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Top 10 Careers in the Fashion Industry

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The idea of getting into the fashion industry appeals to people from different generations, but it’s the young ones that are more aggressive in making a mark in this industry. It’s probably because they have a lot of fresh, new ideas to contribute, or because the new generation is keener on seeking jobs that are more diverse than corporate careers -- and for good reason.


Becoming associated with fashion’s biggest names, such as Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and Valentino is a dream of a lifetime for many people. For some, writing for the top fashion magazines like Essence, Vogue, or Ebony is the most coveted career.

You can make your fashion dreams a reality with hard work and a bit of luck. We’ve rounded up the top 10 careers in fashion and the average salary for each to inspire you and help you get started.

  1. Fashion Designer - $63,000

Fashion designing is one of the most high-profile jobs in the entire industry. It’s the designer’s job to oversee projects and sketch the entire collection right up to the finishing touches. But you can’t become a fashion designer overnight. While proper education is preferred, creativity and inspiration matter more to build an entire fashion house.

  1. Textile Designer - $52,000

Professionals who specialize in patterns for both upholstery and fabrics are called textile designers. Most textile designers have one or two fields they work in, which commonly involves using 2D designs to be knitted or woven in fabrics, carpets, garments, and similar items.

  1. Fashion Merchandiser - $49,000

A career in merchandising is for those who find numbers appealing and the technical aspect of distributing various fashion products. Merchandisers are responsible for ensuring that there are enough products in the right stores, sold in the right time. The skills required for this job is the ability to monitor and forecast sales.

  1. Illustrator - $45,000

Fashion illustrators work closely with creative directors and designers in order to bring life to their visions. An illustrator commonly uses CAD software in order to create designs and sketches. However, free-hand sketching still applies to this day. Illustrators are not only creative and artistic people, but they are also very accurate in producing realistic images.

  1. Fashion Photographer - $43,000

If you think landscape or portrait shoots are similar to fashion photography, think again. Fashion photography requires a specific set of skills and creative ideas to shoot garments, still-life images, mannequins, and models. You can acquire a ton of exposure if your ideas become real-life ad campaigns displayed in magazines, posters, and billboards.

  1. Graphic Designer - $43,000

If you love creating new designs, using different typography, and editing images, you can have a lucrative career in graphic designing. This career makes fashion images look better and more appealing to consumers by touching up editorial shots, seasonal lookbooks, and other marketing materials.

  1. Model - $42,000

Fashion models are one of the most well-known personalities in fashion due to the fact that they are the face of a brand. As a model, you are tasked to promote different items of clothing and products, be it footwear, clothing, accessories, perfumes, and other similar products. Your looks are essentially your weapon, seen on various forms of marketing, including billboards, social media, websites, and magazines. To succeed in this career, you must have the right ‘look’ and your portfolio of pictures should be readily available.

  1. Personal Assistant - $40,000

A personal assistant is a hard-working and dedicated individual working for high profile individuals in the fashion industry, such as celebrities, magazine editors, and fashion designers themselves. What makes this job exciting is the fact that you have several perks, including getting to work closely with your favorite fashion icon and their peers. You’ll often run errands that they don’t have time for, as well as make reservations, book flights, and arrange your boss’ schedule.

  1. Fashion Blogger/Writer/Journalist - $39,000

If you have a knack for expressing yourself through words or always loved reading, a career as a fashion writer can be a fulfilling job. While you can create your own blog, you also have the option to write for your favorite publication or even write a book. While not a requirement, a degree in journalism or creative writing will be advantageous.

  1. Fashion Stylist - $31,000

Stylists can work with fashion organizations or on a one-to-one basis. Regardless of the setting, the goal is to help a client find an attractive and suitable outfit for an important occasion. Successful stylists have a keen eye for detail and are often skilled at communicating. This makes them a rare breed and the only professional who understands a client and what he or she wants to portray.

Work Your Way Up in the Fashion Industry

There are many other careers in the fashion industry and you can work in one if you have a creative mind and live up to the constant need and demand of the rapidly changing trends. A career in fashion can be temporary, but there’s also a guarantee to last a lifetime if you equip yourself with the right attitude and skills for the job.

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My Untold Story Of Inventing the Sports Bra And How it Changed the World (And Me)

Following are excerpts from "Unleash the Girls, The Untold Story of the Invention of the Sports Bra and How It Changed the World (And Me)" By Lisa Z. Lindahl


There is an idea that has popped up everywhere from Chaos Theory to Science Fiction and New Age memes known popularly as the "Butterfly Effect." Simply put, it is the notion that one very small thing—the movement of a butterfly's wing say, or the ripple in a lake caused by a pebble being thrown into it—can cause tremendous effect far away: the butterfly's wing a tornado, the ripple a large wave on a distant shore. Cause and effect, does it have limits? The field of physics is telling us that it takes only observation to bring a thing into being. We cannot consider these areas of investigation and not acknowledge that everything—everything—is in relationship in some way or another with everything else.

So, it is evident to me that commerce of any kind is, also, just about relationships. It all boils down, on every level to this simplicity. While we usually think of relationships as occurring between people—it is far more than that.

I used to teach a course in entrepreneurship specifically for women in The Women's Small Business Program at Trinity College in Burlington, Vermont. I made this concept of relationship and its importance central in how I taught the marketing thought process. I would stress that for a product or service to be successful, it had to meet a perceived need. There is a need, and it wants to be met; or it may be thought of as a problem to be solved. Or there may be an existing solution that is less than adequate.

For example: In my universe as a runner there already were a plethora of bras available, but they were inadequate for my purpose. The relationship between my breasts, my running body, and my bra was creating discomfort and distraction. A new solution had to be found, the relationship occurring when all these things came together had to be fixed. Utilizing this point of view, one sees a set of issues that need to be addressed—they are in relationship with each other and their environment in a way that needs to be changed, adjusted.

