The fashion industry is an exciting field to be involved in and is driven by a workforce of passionate individuals who thrive in being at the cusp of the latest trends. Although the industry is typically design driven, job opportunities can also be found in admin, retail, buying, sales and marketing. Due to this diversity, employers will commonly develop relationships with recruitment agencies who can source the right staff for their needs.
UK fashion is a significant industry in the country's make-up and directly contributes around £26 billion to the national economy. Indirectly however, it also has a further economic impact of £20 billion through the encouraged spending of fields such as manufacturing, supply and wholesale. This value is supported by nearly 800K employees, with retail jobs being responsible for the majority of this contribution. Marketing, media and fashion education also generate significant income.
Additionally, tourism is a further beneficiary of a strong fashion sector that has seen London become one of the leading style capitals of the world. This 'brand' or 'image' leads to an influx of tourists every year who are attracted to events such as London Fashion Week and famous shopping destinations including Oxford Street, Covent Garden and Savile Row.
The vast majority of jobs in the fashion industry are based in London, and salaries here also tend to be higher than in other regions of the UK. Common positions can range from Textile Designer to Administrative Officer. For most junior positions, especially those in retail, salaries start at about £16K, however experienced and skilled professionals who have established themselves in the industry can potentially earn more than £80K. These salaries will typically be reserved for staff such as creative directors, art directors and senior buyers. Most, however, will earn salaries of between £20K-£30K.
In order to enter a fashion role, higher education is generally expected, however employers will also look for candidates with a creative flair and a drive to succeed. Although there will be specific courses for different areas of the industry, a general qualification in a fashion, design or textiles discipline is usually sufficient. The Arcadia Group and H&M are two of the fastest-growing employers in the industry, with the former well known for its graduate scheme that offers new entrants a viable route into the field. Other companies with graduate schemes include BHS, Matalan and NET-A-PORTER. Recruitment firms will also have access to an array of excellent of job opportunities for fashion candidates who are looking for a new career.