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Module 1: The Fashion Industry, Career Opportunities, Resources in the UK and Developing your Brand

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The Fashion Industry in the UK 
The United Kingdom has a unique fashion industry that represents the largest creative sector with fashion and textile exports alone estimating over £6.5 billion.
Top 5 Fashion Companies in the UK

Next
Marks and Spencer
The Arcadia Group
Burberry
New Look

Why UK Fashion?
The following are key points to what makes British fashion distinctive:
Professionalism and Originality
Widespread Expertise
Retail and Manufacturing Link
Career Opportunities in Fashion Design
It is time that you explore your opportunities, so you can narrow down the selections and begin planning for your new career. 
Requirements
Although you do not need a college degree to become a fashion designer, you should earn one because many of the designers competing against you for jobs will have a formal education. 
You can also take on a job assisting an established designer, which offers you the unique opportunity to gain experience from a seasoned professional.
Career Positions as a Fashion Designer
Since the fashion industry is so broad, you have a wide variety of career positions to choose from.
Fashion Designer
This involves development, production, and manufacturing. 
 Assistant Designer
An assistant designer works alongside the fashion designer and performs many of the same duties in an assisting role. 
Pattern Maker
Pattern makers focus on creating patterns and specs that detail how each component of a garment should be manufactured and pieced together.
Fashion Merchandiser
A merchandiser determines what fashion, accessories and clothing lines get produced. 
Fashion Buyer
A fashion buyer is responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory orders, pricing vendor orders and selecting merchandise for sale. 
Assistant Fashion Buyer
Before you can become a fashion buyer, you must first become an assistant fashion buyer. 
Merchandise Manager
A merchandise manager, also known as a DDM or divisional merchandise manager, holds one of the highest paid positions in the fashion industry. Merchandise managers supervise merchandise departments, fashion buyers, and other departments.
Design Director
The design director is responsible for overseeing trends, colours, and fabric direction for all product lines. 
Fashion Director
Additionally, a fashion director is required to forecast trends and manage buying teams.
Couturier
A couturier is highly skilled in garment construction, production, and design, and enjoys crafting one-of-a-kind apparel for private clients.
Fashion Forecaster
A fashion forecaster is a market analyst who predicts consumer tastes and fashion trends.
Costume Curator
Fashion or costume curators design apparel or accessories from other eras, cultures, or contemporary designs. 
Tailor
A tailor is an expert in garment construction, sewing, support and structure, and fittings. 
Fashion and Textile Apprenticeships
UK businesses are also offering training opportunities in the following niche activities:
Product development
Brand creation and development
Creative design
Inexpensive, small scale manufacturing
For more information on either of these opportunities, you can contact the Skills Funding Agency.
Event Insurance
If you plan to launch a fashion show or fundraising event to showcase your collection, you will need insurance for your event. 
Business Resources
Checklist to help you get your clothes on the rack:

Register as a sole trader, limited company, or a partnership. You can do this online.
Most designers choose to register as a sole trader. It will be your responsibility to keep records of your business expenses and pay income taxes.
Apply for a national insurance number, which you can do through Jobcentre Plus. This number is used in the United Kingdom as a personal account number and sometimes in the tax system. 
Obtain business and liability insurance.

Developing Your Brand Identity
Branding is an important part of your fashion label that many designers often overlook.
Why is Branding Important?
Branding is an important step that helps you stand out amongst the competition.
Remember, your brand reflects you, so it should be consistent throughout.
Define the who, what, and why of your brand.
Preparing for Fashion Week
London’s Fashion Week occurs twice a year and is a highly-coveted event for avid fashion fans and celebrities. For designers, forecasters, manufacturers, and models it is the busiest time of the year.
The following tips will help you navigate your way through your first experience with the busiest fashion event in the industry.
Tips for Fashion Week:

Set a Target
Be Prepared
Follow Up With Contacts