Stylish Careers – A Look at Interesting Jobs in the Fashion Industry
As an art school student, you know that anyone who believes that being fashionable is effortless probably doesn’t have very good style. It takes a lot of effort to keep up with the latest fashion trends, but even more work is involved when you’re responsible for making style happen for others.
Many different people behind the scenes of the fashion industry are dedicated to keeping the public stylish. They have jobs like fashion designer, showroom assistant, public relations manager, fashion buyer, and patternmaker, just to name a few.
Fashion Designers Define Style
Fashion designer, Tammy Apostol got her start by opening her own studio in Miami Beach, after graduating from college. She designed both casual, trendy pieces for local boutiques and custom made-to-order creations for individuals.
“Soon after this, I started to design and produce couture collections under my own label and for other designers,” Apostol says.
Apostol says that everyday is different in her job as a fashion designer.
“Some days are ‘atelier’ [workshop] days. I have to check in with seamstresses, [and] confirm that the quality of the fabric and the construction meet the design specifications,” Apostol says. “Other days are more client and fitting oriented, and others are a mix of everything with business and socializing in between.”
Apostol says that one of the things she enjoys most about her job is that there is never a dull day. She also appreciates the opportunities she has to meet many amazing people through her work.
“I feel fortunate to do what I do as a designer because I am truly passionate about fashion and designing,” Apostol says. “As a business owner, not only do I have to be creative designing, but I have to find creative solutions to business situations.”
Apostol, is also a Fashion instructor at the Miami International University of Art and Design, and serves as a board member of The Fashion Group International, which she enjoys because it allows her to contribute to the fashion industry in the South Florida region.
Apostol advises aspiring fashion designers to ask for guidance when working on their lines.
“Advice from the experienced professionals is priceless, always seek it,” Apostol says.
Make a Career of Keeping People Stylish
Professional stylist, Kami Gray got her start by doing many jobs for free or very low pay.
“I did many menial tasks with a smile and a can-do attitude and eventually got noticed, which led to paying gigs,” says Gray a 2002 Apparel Design graduate of The Art Institute of Portland.
Gray initially aspired to be a costume designer, but found that she preferred the variety of work that comes with the shorter projects allowed by a career in wardrobe and personal styling.
“The personal styling work I do is so rewarding and transformative as I work one-on-one with clients helping them improve their appearance and confidence,” Gray says.
Whether she’s styling for a television commercial or a personal styling client, Gray enjoys creating different characters with the stylish looks she creates.
“I don't believe in restrictive style rules, being on trend, or limiting certain colors,” says Gray who is also a Fashion instructor at The Art Institute of Portland. “I design in a more-customized, case-by-case way and make sure every ‘character’ is unique and that their wardrobe is ideally suited to their personality.”
Gray has also used her talents to give back, volunteering as a personal stylist for Dress for Success.
She says this experience was one of the most rewarding projects that she has worked on.
“Sure, it was just their wardrobe, but to them it was a huge gift, and for me, it was also a huge gift to work with each and every one of them,” Gray says.