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Fashion Director - Fashion Career Profile

Written by FS StaffNovember 5, 2011
Fashion Director

What do Fashion Directors do? Where do Fashion Directors work? FS takes a look:

About Fashion Directors

Depending on the type of business, fashion directors manage everything from design to promotions. Also called fashion coordinators or creative directors, fashion directors may work for magazines, advertising agencies, designers, or retail giants. In a nutshell, fashion directors run the show!

Fashion Director Jobs

Fashion directors are responsible for creating the look and feel of fashion shoots, ad campaigns, department stores, design houses, magazine ads, and other visual and promotional materials. They monitor industry trends, and attend fashion shows and trade shows. Fashion directors also travel frequently to meet with clients, buyers, account representatives, and other industry professionals.  

Fashion directors work for advertising agencies, magazines, public relations firms, design houses, department stores, production studios, event planning companies, media firms, and even film and video production studios.

Fashion Director Salaries

Salaries for fashion directors range from $40,000-$100,000 (or more) depending on, geographic location, experience, education, and the type and size of the company. For example, fashion directors working at smaller companies may average $40,000-$60,000 per year. Directors at larger companies may average $100,000+ per year.

Some fashion directors work as independent contractors or they manage their own firms. Salaries for these individuals are tough to average, but it's not uncommon for a successful independent fashion director to earn six figures or more per year.

Programs to Consider:

Becoming a Fashion Director

It is rare for an individual to fall right into a director position shortly after graduation—talent or no talent. In fact, aspiring fashion directors spend years working their way up from entry-level positions in the industry. Fashion director is a high-level position that requires education, talent, and a tremendous amount of experience. To begin the journey from fashion student to fashion director, you must enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in fashion design, fashion merchandising, or fashion retailing. Fortunately, there are 300 postsecondary institutions with art and design programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Many aspiring fashion directors incorporate business coursework into the fashion program. Business coursework in entrepreneurship, finance, leadership, and accounting can help you learn how to manage teams, budget, solve problems, and make decisions. These are all qualifications employers look for in an applicant. 

Job Trends for Fashion Directors

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report projections for fashion directors. The Bureau does report projections for the fashion designers overall. Employment of fashion designers is expect to average 1 percent for the 2008-2018 decade. Several websites report a fair to excellent outlook for fashion directors based on growth in media, advertising, and retail.

Fashion directors may find work anywhere in the U.S., but some cities offer more opportunities than others do. If you want to go where the fashion industry is at its best, stick to fashion capitals such as New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, Dallas, and Atlanta. For advertising, add Chicago and Houston to the list.