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7 Truths About My Fashion Merchandising Education

1. I don’t want to be a designer

“You’re studying fashion? So, you’re going to be a designer?”  All due respect to every designer out there, because I could never do it. However, understanding the process of product development from sketching, sewing, and sourcing is crucial knowledge to any career path I might choose. Thankfully for me, there are limitless career choices when it comes to fashion. A few of them being: Forecasting, Visual Merchandiser, Retail Manager, Event Coordinator, Personal Stylist, Fashion Editor, Product Manager/Merchandiser, Sales Representative, and Buyers.

2. I have textbooks, homework, and tests

I’m earning my Bachelors in Fashion Merchandising/Retail Management. My first day I didn’t bring a book bag because who knew fashion textbooks even exist? Not me, but they do. So does fashion homework, tests, papers, projects, midterms, and exams. 

3. No, we don’t talk about what’s cute all day

I actually have had a few people ask me if we just talk about our favorite trends, designers, and the best dressed list in my classes. As much as I wish that were true, it’s not. A few of my classes include studying the care and renovation of fabric, performance testing, textile laws and regulations, sales and management techniques for managers, wholesalers, merchandisers, sales reps and associates, and how to negotiate agreements and analyze each element presented in profitability reports. 

4. I still want advice on my outfits

My sister, Ashley, is the worst with this one. Anytime I ask her “Does this look okay?” or “Which shirt do you think looks better?” She responds with, “I don’t know your the “fashion-person.” I may be studying fashion, but I still have a few regrettable purchases with tags still attached, I often get haunted by my Timehop, and I love a good shopping buddy!

5. You don’t have to look fresh off the runway for class

There is no spot on the SIBA application where you have to attach a photo of your 10 best outfits.  I’m free to roll right out of bed and drag my butt to my 8 am class. Since I rarely do anything but work my three jobs, maintain my 24 credit hours, and feed my shopping addiction; you better believe I’m dressing up for class (don’t be fooled my outfit might be cute, but there is a good chance I haven’t brushed my teeth…priorities.)

6. Working for free is a must

Whether its a fashion show, an internship, or a window display; you’re not getting paid. Heck, maybe you should just pay your superior for letting you work for free! The Devil Wears Prada is no exaggeration, people. However, volunteering/interning is amazing experience and I’m grateful for every opportunity that comes my way. 

7. Fashion industry is of great importance

The industry generates around 2.5 trillion in revenue a year. It is huge, competitive, and constantly growing. “According to current growth projections, it will double in the next 10 years, generating up to $5 trillion annually. How many other industries can look forward to such levels of growth?” Aside from the mula, there is so much that can be expressed through the way we dress. Looking back on history, you can see status of culture, economy, and art all through fashion. I have an immense passion for this industry and love to talk about it. So, leave me a comment, send me an email, or find me on any of my social media accounts and let me know what you think!

xo, Sarah

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