Whether you’re looking for a career change or just starting out, landing a great fashion job is closer than you think.
Knowing what to specialise in is the first step. Next, you’ll need to look into whether you need qualifications or short courses to get you across the line. Then finally, finding that perfect job requires networking and searching through fashion-specific job boards.
Find a fashion job in 3 steps
The fashion industry in Australia relies on an army of talented people, from pattern makers to designers and merchandisers. Here’s how to start a career in this creative industry in 3 steps.
- First up, know which job is right for you.
- Invest in a fashion course.
- Pin down that job with these online job boards.
We’ve outlined these steps below to help get you started.
1. First up, know which job is right for you
The fashion industry is huge, with a multitude of jobs available to suite a range of skills and personalities. Here is a quick overview of just a few fashion industry jobs:
Merchandisers work closely with the buying team to make sure products appear in store, in the right quantities and at the right time.
You’ll need a good head for numbers and strong communication skills for this job.
Doing this well requires accurate forecasting and close monitoring of sales performance and promotions. Many employers will be looking for a degree qualification when hiring for this job.
Start by finding a fashion niche or category you love — shoes, swimwear, intimate apparel, etc. — and learn everything about it. Then get a job on a retail floor with an eye to working your way up to buyer’s assistant.
Production managers work with suppliers and retailers to make sure products are manufactured with the utmost quality while balancing the costs.
Production management requires some business study. Your best bet is to earn a fashion degree with a strong business component to it, such as Billy Blue’s Bachelor of Branded Fashion Design. Good production managers also have an interest in how things are made.
With the popularity of celebrity stylists like Rachel Zoe and TV shows like Queer Eye, stylist is definitely a profession on the rise.
Fashion stylists work for individuals, fashion houses and clothing brands. Their main responsibilities include providing fashion advice and coordinating outfits for models in photo shoots.
There are no formal qualifications needed to be a fashion stylist — just a keen eye for style.
PR is the bridge between a product and a retailer or consumer. PR reps are in charge of keeping a brand’s image pristine and making sure everybody is talking about it.
PR reps often have degrees in communications, marketing or business. Start with an entry-level position in a fashion house PR office.
If you love to write, then this is the perfect job for you. It’s exciting to report what’s happening in a field that never stops growing and changing.
To get a head start, consider a degree in journalism or creative writing. The Australian Writers’ Centre has some fantastic writing courses, including blogging and freelance writing, to help you to hone your writing skills.
2. Invest in a fashion course
There are very successful people working in fashion who didn’t gain formal qualifications in the field — Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, to name two. However, these world-famous designers are exceptions to the norm.
In Australia, the most popular fashion courses to look into are:
- UTS Design in Fashion and Textiles, on-campus in Sydney.
- RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles, on-campus in Melbourne.
- FBI Fashion College, on-campus in Sydney.
- AICD Fashion Design, on-campus in Brisbane, Gold Coast and via distance learning.
- Billy Blue College of Design, on-campus in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and via distance learning.
- Whitehouse Institute of Design, on-campus in Sydney and Melbourne.
Just remember that it’s the quality of your work, your persistence and personality that will win you a place in this fast-paced industry.
3. Pin down that job with these online job boards
When you’re ready to look for open fashion jobs in Australia, check out the following sites. They all come highly regarded in the industry.
This job search site is popular across the globe. All you have to do to start your search is type in a key term and preferred location like “fashion buyer in Sydney“. Subscribe to daily alerts to stay on top of job openings in your area.
This is the go-to job site in Australia across all industries. There are thousands of listings and company reviews, so you know which jobs to go after (and which to avoid). Includes career advice.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with more than 562 million users in more than 200 countries and territories.
Sign up to browse job listings, news, insights and updates from the people within your network. Start connecting with people who work in the fashion industry to build your network.
Who in the Zoo
These guys know what they’re talking about, having worked with the biggest fashion houses.
Who in the Zoo is a recruitment company dedicated to the creative and fashion field.
You can sign up as a candidate and have a chat with them about your career aspirations. They’ll give you honest and helpful feedback on what you need to do to further your fashion career.
Pro tip: Stylists, along with costumers, fashion designers and pattern makers typically use digital portfolios to show off their skills to employers. With an easy tool like WordPress Websites you simply upload high-resolution photos of your work, then add relevant details about your training and experience.
Let the journey begin
Still unsure of which direction to go? If you’re on the fence about which fashion job to go after (let’s face it, they all sound fab), we suggest talking to people in the industry.
Ask them about their personal stories, what they studied and any tips they’re willing to share. Talk to course providers and see what career advice they can provide specific to your skills and personality. Read plenty of fashion blogs and industry publications so you know what’s trending. Keep learning and looking for your place in the sun. Good luck!