Nowhere is this viewpoint truer than in business, as we enter into more and more relationships with people to address all the needs of the organization. Whether designing a product or a service or communicating with others about it—we are in relationship. And meanwhile, how about maintaining a healthy relationship with ourselves? All the issues we know about stress in the workplace can boil down to an internal balancing act around our relationships: to the work itself, to those we work with, to home life, friends and lovers. So quickly those ripples can become waves.

Because Jogbra was growing so quickly, relationships were being discovered, created, ending, expanding and changing at a pace that makes my head spin to recall. And truly challenged my spirit. Not to mention how I handled dealing with my seizure disorder.

"My Lifelong Partner"

Let me tell you a bit about my old friend, Epilepsy. Having Epilepsy does not make any sort of money-making endeavor easy or reliable, yet it is my other "partner" in life. Husbands and business partners have come and gone, but Epilepsy has always been with me. It was my first experience of having a "shadow teacher."

While a child who isn't feeling she has power over her world may have a tantrum, as we grow older, most of us find other more subtle ways to express our powerfulness or powerlessness. We adapt, learn coping mechanisms, how to persuade, manipulate, or capitulate when necessary. These tools, these learned adaptations, give a sense of control. They make us feel more in charge of our destiny. As a result, our maturing self generally feels indestructible, immortal. Life is a long, golden road of futures for the young.

This was not the case for me. I learned very early on when I started having seizures that I was not fully in charge of the world, my world, specifically of my body. There are many different types of epileptic seizures. Often a person with the illness may have more than one type. That has been the case for me. I was diagnosed with Epilepsy—with a seizure type now referred to as "Absence seizures"—when I was four years old. I have seen neurologists and taken medications ever since. As often happens, the condition worsened when I entered puberty and I started having convulsions as well—what most people think of when they think of epileptic seizures. The clinical name is generalized "Tonic-clonic" seizures.

In such a seizure the entire brain is involved, rather like an electrical circuit that has gone out as a result of a power surge. I lose consciousness, my whole body becomes rigid, the muscles start jerking uncontrollably, and I fall. Tonic-clonic seizures, also known as "grand mal" seizures, may or may not be preceded by an aura, a type of perceptual disturbance, which for me can act as a warning of what is coming. The seizure usually only lasts for a few minutes, but I feel its draining effects for a day or two afterwards. Although I would prefer to sleep all day after such a physically and emotionally taxing event, I have often just gotten up off the floor and, within hours, gone back to work. It was necessary sometimes, though definitely not medically advised. I'm fond of saying that having a grand mal seizure is rather like being struck by a Mack truck and living to tell the tale.

Having Epilepsy has forced me to be dependent on others throughout my life. While we are all dependent upon others to some degree—independent, interdependent, dependent—in my case a deep level of dependency was decreed and ingrained very early on. This enforced dependency did not sit well with my native self. I bucked and rebelled. At the same time, a part of me also feared the next fall, the next post-convulsive fugue. And so I recognized, I acquiesced to the need to depend on others.

The silver lining of having Epilepsy is that it has introduced me to and taught me a bit about the nature of being powerless—and experiencing betrayal. I could not trust that my body would always operate as it should. Routinely, it suddenly quits. I experience this as betrayal by my brain and body. It results in my complete powerlessness throughout the convulsion. Not to mention an inconvenient interruption of any activities or plans I might have made.

Hence, I am the recipient of two important life lessons—and I was blessed to have this very specific and graphic experience at a young age. It made me observant and reflective, giving me the opportunity to consider what/where/who "I" was. I knew I was not "just" my body, or even my brain.

So, who or what did that leave? Who, what am I? Much has been written about trauma, and about near-death experiences, both of which seizures have been classified or described as. I won't delve into that here except to say that experiencing recurrent seizures and the attendant altered states of consciousness that sometimes accompany an episode (the euphemism for a seizure) changes one. It deeply affects you. It is both illuminating and frightening. It opens you up in some ways and can close you way down in others. For me it made it easy to consider the possibility of other ways to perceive, of other realms. And as an adult I became interested in quantum physics, where Science is pushing and challenging our long-held perceptual assumptions. Me, who was poor in math and disinterested in Science while in school! So if not merely body and brain, who am I? Spirit. And with Epilepsy's tutelage, I was encouraged to question, seek, try to understand what lies beyond.

Living with Epilepsy has also given me great strength. In realizing the futile nature of trying to have "power over" Epilepsy, I developed a deep well of "power within"—that inner strength that comes in the acceptance of that which one cannot change—and looking beyond it.

Through my experience building the business of Jogbra with the unique lens afforded me by my Epilepsy partner, I came to understand more fully the nature of power and what it means to be truly powerful.

Specifically, that having power and exercising it is not simply a manifestation of the ego. It need not be "power-tripping." It is how I wield my power that matters, making the all-important distinction between creating a situation of power over, power with, or empowering and having and creating strength in oneself and others.

Being powerful is a big responsibility.

To put all this another way: do I choose to create situations in which I am able to wield power over others? Or do I choose to empower others, sharing my strengths with them, while nurturing their strengths as well? The first is not true power. It is control. The second I believe to be the essence of true and positive power: strength. And integral to creating a more harmonious world, oh by the way.

While this may be apparent, even basic to others, it was an "aha!" moment for me. Too often in the years ahead I would give away my power and question my own strengths,. Time and again, however, my inner strength, my shadow teacher's gift, helped me survive and thrive until I could take responsibility for and embrace more fully my own power.

© Lisa Z. Lindahl 2019