The Fashion industry, as we all know, drives significant global economic value and is projected to reach US$13,160m in 2020. According to the Statista market forecast, the revenue in this industry is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2020-2024) of 14.1%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$22,291m by 2024. The market’s largest segment is Apparel with a projected market volume of US$8,680m in 2020. Apart from being an influential business sector, new and innovative approaches to fashion business and fashion management aim to tackle complex global and local issues.

Skills companies need most in 2020 here are top 5 soft skills: Creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and emotional intelligence.

Top 5 hard skills

Block Chain, Cloud Computing, Analytical Reasoning, Artificial Intelligence, UX Design, Business Analysis, Affiliate Marketing, Sales, Scientific Computing and Video Production

Students going into the industry in the coming ten, twenty years require skills very much different from the past ones, a shift fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic. Acquiring and training in soft skills like communication, problem-solving, along with the now essential hard skills like analytical reasoning, business analysis, sales amongst others are important skills for the future leaders of this world.

Young aspirants seeking to join this fast-growing fashion industry, do not have only fashion designing as a career option, but many other functions which concentrate on the business and management of this industry.

Why fashion business management has become increasingly important in modern times: Here’s all you need to know

Fashion Business Management equips students with a broad set of soft and hard skills

Multi-tasking: Broadening of skillset

Agility: and Quick Response to challenges and current developments in business and society, to make informed managerial decisions that consider ethical, economic, social and cultural implications, enabling one to work on real-life challenges, solving problems, prioritising resources using analytical, cost-effective approach.

Communication: Analysis of cases to diplomatically respond to conflicts and to present innovative ideas to interested parties.

Employability: transferable skills and strong business knowledge that could be used for consultancy, marketing and advertising, human resources, retail and sales, and finance.

Multidisciplinary: Skills acquired can be applied in different roles across the fashion supply chain, contributing to the success of a business, ranging from human resource management, entrepreneurship, finance, service operations, consultancy, supply chain management to global business.

Why fashion business management has become increasingly important in modern times: Here’s all you need to know

Career opportunities in the fashion business domain:

1. Fashion Merchandisers – analysing market trends, strategic production planning and managing purchase negotiations

2. Fashion Buyers – travel to production facilities, trade fairs and fashion shows worldwide to see what a company will showcase based on emerging seasonal trends

3. Sourcing agents – assessing the needs of the company, locating suppliers, and meeting them to see if they will be able to take on the orders

4. Sales and Distribution Managers – processing orders and reorders, updating stock levels, dealing with any queries, logistical problems, distribution management and continually visiting retail stores to get updates on customer feedback

5. Fashion Product Managers – thorough understanding of the market and is therefore able to analyse the consumer requirement of the product at appropriate pricing

6. Fashion Brand Managers – devises strategies to improve the brand value in the eyes of the customer and takes it to a next level

7. Retail Merchandisers – link between buyers and the sales floor, ensuring the right stock is in the right place at the right time to maximise sales and margin performance. They decide which products, sizes, colours, quantity should be there in store

8. Visual Merchandiser – promote the image, products and services of retail businesses and other organisations. They create eye-catching product displays and store layouts and design to attract customers and encourage them to buy

9. Fashion Market Managers – increase the market share of their product through developing marketing strategies that draw the customers to buy their products

10. PR and Event managers – Public relation and event personnel work to generate positive publicity and client brand recognition. These individuals engage in networking initiatives with celebrities, models and other public figures who can elevate a brand

11. Fashion E-Commerce – In the 21st century, it is very clear that E-commerce is expanding rapidly. Not only do their employees work in an innovative environment, they are also at the forefront of the latest developments in fashion and technology

12. Fashion Digital marketers – required to increase sales, improve brand presence and make brand more profitable

13. Fashion Social media managers – create brand awareness, drive traffic, and foster engagement with online communities, develop social strategies that drive user engagement and help to build community

14. Fashion Bloggers – Writers who love fashion have the opportunity to give their insight into the exciting world of fashion. From hard copy magazines to online blogs, you can also write for ECommerce websites, PR firms and trade publications

15. Content writers with Fashion Magazines – Fashion writers/editors typically work through a publication to cover various stories within the fashion world. Fashion writers/editors often interview designers, models, and cover new trends in fashion

16. Fashion Entrepreneurs – choice of setting up your own business venture, using online or offline platform

Authored by Dr. Sunita Konwar Course Leader- Fashion Business Management at Indian Institute of Art & Design (IIAD)

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