Most of America just can’t get enough of the mall scene, but in Louisiana, boutiques and odd clothing shops are just as popular. Independent retail shops seem to pop up every other day here and in Baton Rouge, some of the most popular shopping districts are home to both new and established boutiques and retail shops. So finding unique fashions is just as easy as locating an Urban Outfitters or BCBG. What this means for aspiring fashion designers is—anything’s possible in Louisiana. So, whether your design style leans towards bizarre or it’s just plain funky, you can make it here.
The top cities for fashion are New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Metairie, and Lafayette, but you can still find fashions just about anywhere in the state. In New Orleans, Magazine Street is a great place to begin searching for fashions and in Baton Rouge, head to the 1.6 million square foot Mall of Louisiana where upscale and unique selections go hand in hand. Shreveport sound interesting? Then take a stroll through Mall St. Vincent to explore more than 60 shops from Claire’s to Coach.
Thanks to a growing fashion scene and versatile industry, you can do well in Louisiana whether you’re interested in starting your own business or working for an established shop or designer. To become a part of the industry, you’ll need talent and the right education. Fortunately, Louisiana is home to Louisiana State University, which offers fashion design and fashion merchandising programs. These programs can help you develop the technical and creative skills needed to make it in fashion design whether you decide to start a career in Louisiana, New York or California.
Career Opportunities & Employers in Louisiana:
Many Louisiana fashion merchandisers work in retail as buyers, merchandisers, or salespersons. They can also find work in promotions, fashion consulting, or as a fashion show director. Retail positions can be found just about anywhere in the state, but other work such as promotions and event coordinating is likely to be found in large cities, specifically New Orleans.
Fashion designers may also work in retail or buying. They may also find work as a textile artist, weaver, print designer, fabric technician, assistant designer, or sample maker. Many fashion designers also work as consultants, while others work in the industry while working on starting a line or opening a boutique or design studio. To find work in the field in Louisiana, try New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Metairie, and/or Lafayette first.
Louisiana Fashion Schools & Programs:
Most employers in the fashion design industry prefer a two- or four-year degree from an accredited school. The state of Louisiana is home to Louisiana State University, which offers programs that can lead to a career in fashion design, fashion merchandising, or fashion management.
For more information about the fashion design and fashion merchandising industries, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at Bls.gov.
Employment and Salary Trends for Louisiana:
Many Louisiana fashion designers and fashion merchandisers live in principle cities such as New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport. They work in textile design, technical production, apparel design, pattern making, consulting, and administration sales (textile industry).
Employment and salary figures for Louisiana fashion designers have not been reported, but as of May 2008, the mean annual wage for fashion designers nationwide was $61,160. The lowest paid fashion designers earned an average annual salary of $32,150 and the highest paid fashion designers earned $124,780 per year. Because many fashion designers are self-employed, salaries may vary greatly. A top fashion designer can earn several million dollars a year.
Employment and salary figures for Louisiana fashion merchandisers have not been reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but a significant part of the job involves working with window and store displays. There are 480 merchandise displayers living in Louisiana today.
Overall, employment in the fashion industry is expected to grow by one percent for the 2008-2018 decade. Sewing and cutting jobs may decline as more and more designers and brands choose manufacturing companies overseas. However, employment of fashion designers is stable because many firms prefer to keep design work in house.
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