In everyone’s fashion journey, there will be a great deal of people within the fashion industry that you’ll get to meet or better yet, one or a few of them will be a role that YOU will have to perform to survive! Some will become your team members, but most likely, you will encounter at least 1 to 3 of them. Most of the types I listed here are self explanatory, but some I’ll give a very brief description of what they do to give you a little overview.
In no particular order, here is a list of 37 types of people in the fashion industry that you’ll get to meet or perhaps become:
1. Creative Director – This is one of the hats I took on unexpectedly when I was tapped to become one for a sportswear brand back in 2015. This person is responsible for the entire creative process and direction of a brand. This person you could say is the heart of the fashion brand.
2. Graphic and Web Designer – They design and develop concepts, graphic layouts for product illustrators, company logos and websites. They also review final layouts and suggest improvements on a product being developed.
3. Marketing Manager – In charge of showcasing your brand to the public. The public image of the brand depends on them too. They manage promotions and position the brand to sell it’s products. They attract customers for your brand.
4. Merchandiser – They are responsible for everything that happens to a product from the moment it is delivered to the store to the moment a shopper picks it up off the shelf.
5. Operations Manager – They formulate strategy to improve performance and ensure that the business compliance. They are great mentors to the team and is highly experienced. They find ways to increase quality of customer service and implement best practices across all levels in the business.
6. Illustrator – Painting and hand-drawing digital media to complete illustrations. They refine designs with illustration software.
7. Accessories Designer – They design bags, belts, scarves and other fashion accessories. They can also specialize in shoes, eyewear, jewelries and more.
8. Blogger – You’re reading an article from a blogger, dude. Bloggers generate, research and pitch ideas for posts for a brand. They write, edit, publish and promote content all at the same time. They even do ads, emails, social media and other methods to alert customers. I do a lot, huh?
9. Trend Forecaster – responsible for identifying new trends and predicting how those trends will shape a certain industry. This is all based on a trend forecasting agency such as the WGSN. They’re great at analyzing consumer data and coming up with recommendations based on those insights. I make sure to be good friends with at least 2 to 3 of them.
10. Textile Designer – Involved in coming up with innovative ideas and developing commercially appealing designs and prints for a variety of fabrics, clothing and even non-clothing materials like furnishing materials, industrial fabrics and other related materials that are natural and manmade fibers.
11. Bespoke Tailor – Responsible for constructing, altering, repairing or modifying garments for customers based on their specs, needs and preferences.
12. Sales Advisor – They assist the sales manager in leading, directing and motivating the sales team in order to achieve overall corporate sales objectives. Customer service is a key component as well including acquiring new customers.
13. Personal Shopper – They help customers make the best possible purchases by providing advice, guidance and great customer service. They also take care of a customer’s complaints and requests. They’re usually trusted with a high profile person’s credit cards for shopping the latest and best styles available.
14. Buyer – They are responsible for the planning, selecting and buying of merchandise for retail stores. They do market research, competitor analysis, product evaluations, testing and monitor purchase orders. They also create reports for the management team to study.
15. Fashion Designer – They design and assist with the production of merchandise, from clothing to accessories, identify trends, selects styles, fabrics, colors, prints and curates for an entire collection. They either do haute couture or Ready-To-Wear clothing. Contrary to public beliefs, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to be a fashion designer. I made a handful of successful collections for different brands that all sold out.
16. Fashion Design Instructors/Educators – They help aspiring designers learn the ins and outs of fashion. They help future designers navigate the high intensity world of fashion.
17. Sewing Technician – Responsible for conducting sewing machine, setup, troubleshooting, repairs and preventive maintenance on sewing equipments. Stitching types? Ask them.
18. Event and Show Producer – They supervise and coordinate all the aspects of an event or fashion show. They also help you develop concepts and ideas for the events, they oversee operations and direct staff as well.
19. Garment Technologist – They oversee every stage of garment production from design to manufacturing. They help choose the right fabric to be used and makes sure the production remains within budget. They’re close with the designers, pattern cutters and buyers.
20. Visual Merchandiser – Defining, designing and implementing a creative visual merchandising strategy for stores. They create those eye appealing and eye catching visual displays that you see in store window fronts, they store racks and the overall display look of all your products. They even choose which windows, signs, interior displays, lights, floor plans and promotional graphics you need to display. In other words, they have a great eye for the visually pleasing.
21. Sourcing Agent/Specialist – Assisting in effective and efficient material sourcing to save costs and maximize profitability. They are the best negotiators with suppliers to obtain goods, materials and services at the best prices. They also know how to get the best possible materials for high fashion brands when needed.
22. Pattern Maker – Skilled technicians who create the templates for mass produced products such as clothing, shoes and other accessories. They translate blueprints and design models into factory patterns using drafting software and/or freehand measurement techniques.
23. Distribution Manager – Sometimes called Logistics Managers too, they take care of coordinating the storage, transportation and delivery of goods from supplier, warehouse to stores. They also take care of stock maintenance.
24. Production Manager – Overseeing the production process of goods being manufactured. They plan and draw up a production schedule, decide on and order resources to ensure stock levels of a brand remain adequate.
25. Fashion Merchandiser – Responsible for overseeing the style design of garments and accessories in retail stores or fashion houses. They also help predict fashion trends and help implement store layouts, even collaborating with designers.
26. PR Agent – Fashion Public Relations Specialists help apparel companies and retail stores build and maintain favorable public image. They find creative ways to keep the company’s brand name in the public eye always.
27. Fashion Journalist – They write about clothing articulately for print and digital media. They attend fashion shows and study designer/celebrity fashion to pinpoint trends. They also conduct interviews with designers or research the industry.
28. Quality Control Inspector – They check for quality of course. Whatever comes in and out of a company’s production and warehouse passes through their eyes. They run tests, keeps a record of defects, analyzes products and oversee procedures are done correctly.
29. Hair Stylist/Artist – Designs and maintains hairstyles for models to remain in the trend.
30. Beauty and Makeup Artists – They visually transform people’s appearance via makeup and other accessories based on the application needed, from lighting, setting and physical facial features of the model.
31. Retail Manager – They run a store successfully by working on the shop’s floor, they are constantly in contact with their customers and that their staff provide the best customer service as well as monitor the financial performance of the store.
32. Fashion Model – They represent the brand and the designers by wearing their clothing and accessories in photo shoots, commercials and runway shows.
33. Model Agent – They act as liaisons between fashion models and their clients. They match models to jobs according to a particular look the client wants. They also continually scout for new models at public events, modeling contests or through go-sees, even through social media.
34. Showroom Representative – They work with manufacturers and/or designers offices, where they meet with visiting fashion buyers and show off the latest product line.
35. Stylist – They work for individuals, fashion houses and clothing brands. Responsibilities include providing fashion advice, coordinating outfits for models for various outputs. They help choose proper props too.
36. Editor – They decide on story ideas and themes, along with the editor-in-chief, to meet audience preferences. They work with photographers, models, makeup artists and costume designers and select photoshoot locations including layouts.
37. Photographer – Responsible for how clothing is represented in advertising campaigns, catalogues and fashion magazines. They work closely with designers and fashion houses to ensure desired images for the brand are met.
Some people focus or specialize on just 1 of these roles, while others such as I for example, have played out more than half of the roles out of necessity and cost savings as a fashion entrepreneur. Whatever your weaknesses are, make sure you strengthen them by working close with these types of people in the industry.
Did I miss out any important person in the fashion industry?
Question of the day: Which one are you or which one do you want to be known for in the industry?