Professionals who work in fashion marketing and merchandising are in charge of selecting with types of apparel items will be shown on the racks at retail stores. People who work in this field are largely responsible for driving what will be hot in the fashion industry every year, and how to market these productive in a highly competitive retail industry.

Many fashion marketing and designer professionals work with a large team of designers that are led by a creative director. Some in the fashion design and marketing industries are specialists in clothing, accessory or footwear design.

What Is Fashion Marketing?

Fashion marketing is involved in the marketing, promotion and sales of clothing, accessories and footwear. They are responsible for the marketing of various designs of merchandise as they work with fashion designers to come up with new products that will lead to more sales.

Common duties of fashion marketers include:

  • Working with designers and other stakeholders to discuss budgets, marketing plans and contracts, as well as the types of advertising to use for upcoming promotions
  • Plan fashion promotional campaigns, including coupons, contests and giveaways
  • Plan fashion advertising campaigns, such as which type of media to use, including Internet, social media, radio, TV or print.
  • Negotiate contracts for fashion advertising with various vendors
  • Evaluate the look and feel of Internet sites that are being used for marketing campaigns

Depending upon the company and focus, you can work either as a marketing, promotions or advertising manager in the fashion industry.

Opportunity

As the US economy is gathering steam, it is clear there is growing demand for all types of advertising, promotions and marketing managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports demand in this field will rise by 10% by 2026, which is faster than average.

It is believed that demand in the fashion industry will continue to rise as competing retailers are fighting for limited market share. There will be more need for marketing professionals in the fashion industry to direct, plan and coordinate advertising and marketing efforts. This will be seen especially in the social media space as more retailers are selling their products through these channels.

The fashion design industry will grow an average 3% through 2026. Many clothing lines are now made overseas, so, there is a general decline in the fashion industry today in the US. But employment for fashion designers in the US is on the rise. Retailers want to sell more clothes inspired by the latest fashions, which is increasing demand in the US for marketers to sell these products.

Career Paths

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are 23,800 jobs in the fashion designer business as of 2016. Many fashion designers work for large manufacturers of clothing lines that sell the clothes to stores, online retailers and catalog companies.

There also are 218,000 marketing managers working in the US in various industries in 2016, with approximately 12% of marketing managers working in manufacturing and 16% working in management of companies and enterprises.

Salaries

BLS reports the median wage for fashion designers is $67,400, and the top 10% earn more than $135,000 per year. Meanwhile, marketing managers overall earn median salary of $132,000 per year. The breakdown for marketing manager pay was as follows:

  • Professional, scientific and technical services: $141,000
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $140,000
  • Finance and insurance: $139,000
  • Manufacturing: $136,000
  • Wholesale trade: $125,000

Employers

With a fashion marketing degree, you can work for many companies in the retail and related fields. Below are some of the best employers in the fashion marketing and related industries:

  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Cotton on Group
  • Warby Parker
  • Adidas
  • Galeries Lafayette
  • Calvin Klein
  • Nordstrom
  • Loewe
  • Gucci
  • Gap
  • Levi Strauss

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing or management will help you to develop a sense of style as well as get a good grasp of retail business strategy. You will study things such as fashion marketing, color, textile theory, consumer behavior, and retail planning and management.

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree in fashion marketing can be a good fit for the experienced marketing professional who wishes to move into upper level management in fashion marketing. Graduates of these programs will understand the advanced principles of fashion marketing and merchandising, and will learn how to expertly manage media relationships as well as how to plan fashion shows and related events.

Online Degrees

Busy professionals with personal responsibilities may choose to earn their bachelor’s or master’s degree in fashion marketing online. These programs can be completed in anywhere from two to four years. A major advantage of this type of remote program is that you can attend a school hundreds or thousands of miles from where you live.

Many of the best college programs in this field are located in major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. If you live in the middle of the country, an online fashion marketing degree could be the ticket a great career. Southern New Hampshire University offers a fully online bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing, for example.

Admission Requirements

All universities can set their own admission requirements. If you are attending a master’s program in fashion marketing, you may need to provide the following items:

  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Prerequisite classes in business, statistics and marketing
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Two or three letters of recommendation
  • Updated resume
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher in some cases

Curriculum

A sample curriculum for a master’s in fashion marketing and merchandising can be seen at Rutgers University:

  • Accounting for Managers
  • Branding of Fashion
  • Fashion Law and Supply Chain Compliance
  • Financial Management
  • Marketing Research
  • Advanced Topics in Finance
  • Project Management for Fashion
  • Supply Chain Procurement for Fashion

Financial Assistance

Completing your degree in fashion marketing can be challenging as tuition is getting more expensive each year. Here are some scholarship options for students interested in fashion marketing:

  • Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Scholarship
  • YMMA Fashion Scholarship Fund
  • Retail Management Internship from Nordstrom
  • DECA Student Scholarships
  • Don F. Lowe Scholarship
  • Fununaga Scholarship Foundation
  • Helen Brett Scholarship

Certifications

If you want to get an edge in marketing fashion, you may consider earning these marketing related certifications:

  • DMA Certified Marketing Professional
  • Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification
  • Google AdWords Certification
  • HubSpot Content Marketing Certification
  • Facebook BluePrint Certification

Associations

If you want to enjoy a career in fashion marketing with your degree, it will help you to network with experienced professionals in the industry. Some associations and groups to associate with in the fashion and marketing industries include:

  • American Marketing Association
  • ANA Business Marketing
  • Data and Marketing Association
  • Internet Marketing Association
  • American Apparel and Footwear Association
  • Fashion Group International
  • Costume Society of America
  • National Retail Federation

The fashion and marketing industry is taking off as the economy is getting stronger with every passing year. With a bachelor’s or master’s in this field, you will be able to find a good-paying marketing position with many kinds of retail companies across the globe.

References

Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Henry is Editor-in-Chief of Business Student.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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