Fashion Publicist

What does a Fashion Publicist do?

Fashion Publicists create and manage the public image of fashion houses, designers, publications, and events related to fashion such as runway shows. They promote their clients through media placements, press releases, and other promotional opportunities. Additionally, they work alongside marketing personnel to increase consumer awareness of the brand’s products and overall messaging.

How much does a Fashion Publicist make?

According to Ziprecruiter, Fashion Publicists maintain a national annual salary of $74,730, which is an hourly wage of $35.92. In general, entry-level publicists start around $35,000 annually. Senior-level publicists make an annual average of $63,000. In addition, the range in salary widely depends on factors including skill and seniority level.

What impact does this career have towards the fashion industry?

A Fashion Publicist is responsible for how a brand or designer is perceived by consumers and the general public. They also control the level of hype around a brand’s products, which in turn affects demand, pricing, and scarcity. Fashion is already a visual industry, and a public relations specialist heightens that. Their ability to communicate a story and message determines how successful a brand will be in building a following.

What is the job outlook for a Fashion Publicist?

Forecasts predict that global apparel revenue will grow to $2.25 trillion by 2025. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for public relations specialists (including Fashion Publicists) are expected to increase at a rate of 11% percent during the 2019-2029 decade (www.bls.gov).

Evan Clark

Learn from: 
Evan Clark
Fashion Business Essentials contributor, Deputy Managing Editor at WWD

Related Careers:

Fashion Merchandiser | Fashion Marketing Director | Fashion Journalist | Fashion Blogger | Fashion Influencer | Stylist | Photographer, Fashion | Social Media Manager

Fashion Sustainability Officer

What does a Fashion Sustainability Officer do?

A Fashion Sustainability Officer oversees a company’s environmental impact. They also develop and implement safety protocols for production and manufacturing, and educate staff on best practices. In addition, Sustainability Officer monitors carbon footprint output and formulates data-based production strategies to meet their recommended goals. They also spearhead partnerships with nonprofits and environmental agencies to develop community initiatives.

How much does this career make?

According to PayScale, Fashion Sustainability Officers maintain a national annual salary of $77,576, which is an hourly wage of $37.30. In general, entry-level officers start around $55,955 annually. Senior-level producers make an annual average of $106,955. In summary, the range in salary widely depends on factors including skill and seniority level.

What impact does this career have towards the fashion industry?

Environmental harm is one of the controversial areas that has afflicted the fashion industry in the last decade. Because of this, Fashion Sustainability Officers are agents of change that are passionate about saving the environment and fashion. They are forward thinkers who see ways to reduce the damage done by fashion manufacturing and production.

What is the job outlook for a Fashion Sustainability Officer?

Global apparel revenue is forecasted to grow to $2.25 trillion by 2025. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for environmental scientists (including Fashion Sustainability Officers) are expected to increase at a rate of 8% percent during the 2019-2029 decade (www.bls.gov).

Fashion Sustainability Officer

Learn from: 
Sydney Price
Fashion Business Essentials contributor, Parsons Faculty, CEO

Founder & CEO at The Knew Purpose

Related Careers:

Production Manager | Creative Director | Textile Designer | Textile Colorist | Fabric R&D Manager | Trend Forecaster

Understanding the Fashion Industry

When people think of fashion, they often think of the high prices and glamorous runway shows associated with luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Balmain, and Gucci. In actuality, the fashion industry spans a wide range of markets such as haute couture, luxury fashion, fast fashion, economy fashion, and ready-to-wear. In 2020, these industries were valued at more than $1.5 trillion combined. With the type of worldwide reach, the industry relies on different sectors to function optimally. 

Textile Design and Production

When considering what makes great fashion, very few people discuss the importance of textiles. An item of clothing can be elevated by an interesting or unique pattern. Textiles are any fibers or yarn that can be made into clothing and can be natural or synthetic. Textile design involves weaving and interlocking textiles to form usable fabrics for clothing production. There are three subsections of textile design: printed, woven, and mixed media. Printed textile design utilizes inks and dyes to imprint patterns into fabric. Woven textile design focuses on interlacing fibers to create a design. Mixed media textile design pulls from multiple techniques like appliqué, laser cutting, and weaving. 

Textile, fashion industry

Fashion’s impact on the environment has been a point of contention for environmentalists for years. Textile production is at the core of the issues because of its reliance on harmful chemicals and disposal methods. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 17 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills in 2018. To address concerns, some manufacturers have made the switch from synthetic dyes to natural ones like hemp and coffee ground fibers. In the future, textile production will likely be digital. There’s already been an increase in the use of 3-D printing, and that type of innovation will continue as designers and manufacturers search for methods that are sustainably responsible.

Possible Careers in Textile Design and Production: Textile Colorist, Sustainability Officer, Fabric Researcher

Fashion Design and Manufacturing

Fashion design is the process of using aesthetics to create unique and original pieces of clothing and accessories. In recent years, designers in luxury fashion have gone from behind the scenes to become the faces of their labels. In fast fashion and economy, designers are anonymous and often work as part of larger product development teams for manufacturers. Most manufacturers produce budget-friendly and moderate-priced apparel and use independently owned plans to complete production. Some companies may have facilities to handle specific aspects of the manufacturing process to reduce costs.

Fashion design

Fashion has been a prime example of an industry behind the curve of diversity and inclusion. Fashion designers and labels have long faced criticism for the lack of diversity behind the scenes and in front of the camera. That has somewhat shifted in recent years. Slowly, major brands have made efforts to include more racially and physically diverse representation. In 2021, Aaron Rose Philips became the first Black disabled transgender person to be featured in a major runway show when she walked in Moschino’s Spring/Summer 2022 show.

