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

8 Game-Changers Addressing Problems in the Fashion Industry

The fashion industry has long been held back by problems like a massive carbon footprint, pollution issues, lack of diversity, unregulated working conditions, and low wages. In an industry where antiquated attitudes continue to hold significant influence, questions still outnumber answers. Can fashion ever reach the level of sustainability it promises? Will controversy always surround fashion’s treatment of its workforce?

In the summer of 2020, racial inequality dominated traditional and social media as protests erupted following the death of George Floyd. The renewed spotlight on social justice revealed that for as global the industry as it is, the decision-makers in fashion aren’t an accurate representation of its consumers. However, with real systemic change lagging, some brands are finding a way to make the most of their platforms to spearhead the change they want to see.  

Boyish Jeans

Where It’s Making a Difference: Cruelty-Free Jeans, Fair Trade, Sustainability

Boyish Jeans, problems in the fashion industry
The Casey by Boyish Jeans, $168

One of the most prominent problems in the fashion industry is its longterm impact on the environment. Boyish Jeans is a women’s denim line based in the United States. Founded by California native Jordan Nodarse, the brand boasts vegan jeans while utilizing recycled materials and recycled water. In addition, their manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and cruelty-free from start to finish. In 2020, Boyish diverted 591 pounds of waste from landfills and reported a carbon footprint of 1,073 metric tons.

The Classic T-Shirt Company 

Where It’s Making a Difference: Fair Trade, Sustainability

Classic T-Shirt, problems in the fashion industry
Curved Hem by The Classic T-Shirt Company, $68

The Classic T-Shirt Company’s founders, Paul and Olga Garibian, have committed to fair treatment of farmers and workers along their supply chain. The fair trade movement emphasizes safe working conditions, livable wages, community development, and respect for local culture. Sustainably made in the United States using organically sourced cotton, The Classic T-Shirt Company guarantees high quality t-shirts made ethically with a reduced carbon footprint. They also combat pollution industries by donating a portion of profits to safe water and ocean clean-up charities.

Clothes Without Limits

Where It’s Making a Difference: Gender Fluid Clothing, Inclusivity 

Tyrannosaurus Rex T, problems in the fashion industry
Tyrannosaurus Rex T-Shirt by Jack and Jill Kids, $18.61

Who says little boys can’t wear pink? Or that little girls can’t like t-shirts with race cars on them? Certainly not Clothing Without Limits. Ten small businesses lead the campaign to alter the mindset that kids’ clothing has to be gender-specific. More importantly, Clothing Without Limits wants to show kids that they’re not confined to a single category or idea. “Kids, boys, and girls, are sent a message when they walk through clothing stores or when they see what other kids are wearing, and we think that by all of us doing our part, we can change that message and give kids more options,” explained Rebecca Melsky, co-founder of Princess Awesome and one of the businesses behind Clothing Without Limits.

Fashion Revolution

Where It’s Making a Difference: Fair Trade, Workers’ Rights

problems in the fashion industry
Fashion Revolution

In 2013, Rana Plaza collapsed in the Dhaka District of Bangladesh. The eight-story commercial property housed several garment factories. There were reports of cracks in the building’s foundation in the days leading up to the collapse. Yet, workers were ordered to continue to report to work. The structural failure claimed 1,134 lives and left an additional 2,500 people injured. In the tragedy’s wake, ​​Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro founded Fashion Revolution. The movement is securing livable wages and working conditions for workers worldwide. They hold events each year on the anniversary of the collapse, and their hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes has forced fashion brands to be more transparent about their labor force.

Aaron Rose Phillip 

Where They’re Making a Difference: Anti-Ableism, Inclusivity, Trans Visibility 

Aaron Rose Philip, problems in the fashion industry
Aaron Rose Philip

In 2018, Elite Modeling Agency signed Aaron Rose Philip, making her the first black, transgender, and physically disabled model represented by a major agency. Phillip has pushed fashion into the 21st century, demanding the industry reflect the world around her. “I realized there’s no one I see on TV or online or in fashion, on the stage that I love, looking like me. And I knew that was a problem because I knew inherently, there was nothing wrong with me,” she said in an interview with Paper. Since her signing, she’s been featured in Dove, Nike, and Sephora campaigns and has been photographed for Allure, Elle, i-D, Paper, Vogue, and other high-profile fashion magazines.

