‘Fast forward your fashion career’
Attending the FRA is the fastest route available into the exciting world of fashion retail. We work with over 130 top fashion brands to ensure our graduating students have the best opportunities possible for career development.
However, choosing the right route isn’t always easy and the world of fashion retail and the roles within it can be confusing to someone new to the industry. Here are a list of the most popular jobs in the sector and what they involve, to help decide on the most suitable course to study.
A Fashion Retail Buyer is responsible for selecting product ranges for sale. They source new lines and review existing stock to ensure products remain competitive. A Buyer needs to be able to forecast and recognise future trends and work out which ones will take off.
Retail Merchandisers make sure that goods are in the right stores, or online, at the right time and the right price. Whilst the Buyer selects the lines, a Merchandiser decides how much money should be spend and how many lines should be bought. They analyse data to set selling prices, and plan promotions and price reductions. In short, they maximise sales and profits whilst minimising stock and costs. This role suits someone who wants to work in a busy environment, good with numbers and computer systems and enjoys working and communicating with others.
Visual Merchandisers love making things look good and have a creative eye. Visual Merchandisers (also known as window dressers or display assistants) use their design skills to help promote the image, products and services of retail businesses. They create eye-catching product displays and store layouts designed to attract customers and encourage them to buy. A Visual Merchandiser needs to have a high level of attention to detail. They also need to be able to work to deadlines. The ability to work well as part of a team is also important.
A Retail Manager is responsible for the day-to-day running of a store, motivating staff to achieve sales targets, organising promotional events and monitoring industry trends to maximise sales. The aim of a Retail Manager is to maximise profit by increasing sales and reducing costs. They also ensure promotions are correctly implemented and that staff a high level of customer service. Store Managers need leadership potential and interpersonal skills, coupled with the ability to capitalise on retail opportunities and be confident in making decisions.
Fashion Designers design clothing and fashion ranges. A Fashion Designer could work in high fashion or designer ready-to-wear fashion. Designers often specialise in particular types of clothing - for example in men’s, children’s or sportswear. Designers may work to their own brief, or be given a brief to work towards specifying colour, fabric and budget. This role suits somebody creative and passionate about fashion with their own ideas and a good eye for colour and shape. A designer would have pattern cutting and sewing skills.
A Garment Technologist works on the design and production of textiles, fibres and yarns, supporting the design and buying teams throughout all stages of product development right through to manufacture, improving production, efficiency and quality. They carry out technical quality control tests to ensure the final product is of a high enough standard. Garment Technologists need an eye for detail.
A Fashion Stylist selects clothes, shoes & accessories to create a ‘look’ for a magazines’ fashion pages, TV & press ads and music videos. Stylists also work with celebrities and individuals to put together wardrobes to create their image. Stylists often work with larger creative teams including a photographer, designer, make-up artist and director to put together a look or theme for a specific project. A stylist needs to be able to work with others to understand their needs and be up to speed with the latest seasonal trends, ranges and fashion labels.