THE FASHION INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
Would you like to be the person who decides which fashion apparel appears on the racks at retail stores? If so, you might enjoy a career in fashion industry. People in this field decide which products will be hot each season and how to market those items in the competitive world of retail. However design begins with creativity, professionals who work in fashion marketing and merchandising examine fashion trends, help retailers’ stock fashion lines, coordinate sales and promote goods. While you wouldn't actually design clothing as marketing and merchandising professional, you'd still be responsible for helping designers by ensuring that their lines sell. Successful professionals in the field usually have a blend of business skills and textiles knowledge, as well as the ability to identify consumer behavior and desires.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America Inc., is a not-for-profit trade association that leads industry-wide initiatives and whose membership consists of more than 400 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry, and accessory designers. In addition to hosting the annual CFDA Fashion Awards, which recognize the top creative talent in the industry, the organization offers programs, which support professional development and scholarships, including the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, the Geoffrey Beene Design Scholar Award, the Liz Claiborne Scholarship Award, and the CFDA/Teen Vogue Scholarship. Member support is provided through the Business Services Network, a high-profile group of companies offering designers strategic opportunities.
The Fashion industry is based around crafting a positive consumer experience. Fashion buying can be a part of this. From choosing what to sell, to deciding how it's displayed in stores, fashion designers have a customer-focused approach. They know that presentation counts. A sweater by itself may not attract attention, but pair it with the right belt, jeans and some fabulous shoes, and it becomes a hot item. Fashion designers experts subtly inspire consumers to see the possibilities in their products.
“All designers deserve the right to design protection and only the creator of an original design should profit from that design. Taking someone’s work and calling it your own is wrong and robs the designer of a rightful return on their investment,” CFDA CEO Steven Kolb.
Fashion designers are not so subtle. It's their job to promote fashion. They want to generate interest in new styles and products. Fashion marketing involves advertising, but it's more than that. Fashion designers have to be on the cutting edge—endorsing the right thing at the right time. They connect the public with the world of fashion, and they help set trends. While many people think that they could make a career out of shopping, fashion designers is more complex than that. Fashion designers have to be aware of the nuances of trends. They have to anticipate where styles are going and what will catch on with consumers. Not every new style will make it to the marketplace. Fashion designers make decisions about what to sell and how much based on their knowledge of fashion history, market trends and customer psychology.
The CFDA continues to advance the status of fashion design as a branch of American art and culture; to raise its artistic and professional standards; to define a code of ethical practices of mutual benefit in public and trade relations; and, to promote appreciation of the fashion arts through leadership in quality and aesthetic discernment.
In addition to hosting the annual CFDA Fashion Awards, the organization is committed to nurturing the development of the American fashion industry’s future designers. The CFDA’s Educational Initiatives provide support and resources for students at the high school, collegiate and post-graduate levels. In addition, CFDA supports working designers in the early stages and throughout their careers. The CFDA, through the CFDA Foundation, Inc., mobilizes its membership to raise funds for important charitable causes: Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and The CFDA-Vogue Initiative for HIV and AIDS (7th on Sale).
“CFDA CEO Steven Kolb”. Retrieved on February 4th 2012 from http://www.cfda.com/
By Melisa Brown