Rothy’s

Where It’s Making a Difference: Sustainability

Rothy's
The Point by Rothy’s, $145

Founded in 2012 by Stephen Hawthornthwaite and Roth Martin, Rothy’s specializes in using recycled materials. Their core thread — used in all of their products — is made from single-use water bottles to limit environmental impact. In addition, all of their products are machine washable and designed for maximum durability.

Savage X Fenty

Where It’s Making a Difference: Body Positivity, Inclusivity 

Savage X Fenty
Forever Savage Onesie by Savage X Fenty, $94.95

Rihanna isn’t the first musician to venture into the world of fashion. However, her Savage X Fenty lingerie brand has set itself apart when it comes to diversity and inclusion. “We don’t believe in division. We do not believe in excluding anyone,” Rihanna explained ahead of The Savage X Fenty Show Volume 2. Whether it’s new product launches or fashion shows, Savage X Fenty has made it a point to include models across the full spectrum of color, size, and ability. 

Stephanie Yeboah

Where They’re Making a Difference: Body Positivity

Stephanie Yeboah
Stephanie Yeboah

South-London-based author and public speaker Stephanie Yeboah has emerged as a staunch voice in self-love advocacy. Her debut book, Fattily Ever After: A Black Fat Girl’s Guide to Living Life Unapologetically, analyzes the race and gender constraints of the body positivity movement. It’s a refreshing exploration of how black, plus-sized women are still falling victim to the misogynoir ideals that are deeply rooted in mainstream beauty standards.

For more information about problems in the fashion industry and how to be a force for change, sign up for our newsletter or head over to Yellowbrick’s Fashion Industry Essentials.

Distribution & Fulfillment Channels: Fast Fashion: Distribution Disruption as Business Model

Fashion is changing rapidly and speed to market is a huge part of this transformation. In the past few years in fast fashion we’ve seen a lot of disruption, decentralization, and Instagram monetization. Think about the original fashion business supply chain and how it’s been set up with department stores and a push model of the industry deciding what’s available and what we’re going to wear. Everyone was shopping in malls to engage with products. Today, we’re operating more on a pull model where customers can tell us more about what they want. We’ve seen retailers like Zara, Forever 21, and H&M operate in this model of what we consider fast fashion. The real difference is the speed to market and the time it takes for the production process for that product to make its way to a floor. Zara has been able to innovate and engage with feedback loops and speed up the process to market. Engaging in smaller batch manufacturing is helpful when you’re competing for space on a manufacturing line. It takes more effort and resources to produce 30,000 garments in one place versus spreading out demand in several factories since you’re competing with other retailers and brands to get manufacturing facility space and capacity. Using fashion education, you can pivot more quickly when you’re dealing with fewer units. There’s opportunities to use customer feedback to shorten production lead time.There are so many points in the supply chain where, when you’re dealing with less units, it becomes easier for stores to more quickly funnel their product. In historical department store retail, it could take six to nine months to go through this process. Fast fashion really disrupted that process and we no longer have to wait for the season to end to continue iterating, innovating, and ultimately bring newness on our time.

Ecommerce Concepts & Models: Business Website Basics

Today, every brand has a website. They have a web presence of some sort. I believe your website should provide precisely what your customers, or tribe, are looking for. Many businesses use e-commerce. However, the internet is a bit more educational. You can buy clothes on the web, but first, let us tell you about ourselves. We’ll show you how we sustainably make our products. It becomes a component of marketing and romancing the customer with who you are and how you conduct business. Nobody wants to be more than a few mouse clicks away from making a purchase. You must make it simple and easy to use. I believe that user-friendliness is the key. A lot of really high-end corporations, in my opinion, are really good at making attractive visuals. You go to the site, and it’s absolutely stunning, and it perfectly captures the look they’re after. However, if you can’t easily navigate from item to item or see the product’s information, you’ll discover abandoned carts more often than not. Alternatively, they could have simply given up and departed. We’ve witnessed significant growth in online shopping. Even those I would never expect to embrace e-commerce, such as my parents and people in their eighties, have acclimated to it, and everyone is doing it this way. You’ll want to make sure that your website is simple to use however you put yourself out there.

