The world of fashion is something that has tremendously evolved through the decades. There has especially been a huge growth in the study field of fashion. Two of the most in demand careers are fashion merchandise and fashion design and although both careers deal with the same subject and have some similarities, they also have many differences. Both occupations have a common background with some minor changes in detail; they also differ in career choices offered by the industry, and most importantly each profession requires a different degree.
Fashion merchandise is defined as the point where fashion and business meet. Fashion merchandising involves marketing fashions to various retail stores, boutiques, and wholesalers. The mission of a fashion merchandiser consists of connecting different fashions to consumers and anticipating what your clients will be interested in. Fashion merchandise does not center on fashion alone; it requires a devoted business sense and comprehension of assorted marketing strategies and techniques.
On the other hand fashion design is defined as the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social freedom, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories. Some work alone or as part of a team. They must consider who is likely to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn.
They work with different materials such as; pattern, color, texture, and diverse styles. Although both professions deal with the fashion industry one is more inclined to business and the other is more inclined to art. It is not necessary to be really artistic and creative to be a fashion merchandiser; however it is necessary to be artistic to be a fashion designer. The amount of careers in the field of fashion has grown immensely within the last few decades and the demand for more designers and merchandisers is astonishing.
While many workers were losing their jobs due to the recession, it seemed as if the fashion industry did not get impacted by this very much. Fashion merchandising has a vast amount of careers one could generalize in while design only focuses on one. Some of the careers merchandise offers is: management, buyer, seller, visual, trends, display, store owner, and the list goes on. On the other hand designing deals with the design of the garments or accessories.
Although, you can divide it in specific fields such as: drawing, sewing, construction, course design, etc. hey all lead to the same destination, and that is designing the product. However, when you study merchandise, you get a little taste of all the aspects of the merchandise field and then generalize in one. A big advantage to that is that you are able to change your specific line of work at any time without having to go back to school, for example going from working at a retail store as a buyer to opening your own boutique to writing editorials for a top magazine. Getting a degree is one of the most important steps in pursuing a career.
Whether it is for design or for fashion it is standard to get an education and a degree in order to reach your goal. Although both professions require a 2-year or 4-year degree they are not going to be the same degree. When studying design the courses required are hands on, sewing, drawing, textile, fabric, fashion trends, etc. Unlike design, merchandise is more inclined to math and business, reading, and writing; however you are still required to take many of the design courses.
It is important to know the basics, being fashion, however one takes you to the business side while the other the more artistic side. As explained before these two professions have many similarities especially the most important being that they both deal with fashion. But, once you have decided what occupation you are interested in it is important to see what field that falls into. You cannot be an assistant to a major designer like Karl Lagerfeld if you do not have experience in design nor can you open an accessory store without having experience in merchandise.
The reason for this is simple; if you do not have the experience and knowledge necessary in either then you may not be as successful as expected. When I first started school 5 years ago, I was not aware of the merchandise program and took fashion design for a year, I decided I did not like drawing nor did I like sewing and I changed my major to business until I was informed about merchandise. I wasted a couple years and a lot of money and this is why being aware of the careers and what it takes is so important.