16 December, 2022 | Posted by Michelle Hogan

What are the Most Important Qualities for Someone to Succeed in the Fashion Industry?

Building a successful career in the fashion industry may seem daunting. It’s a competitive world where cool creatives and sassy strategists must work together to keep up with rapidly changing trends and a demanding audience. 

If you are into fashion and business, the multibillion-dollar industry of fashion management or buying is a great path for you.  

Fashion managers and buyers have the huge yet exciting task of overseeing the branding, advertising, and consumer reactions to marketing campaigns and fashion products. It takes more than a passion for fashion to make it in the business. It takes high levels of acuity, patience, vision, development, and strategy. 

What are the qualities needed to succeed in the fashion industry?  

  • Creativity and proactivity 
  • Branding and strategy 
  • Interpersonal skills 
  • Eagerness to succeed 
  • Communication skills 
  • Business skills 
  • Leadership skills 
  • Adaptability to dynamic trends 

Creativity and Proactivity  

Many people choose careers in the fashion industry because they want to combine their love of fashion with their creative flare. You need to have a good eye for trends, styling, coordination and bringing new ideas to the table. This creative flare goes a long way in the business of fashion as a fashion buyer, merchandiser, manager, marketer or stylist. Proactivity means you are energetic and hands-on, not afraid to get your hands dirty in factories, backstage on photoshoots or in administration.  

Branding and Strategy  

This is where marketing and business skills will be useful in the fashion industry. If you want to work in this fast-paced competitive industry, having knowledge of branding, marketing, communication and business strategies is essential. This means you are aware of your brand's purpose at all times and have the skills to implement a consistent strategy for your brand to succeed.  

Interpersonal Skills  

Your interpersonal skills are some of the most important skills that you will use on a daily bases as a fashion manager, buyer or merchandiser. You are as valuable as your network so building and keeping relationships within your fashion network is crucial to your success.  

Eagerness to Succeed 

The business of fashion industry is ever-changing, fast-paced and competitive. You have to love what you do in order to succeed at it. A driven, goal-orientated mindset will get you far in the business of fashion.  

Communication Skills  

Communication is a key element to succeeding in the fashion industry. Whether you are communicating with customers, wholesalers, stylists, photographers, designers or colleagues, communication is the building block of your relationships and your network. It is also important that you can use your communication skills to problem-solve and resolve conflicts or mistakes that may occur. If you want to manage and lead, effective communication will be an important element of your skillset and qualities. 

Business Skills  

Finance, administration, policy and leadership all come under the brand of business skills. You will need to be a great negotiator, understand trends and forecasts, be able to analyse your company’s market position and react accordingly. Business skills can be learned through studying or work experience.  

Leadership Skills  

You should be a good listener, and communicator and be able to invigorate your team to succeed if you want to lead in the fashion industry. Leading also means staying abreast of the latest knowledge and trends in the sector so you should be keen to learn about the latest topics from global supply chains to garment technology and sustainability to be able to lead the next generation of fashion managers.  

Adaptability to Dynamic Trends  

The quality and skill of adaptability will serve you well in the business of the fashion industry. No two days are the same, you will come up against a variety of problems to solve, and issues to overcome and you will need to be able to think on your feet and confidently move with changes at the drop of a hat. This is part of what makes the role so exciting!  

Find Out More

At Portobello Institute we have a number of business of fashion undergraduate degrees that can help you or your son or daughter to follow their passion with career success in mind. To find out more about these courses and the careers and programmes they progress on to, visit our business of fashion department page here.

You can also hear from our graduates and their experience of their time here. Read their stories here.

If you are interested in any of our business of fashion courses or have any questions you can book a consultation call with our expert fashion advisor Sarah Coyne here email sarah.coyne@portobelloinstitute.com or call 01 892 0041.

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