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Fashion Forecaster - Fashion Career Profile

Written by FS StaffNovember 9, 2011
Fashion Forecaster

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

About Fashion Forecasters

Fashion forecasters are at the top of the chain in the world of fashion design. They have the unique ability to predict which way the wind will blow when it comes to what’s soon to be hot, what will stay hot, and what’s not. Also called fashion color forecasters or fashion trend forecasters, fashion forecasters have extensive experience in the fashion industry, so they command some of the top salaries in the business.

Fashion Forecaster Jobs

Fashion forecasters use their own knowledge of the fashion industry, research findings, and analytical skills to predict fashion trends. Retailers, designers, media firms, advertisers, and other industries consider this information an invaluable tool to help gauge what will be “in” several years in the future. Fashion forecasters do more than predict which styles will be in year after year. They use research techniques and fashion industry knowledge to make predictions about colors, forms, patterns, shapes, and even fabrics.

Fashion forecasters provide their findings to fashion retailers, fashion buyers, apparel and textile design firms, designers, advertising agencies, magazine, and other media entities. Fashion forecasters may work directly with retail companies, apparel and textile firms or designers. They may also work for consulting firms, for independent fashion forecasting firms, or independently.

Fashion Forecaster Salaries

Fashion forecaster salaries are among the highest in the industry, even for beginner’s. They earn around $50,000 on the low end and $100,000 or more on the high end. Salaries are even higher if they work for an independent firm. Independent firms can charge $150,000 or more for a single project.

Programs to Consider:

Becoming a Fashion Forecaster

Many employers prefer applicants with a degree in fashion design, fashion merchandising, apparel production, textile design, textile merchandising, fashion marketing, or fashion retailing. Aspiring fashion forecasters must spend years working in the industry before becoming salaried fashion forecasters, especially for a top firm. So in addition to a degree, employers prefer a minimum of 5-7 years experience in the fashion industry in areas such as marketing, retail, product development, or merchandising.

Job Trends for Fashion Forecasters

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report the job outlook for forecasters. The Bureau does report the outlook for fashion designers. However, because fashion forecasters service so many different entities, the outlook might be a bit brighter for them. Employment of fashion designers is expected to average 1 percent for the 2008-2018 decade. Fashion forecasters may find work anywhere in the U.S., with New York, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Las Vegas at the top of the list.