03 February, 2021 | Posted by Michelle Hogan

Five career opportunities in fashion for 2021

Five career opportunities in fashion for 2021

Five career opportunities in the business of fashion for 2021 

Have you got a passion for fashion and a keen eye for business? Want to turn the thing that excites you most into a solid career? Portobello Institute has QQI Level 5 and Level 6 Major awards that can set you on your path to some amazing dream jobs in fashion.  

Here are five exciting career opportunities in the business of fashion for 2021. Be inspired by our past students who have started their own businesses, realise the opportunities from retail management to merchandising and look to the future with e-commerce and digital roles. 

Five career opportunities in fashion for 2021 Portobello Institute 

Fashion Buyer  

Want to play an integral role within the retail team, tracking and analysing seasonal trends, ensuring production costs are kept within budget and most importantly, ensuring profit and growth for the company? 

A career as a fashion buyer could be the exciting fashion pathway you have dreamed of. You must have a good eye for style and trends with a great sense of design and creativity with a business mind for achieving sales targets. A buyer considers customer demand, price, qualityavailability, trend forecasting, sales analysis, and financial budgets. 

Buyers source new merchandise and review existing items to ensure products remain competitive. By fully understanding customer needs, they maximise profits and provide a commercially viable range of merchandise at competitive prices. Keeping up to date with market trends and reacting to changes in demand are key elements of the role. 

Retail buyers have a considerable amount of responsibility and autonomy in what is often a pressured and buzzing environment. 

Fashion Merchandiser  

Merchandisers are responsible for ensuring that products appear in the right store, or on a website, at the appropriate time and in the correct quantities. This involves working closely with the buying teams to accurately forecast trends, plan stock levels and monitor performance. 

While the buyer selects the lines, the merchandiser decides how much money should be spent, how many lines should be bought, and in what quantities. In smaller companies, the same person may be responsible for both buying and merchandising. 

Merchandisers set prices to maximise profits and manage the performance of ranges, planning promotions and markdowns, as necessary.  

They oversee delivery and distribution of stock and deal with suppliersliaise with buyers, analysts, stores, suppliers and distributorsworking with visual display staff to decide how goods should be displayed and produce layout plans for stores.  

They forecast profits and sales, analysing every aspect of bestsellers (for example, the bestselling price points, colours or styles) and ensuring that bestsellers reach their full potential. 


Start A Retail Business   

Always dreamt of starting your own fashion business, being the CEO of a company you establish and building it from the ground up?  

Just like these Portobello Institute graduates Maryam Ahmed who created Ionic Silk Pillowcases (@ionicsilkpillowcases on Instagram) and Georgia Hall who set up Sifty Vintage (@sifty_vintage on Instagram) one key opportunity in the fashion industry in 2021 will be setting up an independent retail business.  

From finding sources of funding to marketing your start up, designing your business plan from scratch, handling day-to-day operations, and building a brilliant team around you, you play the role you want when you set up your own fashion business.  

Are you going to carry other people’s fashion or your own? What are the best ways to do this in 2021? Online presence or physical retail store? When you start your own business, the power is in your hands.  


Retail Management  

A retail manager's role is to run a store successfully. Working on the shop floor, they are in constant contact with their customers and staff. They are responsible for ensuring their staff give great customer service as well as monitoring the financial performance of the store.  

Typical responsibilities of the job include recruiting, training, supervising and appraising staff, managing budgets, maintaining statistical and financial records, dealing with customer queries and complaints, overseeing pricing and stock control, maximising profitability and setting/meeting sales targets, including motivating staff to do so, ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation, preparing promotional materials and displays and liaising with head office.  

This is an exciting work environment on the frontline of the fashion industry.   


E-commerce/Digital Fashion 

In response to store closures and various lockdowns, companies are investing more and more in e-commerce and digital merchandising which has been the trend in recent years. 

Despite the ever-changing world around us, the core values, principals, and skills applied to these digital roles in the fashion industry remain the. 

E-commerce developers come up with solutions for selling online and the work can cross over into marketing.  

Social Media Managers working in the fashion industry are responsible for creating brand awareness, driving traffic, and fostering engagement with online communities. They give the brand a voice and generate interest by publishing relevant content, launching promotional campaigns, and creating partnerships across all platforms. 


Business of Fashion 

You do not need to be a designer or know how every inch of a sewing machine works to have a successful career in the fashion industry. The business side of fashion opens a world of exciting opportunities and endless possibilities.  

In the words of the legendary fashion industry icon, Anna Wintour: “Don’t go too fast. People have to go to school, learn their craft, and build a brand – that’s the right healthy way to do things.” 

If you are feeling inspired to start your journey on a career in the fashion industry, or just want to know more about your options, Portobello Institute has the courses that can pave the way for that development. Please check out our upcoming courses here. 

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