For those of you who don’t know, I have just recently graduated with my BA in Fashion Design & Marketing from Istituto Marangoni London. Today, in hopes of making your life easier, I will be telling you about the different paths and areas of study in the fashion industry. So if you’re planning to take a short course, or considering applying to university sometime soon, this should help you to understand in which direction you would like to go.
I’ll start from the beginning.
October 2nd, 2017. My first day at university as a fashion student. I was confused, overdressed and my feet were hurting so badly. At the time I was enrolled in a course called: Fashion Business. However, it took a week to understand that something was not right. I needed more creativity and freedom, fewer numbers, and calculations. So just like that, in the second week of university, I decided to change my BA.
I think I rushed too fast into applying to a fashion school, I didn’t research enough, and I took some quick decisions in which I then had to change. What I eventually studied was a course that matched perfectly to my personality and fields of interest: Fashion Design & Marketing.
I am very happy about this change I made and I am proud of myself for listening to my gut feeling. With that being said, I admit that I was perhaps too irrational in applying for a course I did not know much about. So to help you with similar situations, let’s dive deep into 3 different sectors and make sure this doesn’t happen to you too.
Fashion study fields: Design, Marketing & Business.
Fashion Design. Being a fashion designer may seem like a very glamorous and desired position. In reality, it takes years to earn an actual design position and the process can be challenging.
As a design student, I was challenging myself on a daily basis. Each collection we built starts with a concept. Finding inspiration, playing with fabrics, choosing buttons, zips, sewing, developing on stand, approving garments, making alterations, choosing your lineup. The process is long, creative, and intense, I was asked to produce a lot more than I have imagined.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from designing was being confident. I learned that if I’m not confident about my vision and work, no one else will ever be. I’ve learned that if I wanted to convey a certain idea or message, I need to firmly support it using visuals like images, fabrics, and materials. I’ve learned that it’s OK to lose yourself in the process and that designing is a form of art, it doesn’t have to make sense.
I am not a fashion designer yet, and who knows if I will ever be.. But it’s a skill I use in everything I do still today.
Here’s some work I’ve done throughout my time at Marangoni:
Fashion Marketing. Marketing is a common and well-known term in many different fields, right? The reason is that, in order to sell, you need to market. Because marketing is everything.
In a way, if we look at a business model as a case study, fashion marketing could be defined as the bridge between the design department and the business department. So if you are a creative thinker that is seeking to build a career in the fashion industry, if you’re into social media then I would recommend seeking for courses/opportunity in the marketing direction!
Looking back at all my marketing classes (thanks to my amazing teacher Archana), I can personally say that the university experience has changed my perception in many ways. I understood that I could never launch my own fashion brand without a unique 360 marketing strategy. Marketing in fashion can be very creative and fun, but also complex and well planned -I need to research my audience carefully. I’ve learned that I would probably need to structure a 5 year plan, and think about financing. Marketing may not be as creative as design, but there is definitely room for a visions and creativity.
A good example of a marketing strategy, made by a huge fashion house: Gucci.
Gucci’s collaboration with THE NORTH FACE. A genius more that was announced approx 2 months prior to its release. In the months since the collaboration was announced, customers have been patiently waiting to get a first look, it made the collection feel more desirable, exclusive, unavailable. Which eventually drove sales to be higher than ever. This is what I call Marketing.
Buying & Merchandising
Fashion Business. To be honest, I had attended 2 classes of fashion business ad I’ve previously mentioned, it did not last much for me. But! I have a lot of friends who did go through this course so I am well aware of what it contains.
Fashion business is about management. There are many different subjects that you will learn if you are a fashion business student. Most of them become buyers or merchandisers. (A fashion buyer & merchandiser is someone who plans and selects garments and clothing ranges to sell in clothing stores and online. Before making their decisions, a buyer must consider factors such as customer demand, price points, and market trends.)
But more than most, fashion business could be an amazing field of study if you might be seeking a wider understanding of the industry from a functional point of view. This field is way more economic, and very essential for any fashion company. You can’t really have one without the other. Fashion business students learn how to structure a business, how to make it more cost-effective, how to reduce damaging the environment. How to stay relevant by keeping in line with macro trends, research competitors and their different activities, and so much more.
I would be more than happy to answer support or help out with any questions you might have, so please feel free to ask!