I can’t decide on a pathway for fashion (design or business orientated)

by Charlie Hamilton
(Plymouth, United Kingdom)

I’m currently completing a UAL foundation diploma in art and design.

I’m very creative and love the design aspect, however I’m not so keen on the sewing.

I am also academic and wouldn’t want to have a career that is purely creative.

I’m unsure of the career options in the business side. I’m interested in the high end, luxury fashion that comes with a high salary.

I’m not concerned about long hours and would love to travel and possibly manage a team. I’m a natural leader and problem solver.

My concern about fashion business is not having the opportunity to be creative! I want a high earning, high profile job with huge rewards.

My other concern is I’m unsure which degree would be most beneficial. My parents are very supportive of me but fees are something I’m highly concerned about regarding university.

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Oct 31, 2021
Career Coach & Resume Writer
by: Chola M.

Hi Charlie,
Thanks for your question. There’s a lot to unpack. So let’s dive in.

1) Design vs business

Going over your own words, you’ve answered this question for yourself. You don’t want a career that is purely creative. If all you wanted to do was design, you’d know.
You said so yourself, you’re not sure about business career options. So take a little time to look into them.
To help you get started on that research, here are a few interviews I did with industry professionals, that you can look at.

Fashion forecasting, Fashion editing, Fashion retailing/business owner

2) Creativity score

I get your concerns entirely. Most people make it sound like if a person is creative, they can’t be academic. Or that fashion is all about being creative and nothing else.

The truth is, I can’t predict what will fulfil you creatively & intellectually. And neither can you. It’s really something you have to play by ear.

So give yourself that space to explore it.
For example, start a fashion blog and see if you really like the reality of being in a managerial role.

Or volunteer at a brand that you’d really like to work at to see how you really feel about their company culture.

Get a job in retail with the goal of experiencing the ins and outs of getting merchandise into the customers hands.

But get your feet wet and remember it’s perfectly alright to change direction. Nothing is carved in stone.

The great thing about fashion degrees is that they grant you access to working in any aspect of the industry.

3) Career options

As pointed out, you’re not keen on sewing. So we can safely steer clear of the production side of fashion. This again points us towards business. Perhaps look at the sales and marketing side of fashion.

In my experience & opinion, this is the area of fashion with the best balance of creativity & academia.

4) Earnings

Office jobs pay more money than production jobs.
The person working a sewing machine makes less than the person creating marketing campaigns.
This is another point for a business path over a design path.

5) Affording School

Short of online degrees and scholarships, tuition in the UK is around £15,000. You may have to consider working through school. That can be a great opportunity for you to really get a feel of how you feel about working in fashion.

Final thoughts:
Sounds to me like your goals are leaning more towards a business path.

Hope that helps. And do let me know what you decide.

Chola M.

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