LONDON, United Kingdom — Starting out in fashion is notoriously hard. Thanks to a stubbornly nepotistic culture and extremely high competition for internships, graduates and other aspiring fashion professionals face an upward battle to secure lasting employment. In the US, for example, it’s estimated that each year about 10 percent of the total job pool are graduating from undergraduate programmes and entering the industry with degrees in fashion design each year, which in turn has created an oversupply.
But all is not lost. In a fast-changing fashion market being reshaped by new business models, emerging technologies and shifting consumer values, there are many new career paths emerging in fashion. Although there is currently an imbalance of supply and demand for design graduates, the landscape is poised for new sectors within innovative and hybridised specialisations that include digital manufacturing, social innovation, sustainability and new business models. These new roles are increasingly important to the future of the fashion business and offer graduates new avenues to participate in this exciting sector.
Analysing data sourced from over 8000 graduates and 75+ universities, BoF can reveal that according to student surveys the number of students that secure employment within 12 months of graduation is up by more than 5 percent over 3 years, rising from 72 percent in 2015 to 77 percent last year.