Over the past two decades, there have been some significant developments in the Ghanaian fashion industry. Whether one has taken the liking to scroll down social media pages or reading fashion magazines it has become quite the norm to come across images of African models or young people dressed in garments made from African fabrics, a clear sign that African designs are being more embraced now than ever before.
Some of the key actors in the proliferation of African fashion have been the growing number of African designers who showcase their work within and outside Ghana. Among such icons, designers are Christi Brown, Pistis, Ophelia Crossland, etc.
The fashion industry in Ghana is proving itself attractive, fresh, and highly profitable and the world is taking notice. A lot of the credit and success of fashion designers can be linked with fashion schools and the quality of students they are producing. Fashion schools in Ghana are playing key roles in the ever-growing industry. For individuals and students who want to take up a career in the fashion industry, the opportunities are enormous.
Students from fashion schools undergo a lot of training to help them develop a unique thought process. This enhances their creativity and helps them become experts in developing new ideas and concepts. Students are taken through illustration techniques, technical drawing, pattern drafting and draping techniques, tailoring, sewing, and the use of digital technology in fashion among others.
They also gain an understanding of fashion trends, consumer behaviour, brand and market awareness, ethical and ecological issues facing the fashion industry. Again, they are guided to develop transferable skills including communication, presentation, problem-solving, critical thinking, research, and teamwork.
Therefore, due to the unique nature of their training, students can be absorbed and function in many industries directly or indirectly related to their field. Let’s delve into some of the career opportunities one can pursue after fashion school.
The most popular career available to fashion students is to become a fashion designer. The fashion industry is booming as it’s an essential element of our identity and culture. Fashion designers create original clothing, footwear, jewelry, accessories, etc. They develop sketches, select fabrics, make patterns, outfits among others. They visualise and produce designs by hand or using computer-aided design (CAD). The nature of their job keeps them up to date with emerging fashion trends in fabric, colours, cutting, and shapes.
The work of fashion designers can be categorized into high street fashion, ready-to-wear, haute couture among others. Many fashion designers find themselves in a high street fashion where garments are mass manufactured.
Another category is ready-to-wear. As the name sounds, established designers create ready-to-wear collections, produced in relatively small numbers.
there are also the haute couture designers who spend a lot of time on the production of one-off garments for shows, which is often impractical to wear. These designs usually endorse the brand and work of the designers.
Photo Credit: Boye Doe (Collection theme: The Man, The Message & The Mandate)
Fashion retail buyer/manager
This is a career that is becoming more popular in the country. A career as a retail buyer or manager in a departmental store, fashion boutique or big brands can be highly satisfactory. Fashion retail buyers or managers are responsible for finding, negotiating, and purchasing fashion materials sold in stores.
It is a fast-paced job that requires knowledge of the fashion industry as well as the basics of business. As a fashion student, one gains a good insight as to what clothes will work with consumers and the market in general. The kinds of colours and designs which are trending, or which are predicted for the oncoming fashion season, are relevant pieces of information persons in fashion design are privy to.
Stylists mostly work with briefs and use their knowledge in fashion design to produce visually appealing displays or outfits. This is a fast-changing role that would suit someone who loves to solve problems and collaborate with others using their creative flair.
One’s ability to collaborate and communicate event ideas is key as a stylist, as you’ll need to work with a variety of other professionals and agencies to finish a project. Stylists can pick the right pieces from anyone’s wardrobe or a designer’s collection and would suit the client’s character, body type, and the kind of occasion the dress is getting selected for.
Stylists often suggest the kind of makeup, accessories, hairstyles for their clients. Big-time celebrities hire stylists regularly for red carpet events and parties. Stylists are also in demand for creating and organizing weddings, working with models, photographers, influencers, magazines, etc.
As the name suggests, textile designers create 2D patterns, weave, and printed fabrics among others. These fabrics may be used in interior designs or to make clothes. Textile designers work both independently or as part of a design team in both industrial and non-industrial settings. They use Fashion CAD (Computer Aided Designs) to develop patterns and textures. They are the masters when it comes to technological innovations in fabrics and materials.
The work settings for textile designers may differ and may include factories, backrooms or even working from home.
Fashion magazine/fashion blogger
If you have amazing writing skills, you can pursue a career in writing for a fashion magazine or become an independent fashion blogger. Fashion magazines are always on the lookout for fresh new talent and you can be their newest find! Fashion editors and bloggers earn a lot of money for their generated content and invaluable fashion tips and hacks. You can also deliver your ideas in the form of videos, articles, or stories on your social media. It is well documented that social media influencers on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube earn a lot based on comments, likes, and subscribers.
As well as writing, you may also get involved in the production of the publication, taking on sub-editing and designing.
In conclusion, there are various career opportunities one can explore after fashion school. I hope this article serves as a good reference to select fashion design as a course of study. And most importantly stir and encourage you to pursue a sustainable career you will have better fulfilment in.
>>> the Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design’s address: P.O Box CT1097; Phone: 0235682600/0302797471/0508684832; Website: www.jaccd.edu.gh; Location: 26 W Cantonments, Cantonments Ghana; Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaccdgh/