to change their business habits so as not to "lose ground" . These professionals are therefore called upon to solve all the environmental and social issues associated with the company as well as implement strategies for the development of the territory the company is part of.
In this area we find all those professional figures that contribute to the research, creation and production of the product. Despite the diversity and complexity of each profession, their collaboration will be able to shed light on the stylist's ideas. Let's take a quick look at the main product areas.
- Merchandiser: It is about creating new collection guidelines. To do this, it has to conduct market research and thorough study on various Buyer Persona. He will have to work with various company figures such as the designer and the brand manager to create the right and effective collection grid.
- Creative Director: Not all of them are created by a single designer, fashion lines are entrusted to the creative director's supervision. His job is to organize and coordinate the work of various designers. Since there is not only one idea but many and different, it is crucial to have a professional who takes on the responsibility of choosing and placing order. The artistic side must always be present but amalgamated with the "statistical" given by the market analysis.
- Trend Researcher: The role of this professional is to look for trends not remaining behind a desk but traveling. The "cool hunter" must have a very distinct sense of judgment and art, so that it can bring value to the company with its own tips and discoveries.
- Designer: The designer is nothing other than the stylist, the one who creates the collections and the patterns on which to create clothing and accessories lines.
- Model maker: he takes care of translating designer sketches into dress. His tasks range from the creation of models, from the choice of fabrics to the type and effect desired by the designer, and from the creation of prototypes (which will then be viewed by the designer and his team).
- Product manager: monitors all phases of a product line and studies the marketplace to place it so that it generates profitability for the company and customer satisfaction.
- Production Direction: It coordinates all workers in the production department and manages the production program of the plant.
This section is fundamental to the fashion business's economy as it fulfills its sales task by generating profitability and contributes to increasing the company's brand identity.
- Sales Manager: Make sure that your business's business policies are implemented correctly and effectively. It keeps track of sales.
- Buyer: This is a very important figure especially in the fashion industry. Fashion Buyer is involved in purchasing clothing and accessories to be sold at the point of sale: they therefore have skills acquired in the fashion world on trends and styles as well as space and matching, as not all stores are of the same size and relevance.
- Area Manager: keeps track of the business situation in its area of expertise. It is therefore responsible for a certain area in terms of sales and profitability, and also becomes a reference subject for the submitters as a guide and motivator.
- Store Manager: He is the manager of a point of sale in particular and is responsible for managing staff, shifts, refilling the store and completing the company's monthly business goals.
- Retail Manager: collaborates with the Area Manager and with the Store Manager, to ensure that the various tasks are performed correctly. Its main job is to create a strategy in managing the reference market.
- Visual Merchandising: deals with the design of shops and outlets, both internally and externally. Very important in this area is the image that also retail outlets must be in line with the brand and reflect its mission. In addition, there is the seasonal factor that makes this work crucial to attracting potential new customers.
Communication has always been a founding pillar of the sales strategies of fashion houses. The ability of these great brands to be recognized as undisputed icons of fashion has certainly been made possible by the designer, the true soul of the company, but also by all the professionals who have been working since the very first moment of highlighting the brand quality.
Today the way of communication has also changed thanks to the new digital media, but the soul has remained the same. Let's see what are the main professions related to this area.
- Art Director: deals with the visual, graphic and communicative part of the promotional and advertising campaigns of the brand.
- Director of Communication: This professional figure organizes and directs all the communication operations that are undertaken and ensures that they are in line with the business objectives. In particular, he deals with: the activities of the press office, the activities related to the internet website and the social media marketing, the activities of graphics and publications. She works closely with the Marketing Manager.
- Social Media Manager: Studies, designs and implements ad hoc social media marketing strategy to establish a loyal relationship with the user.
- Web Designer: It deals both with the graphic aspect of the company's webpage and the image brand it has on the web in general (social media etc).
As you can imagine fashion professions are not all here. In this article, we have tried to make a quick overview of the most important, focusing on the new and emerging job opportunities that this industry is creating.
Nowadays we can certainly confirm the fact that fashion blogger has become a true profession: these subjects are defined as influencers by companies and are incredibly effective promotion tools. Using these fashion enthusiasts to advertise new collections, clothes or accessories is the result of the change from communication (not just rolled magazines) to the users of these products.