Possible Careers: Inventory Planner, Production Manager, Sample Coordinator

Fashion Shows

Fashion shows are events where labels showcase their upcoming releases to the public and are crucial in marketing. In the luxury section, most shows occur during Fashion Week. Fashion shows debut during the Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter, Resort, and Pre-Fall seasons with additional shows in the Men’s and Couture categories. Fashion Week is a worldwide event, with major shows held in Milan, Paris, New York City, Berlin, and London. Pulling off a successful presentation requires effort from a small army of people across stage management, cast, stage managers, and lighting and sound crews.  

Runway Show

When Covid-19 hit, every industry had to pivot to digital. Fashion was uniquely able to take advantage of less than ideal circumstances with their fashion shows. Moschino, Prada, and J.W. Anderson successfully hosted virtual runway shows that were lauded for their creativity. The virtual trend seems to be here to stay. In 2021, Rihanna decided to make her highly anticipated Savage x Fenty Show Vol. 3 presentation completely virtual.

Possible Careers: Creative Director, Stylist, Videographer

Media and Marketing

Fashion Media is the creation of content for marketing. It involves writing and editing, art direction, and photography. Magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Glamour dominated fashion journalism in the past. However, as social media has evolved, so has fashion media. Large media corporations are no longer the sole trendsetters. A designer or a brand can go viral overnight on Instagram and TikTok.

Fashion Media

The future of fashion marketing will be social media. Marketers across all types of fashion are beginning to see the untapped potential and instant impact that social media holds. Brands are exploring unexpected platforms like Discord, OnlyFans, and Twitch beyond standard ads. Voo Store, a Berlin-based retailer, started an OnlyFans account for the freedom of creative expression. “We were getting reported on Instagram all the time because it’s like ‘oh you’re showing a bit too much of skin’ So we said f*ck it. We have to find a platform where we can actually do what we want to,” explained creative director Thibaud Guyonnet.

Possible Careers: Fashion Journalist, Fashion Influencer, Style Editor 

Fashion Retailing and Merchandising

After clothes and accessories are designed and manufactured, they are ready for consumers. Retail is the process of purchasing clothes from manufacturers, wholesalers, or importers and selling them to customers. It is the final step in the supply chain. Retailers tend to buy products for resale about three months before they are available in-store. There are differences between fashion marketing and merchandising. Fashion marketers are responsible for increasing product visibility for a store or a brand’s target market. They plan and promote sales using advertising campaigns, promotional events, and media placements. Fashion merchandising is similar to marketing but relies more on forecasting trends before developing products.

Retail

Retail was another area of fashion that faced significant impact due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumers turned to online alternatives for shopping due to quarantine and in-person restrictions. In turn, ecommerce experienced a surge in revenue and had a global market value of $759.5 billion in 2021. That figure is projected to hit $1 trillion by 2025.

Possible Careers: Ecommerce Manager, Merchandiser, Warehouse Fulfillment Associate

For more information about careers in the fashion industry, download Yellowbrick’s Ultimate Fashion Career Guide.

Understanding Consumer Personas

What is a consumer persona? In marketing and sales, a consumer persona is a semi-fictional character based on the analysis and research of real customers. They represent the core traits of a key segment of your customer base. Personas help marketing design strategies to engage existing customers and attract new ones when done correctly. Jessica Couch, Fashion Business Essentials contributor, and fashion tech expert, discusses consumer personas and how they can impact your business.

Watch the full video to learn about:

  • Building consumer personas based on your brand’s desired outcomes
  • How to ensure your customer’s needs are met
  • Conducting market research

How Do You Create a Consumer Persona?

Consumer personas — or archetypes — is a customer profile that helps you market to certain types of customers that you want to reach. Of course, customers will fall outside of the personas you create, but it represents the ideal person you are building your product for and catering to.

Traditionally, you have brands like Victoria’s Secret. Its consumer persona is the following: a female with 32 triple D breasts. She loves to go on yachts, parties all the time, and likes to shop. That’s a very arbitrary persona. If you develop customer profiles like that, you will suffer just like Victoria’s Secret did. Instead, the things you want to learn about your customers are the channels they use to shop apart from their body types.

Qualities You Have to Identify in Your Customer

There are important questions to ask about your customers:

  • Is your customer mobile-first?
  • Are they shopping in-store?
  • Are they omnichannel shopping?
  • Do they only come into the store once a week?
  • Are their wives shopping for them?
  • Are their girlfriends shopping for them?
  • Do they only buy custom suits?
  • Are they only buying for work?

In addition, recognize what’s motivating your customer. In other words, what gets them from browsing to making a purchase? More questions you should consider:

  • Are they about style?
  • Are they about fit?
  • Are they about functionality?

You could go even deeper and ask, “Well, how do I get this information?” You can search databases that identify high-level demographics. The results may reveal the location and further statics. For example, you may get a result that says, “in New York, you have X amount of people that only buy custom suits.” That will help you scale down your available market share.

Go to the Source

What you have to do to build your personas is talk to your customer. You have to get out there and ask them directly. A way to do that is by reverse engineering. If you’ve identified your brand and the products that you want to sell properly, you should be able to place your competitors properly. Go to your competitor’s stores and websites, see what their customers are saying, and gather information.

You have to gather enough usable information if you have a brand, a design, or a marketing campaign. In addition to talking to customers, you should also be running surveys on social media, conducting in-person interviews, and looking at reviews and testimonials. Those key pieces of information will help you develop your archetypes and help you have a more hyper-focused brand.

If you would like to learn more about consumer personas and other facets of fashion marketing, check out the Fashion Business Essentials online course featuring Parsons and WWD. To explore marketing careers in fashion, download Yellowbrick’s Ultimate Fashion Career Guide.