Fashion Job Titles and Descriptions

Titles, Job Descriptions and Skills in the Fashion Industry

Fashion model
••• Jim Jordan / Stone / Getty Images

People working in fashion perform a variety of tasks. Those who work in fashion design might analyze trends in clothing, shoes, and accessories. They might choose design concepts. They might use computer-aided design programs to develop designs.

People who work in fashion marketing might visit retailers and convince them to buy certain clothing lines. Those involved in visual design might create photo spreads for fashion magazines and newspapers.

People working in fashion can work for a variety of organizations. Some are employed by clothing, shoe, or accessory manufacturers. Others work for design firms, wholesalers, theaters, or dance companies. Some work for fashion magazines.

If you are interested in fashion but don’t know what specific career you might want, check out this list of fashion job titles. You might also use this list to encourage your employer to change the title of your position to fit your responsibilities better.

Also use the list of fashion skills when writing your resumescover letters, and interviews. Include some of these skills in your job materials to demonstrate that you have the skills it takes to succeed in the fashion industry.

Most Common Fashion Job Titles

 Art Director
An art director is responsible for the visual styling of a particular product. An art director in the fashion industry might work for a fashion magazine, a public relations firm, or a retailer. They have to be very creative and have a sense of what images will help sell a product.

  • Commercial Photographer
  • Creative Director
  • Display Designer
  • Editorial Photographer
  • Graphic Artist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Graphic Production Artist
  • Studio Photographer
  • Window Stylist

Buyer/Purchasing Agent
Buyers and purchasing agents select clothing, shoes, and/or accessories from clothing manufacturers and wholesalers to sell in retail stores. They work for retail fashion and department stores, selecting items they think will be attractive to customers. Buyers and purchasing agents typically have to travel a lot, visiting manufacturing sites and attending fashion shows. They often have degrees in fashion, marketing, and/or business.

  • Account Executive
  • Apparel Production Coordinator
  • Area Brand Coordinator
  • Assistant Buyer
  • Assistant Merchant
  • Fashion Buyer
  • Merchandiser
  • Sales Associate
  • Sales Manager
  • Showroom Manager
  • Store Manager

Fashion Designer
A fashion designer creates clothing, shoes, and/or accessories. Fashion designers work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, clothing companies, theaters, and design firms. Along with artistic skills, most designers need computer skills to use computer-aided design and graphics editing software.

  • Associate Designer
  • Bedding Designer
  • Fashion Director
  • Style Specialist
  • Stylist
  • Technical Designer
  • Textile Fabric Colorist

Market Researcher
A fashion market researcher studies the fashion market to get a sense of what types of clothing and shoes and accessories people want, as well as who will buy what items, and at what price. They need strong analytical skills – they have to read and understand large amounts of data, and convey their findings to retailers, manufacturers, and designers.

  • Brand Strategist
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Marketing Manager
  • Media Planner
  • Sales Inventory Analyst
  • Trend Forecaster

Model
A model poses for photographers or the public to help advertise clothing, shoes, and/or accessories. They might also walk in a runway fashion show while wearing a designer’s clothing. Models work in a variety of conditions, from indoor studios to fashion shows. They often have unpredictable schedules and have periods of unemployment.

  • Art Class Model
  • Fashion Coordinator
  • Fashion Model Agent
  • Fitness Model
  • Modeling Coach
  • Showroom Model

Top Fashion Skills

 Attention to Detail
Whether you are sewing clothing or ordering products for your boutique, an attention to detail is critical in fashion. Clothing has to be meticulously made to impress buyers. Storeowners need to keep careful track of their products and prices. Marketing researchers need to keep a close eye on changes in their data. Models need to make sure the products they are modeling are meticulously displayed. Focus and a keen eye are necessary for almost any job in the industry.

  • Color sense
  • Focus
  • Pattern grading
  • Photogenic
  • Time management
  • Visualization

Business Knowledge
Anyone with a hand in the fashion industry needs to understand the ins and outs of the business. This requires more than just knowing the latest fashion trends. Designers need to know costs of materials and labor, and buyers and storeowners need to keep an eye on the market when purchasing items. Without a sense of market and business trends, a talented designer can struggle financially.

  • Advertising
  • Fundraising
  • Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Market research
  • Merchandising
  • Product development
  • Prototyping
  • Retailing
  • Sales

Communication
Nearly every job in the fashion industry requires working with others. Designers need to be in constant communication with their team about everything from cost to production to display. Buyers need to communicate with others in their organization to decide on a budget. Art directors for magazines need to communicate with their editors to make sure they have a clear vision for their work. For all these reasons, people in the fashion industry need to have strong verbal and written communication skills.

 Creativity
Almost every job in the fashion industry requires some creativity. Designers need to be able to visualize clothing that has not yet been created. Art directors must create visual strategies for modeling products. Storeowners have to think of creative ways to display and sell their products. An open mind and a clear vision for how to market, display, and sell products are important in the industry.

  • Flexibility
  • Imagination
  • Initiative
  • Sketching
  • Styling
  • Textiles
  • Versatility

Information Technology Skills
People in the design and fashion industry increasingly rely on information technology (IT). Designers might use computer-aided design and graphics editing programs to sketch out designs or to share design ideas with clients. Marketing researchers work with various software to collect and manage data. When applying for a job in fashion, be sure to highlight any relevant IT knowledge that you have.

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • ECommerce
  • InDesign
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Photoshop
  • PrimaVision
  • Quark
  • WebPDM