Fashion enthusiasts will know that it is not an easy industry to follow. What is in this evening is going out for breakfast, new innovations are emerging and the entire fashion world is portrayed and reinvented with each season.
This ever-changing business means there is never a bad time to get involved in fashion marketing – it’s always a relevant qualification, says Gill Stark, director of the School of Fashion and Design at the Regent’s University. “The industry is changing rapidly and for this reason, fashion marketing is exciting and exciting to study.”
Choosing to get involved now will introduce students to new technologies, she continues. “They are changing the way we market and promote fashion. For example, a fashion consumer can view a product and connect via their phone – in seconds – to moving images of the runway on a model.”
Add in developing markets such as China and its emerging fashion influence on Europe – as well as the fashion industry’s unique bridge position between cultural, creative, business and technological sectors – and it is easy. understand why the industry continues to attract graduates. It’s also clear why fashion marketing is a popular choice for college students around the world.
Fortunately, UK students who want to join this thriving industry can hone their skills at universities across the country. The courses differ, so there are options for all students. In addition to full-time and part-time studies, students can opt for: a three-year program, offered at institutions such as the University of Southampton; a four-year program with a one-year industrial internship at Falmouth; or a four-year course incorporating a core year at Regent’s.
Course content always varies, so – appropriately – it’s good to shop around for the style that’s right for you. At the University of Southampton, it’s more theory than practice, says Amanda Bragg-Mollison, BA (Hons) program manager in fashion marketing. âStudents learn to develop skills in strategic marketing and an in-depth study of global consumer markets,â she says.
They will also develop complementary skills such as networking, communication, presentation, negotiation and teamwork, she adds. “In the fashion industry, being able to work in a team is essential and this skill is built into our curriculum.” Students will also be introduced to the latest graphic design software to help them hone their digital skills and give them an edge when showcasing their work – or when looking for jobs after graduation.
Prospective students looking for the best academic fit may also consider a course’s connections to industry, the type of guest speakers it attracts, practical projects, and even class size. Stark says the small class sizes at Regent’s, while not for everyone, “attracts students who want to have a lot of contact with their professors and with visiting professionals.”
Regardless of the size of the class students find themselves in, they are likely to find a wide range of differing opinions and ideas – it is fashion, after all. As a result, they will practice debating and learn to assess and reflect on their own work and that of other students. All of this helps in the workplace, Stark says. “Students graduate as informed professionals with a good understanding of moral, ethical and social issues – both surrounding fashion and more generally.”
With suitably curated resumes to impress, roles in fashion marketing are the obvious choice for graduates, but they are far from the only option – the industry offers many related roles, from retail to retail. design. Both Stark and Bragg-Mollison have graduates who interview or work with big brands, including H&M and Topman. âMost of our graduates work in fashion, but a few have moved into other fields, setting up businesses or agencies,â Stark adds.
Whatever roles graduates find themselves in, Stark believes they will be part of a fascinating industry. “It’s about people and how they express themselves,” she says. “It’s very complex, being closely related to art, music, cinema and other areas of culture, while being very commercial.”
Bragg-Mollison agrees, adding that from the first day of the course until the end of their careers, the fashion sidekicks will be on their toes.
“If you are interested in culture, people and style, this industry will appeal to you. Fashion is never boring!”