Ecommerce Concepts & Models: Sales on Social Media

Social media is a world itself. But it also infiltrates the world we live in. I remember 2011 when Instagram first hit the social media scene—it was just a platform you could upload photos to. Who was looking at them? No one really knew. You were following people, but not really following them. Not many brands were on Instagram then, but now, the platform transformed into a marketplace from which you can now gain revenue. It’s gone from uploading stagnant photographs, to now. Transactions can occur from uploading a single post. It’s phenomenal what Instagram has turned into. It’s changed the way people consume. People don’t just want to see your runway anymore, and say, “Oh, well, I guess I have to wait six months to buy that product, right?” Now, people are like, “I see it, I need to click it and purchase it right then and there, otherwise I’m gonna forget about it.” Retail channels have become more open in terms of apps. For example, on Instagram, people can click the View Shop option and view the products you are selling, which leads them directly to the website where they can purchase the items. It’s a very easy process. In terms of conversion, I think that you know that our clients either go directly to the website, or we have private clients that buy from us through Far Fetch. However, I think one of the most important things is to have accessibility. Therefore, the View Shop on Instagram is ideal for me. If someone wants to buy through there, great! It’s about that extra level of accessibility to maximize sales in the e-commerce industry.

Ecommerce Concepts & Models: Wholesale or DTC?

Retail experienced a seismic during the onset of e-commerce. Many people claimed that wholesale was dead, that people were going to open their own stores. Why would you sell? The benefit of selling to a wholesaler is that you can take your product, sell it to them, and don’t have to worry about the product again, right? If it doesn’t sell, you don’t have to worry about what to do with it. You don’t have to worry about marking it down. You don’t have to worry about where you’re going to put it. You don’t have to worry about stock space. You sell it to them, and then it’s their problem—Nordstrom’s problem. When you operate a store and sell directly to consumers, you must worry where you’re putting the product, where you’re housing the product, paying your employees, keeping lights on, rotating floor sets, all of those things. But generally, you have a bit higher margin when selling directly to the consumer than you would be selling to wholesale manufacturers. The onset of the internet may have led people to believe, “Okay, I don’t have to have employees. I don’t have to keep lights on. I don’t have to do any of those things, and I can still sell direct to consumers, so it’s a win-win.” It’s interesting that over the last decade and a half the shift has led to a direct-to-consumer sales model. That has placed some brands in a great position regarding the margin they can charge because if you’re selling directly to consumers, you’re not selling to a retailer that buys at price. A wholesale price, which is usually a markup price. For example, the product is marked at $50, and you sell it to them at $100, they then sell it to the consumer for $200. So, if you’re selling directly to the consumer at $200, you’d see a 3X margin from what you were making with your wholesale account. And that’s very attractive. Wholesale accounts had been the norm for almost a hundred years. Older brands have wholesale accounts, and it’s been difficult for them to shift to a direct-to-consumer model because of that.

