The Philadelphia Fashion Scene
Philadelphia has it’s very own fashion week as well as the University of Pennsylvania, and organizations across the city. You can also find everything from design and model competitions to themed fashion shows in the city just about any time of the year. In addition to a fashion scene worth watching, Philadelphia has one of the most active shopping scenes in the U.S. Whether you’re looking for upscale, classic, or trendy, Philadelphia the shopping districts here have it all.
Shoppers can find the latest fashions at South Street, Chestnut Hill, Old City/Third Street Corridor, Rittenhouse Square, Main Street Manayunk, The Gallery, Downtown Center City, and Franklin Mills Mall. You can expect to find everything from upscale designer clothing to vintage threads to fine boutiques that sell fashions by both local and international designers.
In addition to knowing a thing or two about fashion and having its own style, Philadelphia is home to several schools that offer fashion programs. These programs can help you develop the technical and creative skills needed to make in the fashion design industry whether you’re planning to work for a large retail chain, an independent fashion designer, or start your own business. Philadelphia University and Cheyney University of Pennsylvania are popular options.
Career Opportunities & Employers in Pennsylvania :
Philadelphia fashion designers and fashion merchandisers may work in merchandising or buying, management, or marketing. They may work as clothing, accessories, or footwear designers; visual merchandisers, fashion consultants, children’s fashion designers, pattern makers, costume designers, tailors, and hand sewers. Many fashion designers also teach, so Philadelphia’s academic institutions and design centers are excellent sources of jobs for aspiring instructors.
Many Philadelphia fashion designers work for established designers, department stores, or textile manufacturers permanently or while building their own brand or business. Fashion designers and fashion merchandisers may find employment from South Street to Downtown Center City.
Pennsylvania Fashion Schools & Programs:
Pennsylvania is home to 257 colleges and universities. This is nearly three times the national average of 88. Some of these schools are art and design schools, like The Art Institute of Philadelphia while others are traditional universities or colleges that offer fashion programs. In Philadelphia, Philadelphia University’s School of Science and Engineering offers a bachelor's in fashion design, textile design, and textiles materials technology, and a master's in textile design. The School of Business Administration offers a bachelor's in fashion merchandising and fashion industry management, and a master's in fashion apparel studies.
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in Cheyney offers degrees in fashion merchandising, design and textiles, and fashion marketing. Cheyney is around 30 miles from Philadelphia.
Employment and Salary Trends for Pennsylvania :
Pennsylvania is home to nearly 200 fashion designers. Around 60 live in Philadelphia. Employment of fashion designers across the nation is expected to grow by 1 percent between 2008 and 2018. Salaried Philadelphia fashion designers earn an average of $50,400 per year. Self-employed designers can earn six to seven figures per year. Nationwide, fashion designers average around $61,160. The lowest paid fashion designers average $32,150, and the highest paid salaried designers average $124,780 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report employment or salary figures for fashion merchandisers. However, a significant part of the job involves creating window displays and managing the overall look and feel of stores. There are 1,500 merchandise displayers in the Pennsylvania. Nearly 800 live in Philadelphia.
For more information about the fashion design and fashion merchandising industry, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at bls.gov.
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