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Fashion Coordinator and Fashion Director - Career Profiles

Written by FS StaffJuly 7, 2011
Fashion Director

Also called: Fashion Director

Job Description:

If you want to work as a professional fashion director, it is important that you have a wide understanding about the old, new, and existing fashion trends. Fashion director professionals are responsible for a wide variety of tasks that are directly associated to fashion coordination, management, and promotional activities. Also referred as fashion coordinators, these people are tasked to oversee the whole fashion design department. They need to maintain a unified and organized fashion atmosphere to ascertain that the marketing and promotion of a particular fashion line would be a success.

As a fashion director, you are expected to assume the following tasks and responsibilities: 

  • devise efficient fashion design plans and foster new fashion concepts
  • properly coordinate advertising as well marketing activities
  • attend runway or fashion shows to acquire new fashion ideas
  • visit major manufacturers and merchandise markets to get new information on the latest fashion trends
  • regularly monitor fashion publications and set meetings with designers to keep up with the changing trend
  • evaluate the potential success of a certain clothing line
  • create effective marketing plans and advertising strategies
  • coordinate with salespeople, designers and manufacturers
  • select garments and accessories that will be used for promotional marketing
  • organize photo shoots, magazine events, and fashion shows
  • share fashion insights and analysis with buyers to help them choose the appropriate inventory purchases 

Keep in mind that the work of a professional fashion director would entail dedication, perseverance, determination, and good PR skills.

Programs to Consider:

Training, Education, Advancement

Since the job of a fashion director is integral in the success of the whole fashion department, it is critical that fashion coordinator aspirants get a formal training and education. There are a number of fashion design schools, community colleges, private institutions, as well as vocational schools rendering courses on fashion sales or merchandising.

A high school diploma is the basic educational requirement needed for fashion director aspirants to be able to qualify in a fashion merchandising course. Only students who have acquired a high school diploma or GED equivalent are allowed to enroll in advanced fashion design courses.

For those who were able to satisfy a high school degree, you can choose from the following course programs to help you acquire the knowledge and skills needed in order to become a professional fashion director. 

  • Associate Degree Program: This a 2-year course program that will allow students to earn an associate degree in fashion design. Two-year Associate course programs will provide fashion coordinator or director aspirants with the basic knowledge on textile, apparel, fashion concepts, and fashion marketing. This program practically serves as your stepping stone to the 4-year bachelor program.
  • Bachelor's Degree Program: This is a more comprehensive program that will offer fashion director aspirants with extensive knowledge about fashion marketing and merchandising. It is a 4-year course program that will earn you a Bachelor degree. Fashion director aspirants who enroll in a 4-year fashion design program have greater chances of landing lucrative job opportunities.
  • Master's Degree Program: This is a part of the advanced studies program wherein graduate students will be given the opportunity to elevate their educational status. Fashion director aspirants with a Master's degree will have the opportunity to aim for high-paying and upper-level fashion director positions.

Upper-level fashion director professionals are required to satisfy at least a Bachelor's degree in order to be considered for the position. Hence, fashion director aspirants are highly encouraged to pursue higher educational degrees to land more promising job offers. It is also recommended that fashion director aspirants gain relevant experiences to have the competitive edge. They can acquire work experiences from participating in internship programs (usually facilitated by the fashion design school) or they can also find apprenticeship positions from small fashion boutiques (which is definitely a good starting point).

An aspiring fashion director would have to build extensive field experiences before they can actually climb up to top. You should begin by becoming a retail associate then an assistant fashion coordinator and then a fashion coordinator. You have to go through this process before you qualify for the fashion director position.

Job Outlook

Job outlook for fashion director positions are reasonably good. Even though, there may not be enough advanced level positions available, numerous industries require the expertise of skilled fashion director professionals. Since fashion director jobs are the highest fashion design position, limited job openings are likely to be generated. Only qualified, experienced and skilled fashion coordinator professionals will have the opportunity to get in the trade.

But the good thing is job openings will be available in a wide range of fashion fields that include design houses, department stores, fashion boutiques, large design firms, and other industry that requires the marketing and advertising skills of efficient fashion director professionals.

Salary

Annual salary earnings of a fashion coordinator and director vary greatly depending on the company they are working for, educational background, location of work, special skills, and expertise. The median salary earning of fashion directors will fall anywhere between $40,000 and $100,000. Those working in small fashion companies are expected to receive an annual income of around $40,000 - $60,000, while those who are employed in big design firms will enjoy a much higher income net of $100,000 or more.

So to those who wish to pursue a fashion director position, jumpstart your career by finding a reputable and credible fashion design school today!

Career Path: Retail Sales Associate > Buyer > Assistant Fashion Coordinator > Fashion Coordinator > Fashion Director