Assignments: Fashion Media

Coming up with a compelling concept for a magazine cover is one important aspect of fashion media. As the editor of Teen Vogue, Amy Astley worked to conceptualize an innovative cover idea based on fashion education, trends, and matching the themes of that month’s publication. For the August 2015 cover shoot, Astley and her team tied in the theme of going back to school, which often means buying new jeans, and gave the issue an overall denim theme. They decided on creating three different covers, each separate cover featuring one of the three models selected. Each model was wearing denim. It gives you very quickly the idea that it’s a denim issue, which is why I think they’re impactful and successful, because they’re not confusing. The number one thing is, which pictures do we feel the most strongly about. And again, for me, the driving force is always trying to make the layout and the photo selection memorable, because there are so many images out there everywhere. We’re all inundated with them, not only in magazines, but certainly coming from digital media and just everywhere. There’s a deluge of photos. Instagram – everyone’s a photographer now. But you want your photos to stand out. So that’s why we put so much – lavish so much care on the prep of the shoot and then on this picture selection and the design and the layout, trying to make the whole thing really memorable. (Amy Astley) Every step of the way in fashion business and media, there are challenges involved in booking the desired talent, beauty, production team, dates, and locations. Astley says it truly takes a village to help make the cover shoot conceptualization come to life. Ultimately, the day of the shoot things often magically come together and they wind up with a memorable magazine cover.

Assignments: Introduction to the Assignments

For stylists and designers starting out in the industry, there is one big lesson to learn: No matter how many creative programs you have completed, nothing can really prepare you for the business side of the industry. You will need to learn the business if you want to build a career. Many creative people are not necessarily business-minded. Our minds are bouncing everywhere, swimming in different creative ideas. Unfortunately, in order to build a career, you have to know and understand the intricacies of the business. As your business improves and you become fortunate enough to have projects that are not only paying you but the people who work for you—your payroll– you will spend half of your time being creative and the rest of the time dealing with business issues. Many designers find that as they move deeper into their careers, there are thousands of things that they don’t know, from starting a company to hiring employees to communicating with factories and managing deliverables. For example, one of your first lessons will be coming up with the start-up capital to get your business up and running. So, while you are spending valuable time conceptualizing and designing a collection, simultaneously you need to keep an eye on the business. It is vital and it is something that nobody teaches you in school. This course focuses on fashion production, and how production impacts all aspects of the fashion industry. The assignments you will receive are intended to reinforce what you learned in the video lessons. They will give you an opportunity to get practical experience and maybe try something you haven’t tried before. These assignments have been created to help you build your portfolio and your skill set.

Assignments: Visual Style in Fashion

Teen Vogue was always meant to be about the young woman discovering herself, and all the different aspects and facets of herself. For Amy Astley, that core mission hasn’t changed, even as it has evolved with the times. Overall, the photography and the look of the magazine are more sophisticated now. She explains, “That’s because we’ve gotten better at what we do. We’ve grown and become more sophisticated. I’m not even the same person I was when I started it 12 years ago.” The readers have changed and aged up with the magazine, as well. The core audience is actually in their early 20s. And by giving them a sophisticated product, Teen Vogue has been able to push the envelope over the years and make the magazine more special, sophisticated, and challenging photographically — from not only beauty, but also styling and fashion POVs (point of views) too. So that’s what the word “teen” means for Teen Vogue — young, fresh, new. But not junior. The magazine itself was mind-blowing for many when it started, and that has only continued throughout the years. For Marie Suter, it’s working with the talents of today that are relevant. Her first cover with Teen Vogue was Selena Gomez on the beach, and it might have been the third time she had been photographed for the magazine. Marie shares, “So it’s like, OK, what do we do now? We just tried something very different with a positive message for celebrities, about being young and fresh. Selena was a bare beauty on this cover and she looked gorgeous and grown-up.” They did less makeup, less hair. Stripped down the clothes to something simple. From a design standpoint, Marie made it more grown-up by removing things that would steer the shoot to look a little younger. And all without redesigning or changing the essence of the magazine. So think more evolution in style. Instead of 75 colors on the page, maybe one would be good. Clean it up. Have a very clean cover. For Amy Astley, these are really beautiful. Don’t just go and do the same thing because the cover model always looks good with a red lip. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. It’s also helpful to seek out collaborators, especially photographers and stylists, and even the subjects themselves who will help to push you into new territory. Sticking with what you’ve always done is a problem with any creative endeavor. As Marie says, “If it’s not slightly scary, it’s not going to be special.”