Careers in and around fashion design

Since the dawn of time, there has been a mismatch between young people’s career aspirations and the realities of the world of work. These days, it’s people wanting to become footballers, fashion designers or any other number of extremely competitive jobs.

In the days of cavemen and women, I suppose there were people who wanted to do the nice jobs like drawing things on cave walls or dancing round the fire to bring rain. However, there was a glut of people applying for those positions, so you’d probably end up working with bison innards, or having to collect firewood.

One way around the mismatch is to inform people that aiming for the sky is ok, but make sure you’ve got a back-up plan. Easier said than done, of course, because when someone has a dream, it can appear as if you’re trying to dilute their passion by suggesting alternatives.

Fashion designer Helen Howe made some interesting points about careers related to fashion, when I met her a few weeks ago. Things like pattern cutter/grader, which have a degree of creativity to them but unlike designer, there is some demand in the workplace. Garment technologist is another career that, maybe, people who want to become fashion designers haven’t considered. As Helen mentions, there are also jobs in the merchandising side of the industry.

The way I’ve edited the video clip above makes it look as if Helen is pushing her new book a bit much. She only mentioned it twice in the long chat we had. Unfortunately, I used both mentions of it in the clip. Sorry about that, Helen!

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