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A fashion career…seriously?


Louise Morley, Fashion Course Leader at the University’s School of Art gets serious about careers in Fashion.

Fashion? Hmm… "Frivolous, superficial, stuff dreams are made of. You can’t seriously be thinking of working in fashion? It’s not a ‘proper’ career. Besides, it’s too competitive. A dead-end course which will lead to a dead-end job."

Stop. Right. There.

These are just some of the responses that seem to spring to mind when students float the idea in front of their parents. Well, here’s the thing - the fashion industry is worth $3 trillion dollars globally. Small change? With a plethora of roles in fashion worldwide spanning luxury to high street, wholesale to retail, pop-ups to start-ups and retail to e-tail, opportunities seem endless in whichever business model you choose (no pun intended).

This business we call ‘fashion’ is part of our everyday lives. Think for a moment: what’s one of the first things you do in the morning? Well, unless you’re planning on strutting around in your birthday suit, here’s hoping you get dressed. For some, this is purely an act of practicality and function, after all clothes are a basic need. For others, it involves copious amounts of planning. 

Creative brains can stretch clothing’s functionality to make fashion trends, styles and looks. For many it’s all about self-expression. We can be whoever we want to be once enrobed in our favourite ensemble. Fashion is escapism. Fashion is aspirational. Yet fashion is very much a reality. Fashion has a global reach with so many interconnections it makes your mind boggle! And with that, comes opportunity.

You see, fashion is like an enormous jigsaw. To those in the know, a career in fashion doesn’t mean either one of two extremes - becoming a famous high-end fashion designer or working in your local shop. Much of the magic (and hard work) occurs during the process from concept to sale and beyond. There isn’t a crystal ball, but brands can make calculated guesses about what consumers will want – that’s part of the fun!

At the beginning of the cycle there’s trend prediction (yes that’s a real job), followed by design, product development, buying, merchandising, quality assurance, marketing, visual merchandising, selling and trading. Throw in daily problem solving, checking out the competition, building supplier relations, a whole heap of innovation and the chance to travel the globe, and you’ll see boredom has no place in this world where fast pace and energy rule.

And that’s not all. Right now, there’s a fashion revolution. Courtesy of lockdowns, technology and social media, we’re seeing concepts emerge and evolve, and boundaries being eradicated. Non-gender fashion has risen. TikTok worthy topics like subversive fashion bring virtual communities together. Influencers are in the driving seat. Brands must have sustainability at their core. Pre-loved fashion is in high demand because ‘slow fashion’ is cool. Meta and the virtual world are on the brink of transforming fashion business as we know it.

Fancy your own business? We’re now seeing more online fashion businesses emerge than ever before as the door flies open to reveal infinite room inside!

And there you have it - you have a whole world (real and virtual) to submerge yourself in. You’ll never see two days the same - It really is an industry that offers tonnes of diversity and a booming opportunity for you to carve your own path and make your mark.

So, a career in fashion? YASSS!

Check out our Fashion degree course here at the University.


For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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