Prepare for working in the fashion industry by taking design-technology vocational courses through your school district. Even if your career plan is still unfolding, take a variety of courses in high school to develop your creative talent. Enrolling in art, advertising and business classes will help you develop marketable skills for a future in fashion. In addition to jobs like fashion designer and seamstress, non-technical occupations exist such as fashion forecaster and runway-show producer.
Career and Technical Education
The training necessary for working in the fashion industry ranges from sketching and sewing to merchandising and marketing. Sign up for a vocational program that offers fashion technology courses, such as garment construction and graphic design. Take classes in sewing-machine operation, illustration and sketching and pattern-making techniques. A number of school districts partner with Educational Service Agencies that offer trade programs for high school students. Information about eligible vocational services is available through a school guidance office, community newsletter or the career education section of a district website.
Drawing and Art History
Fashion designers create their initial ideas through sketches, and then select materials to make the clothing and accessories. If this is your dream job, take sketching and drawing classes to learn how to translate your designs to paper. Get an ample background in art and design history, too. Taking ancient and modern art history classes help you learn about the evolution of materials, as well as broaden your sense of style and different art forms. An education in art develops your understanding of design and helps you spot new trends.
CAD Graphic Design
A fashion illustrator uses a computer-aided design program. Learning CAD, or a similar visual-design program, enhances your knowledge of color schemes and illustration techniques. Computer design classes teach you how to create product presentations, digital portfolios and concept boards. A design software program helps you to view color combinations and fabric choices before making the garments. A class that combines instruction and laboratory projects creates opportunities for hands-on experience.
Explore taking a summer course at an institute or college that has a fashion technology curriculum. Participating in a pre-college program provides an opportunity to explore specific topics like portfolio-building, magazine journalism, and jewelry and costume design. Taking a college-level class also provides exclusive opportunities for networking with industry professionals. The majority of pre-college classes are geared toward students in ninth to 12 grades. School requirements vary, but basic art ability is the typical qualification for entrance. Some advanced-level courses may require a pre-requisite.
Marketing and Business
Enroll in classes related to marketing, business, retail and public relations. Along with designers, the business of fashion relies on many other workers. Varied jobs exist for showroom managers, branding specialists and customer relations directors. Versatile entry level positions are bountiful, too, from sales associates to Internet market coordinators. Having robust business skills will help you gain entry into the competitive world of the fashion industry, and expose you to different areas of the trade.
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