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Do you need a fashion degree to work in fashion?

Do you need a fashion degree to work in fashion?

March 16, 2023

The fashion industry is competitive. To get an edge in this popular field a fashion degree certainly helps.

Some degrees even include internships or Work Integrated Learning (WIL) – which gives students that valuable experience and connections which they would otherwise struggle to gain in such a high-demand industry.

As with any career path in any field, a degree immediately elevates your career prospects and earning power.

You could slog your way to the top, or you could start management-ready with an ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management).

Alex Perry started his fashion career with a degree

Take Alex Perry, for example, a prominent fashion designer and media personality in Australia who recently featured in an ICMS Masterclass where he shared his insider knowledge of the industry.

Over his more than 20-year career, Alex Perry has frequently been featured in aspirational publications such as Vogue, InStyle, Marie Claire, Harpers Bazaar, Madison, and Grazia Australia. He is known for his expertise in creating luxurious and glamorous designs for high-profile events such as red carpet and weddings.

Alex Perry’s designs have been worn by numerous celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Gigi Hadid, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna. He has also appeared as a judge on Australia’s Next Top Model for ten seasons, made appearances on Asia’s Next Top Model, and hosted The Real Housewives of Melbourne. He has also collaborated on Celebrity MasterChef Australia and Project Runway Australia, and his eponymous label has expanded to thirty new countries.

Where did it all start?

While he wasn’t 100% certain of what he wanted to do after school – he even tried his hand at becoming a teacher – he knew he needed to study.

“To me, what ended up being the most important thing at college was that it taught me the beginnings of learning how something fit really well, what was possible, what was not possible, what was good, what was not,” he said of learning the basics of design.

The basics led to a decades-long career in the industry, one which has branched out into avenues Alex Perry could not have dreamed of while a student.

A degree is the foundation of your career in fashion

There are so many entry points into fashion as a career, especially if you choose a degree such as the ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management).

For example, if you want to be a Fashion Brand Strategist and Digital Marketer, you could take the following electives on top of your core business subjects:

Integrated Marketing Communications (MKT201A)

Guerilla Marketing (ENT203A)

Blogging Your Way to Fame (BUS302A)

Fashion Media and PR (FBM305A)

Social Content Creation MKT304A)

Advanced Social Media Marketing (MKT305A)

If you wanted to be a Fashion and Retail Brand Manager/Owner, you could take the following electives:

Pricing and Distribution (MKT202A)

Integrated Marketing Communications (MKT201A)

E-Commerce (FBM303A)

Entrepreneurial Operations and Growth (ENT302A)

Marketing Strategy (MKT301A)

Fashion Consumption and Sustainability (FBM304A)

If you wanted to be a Fashion Events Manager, you could take the following electives:

Event Planning (EVT201A)

Event Production (EVT203A)

Finance and Sponsorship (EVT301A)

Creating Event Experiences (EVT302A)

Social Content Creation (MKT304A)

How about a degree that also helps make industry connections?

A career-focused degree from ICMS immerses you in the fashion industry while still a student.

A great example is the chance to actually meet, in person, influential leaders of industry such as Alex Perry when ICMS hosts regular Masterclasses. These are opportunities to learn from the best in their field, and find out what it takes to get there.

Another example of how an ICMS undergraduate gets you connected before you even graduate is that each degree includes industry placement while you are still a student, with two subjects of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) as part of your coursework.

This means you graduate with relevant industry work experience on your CV.

Like ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Management) student Julie Williams, who interned at Christian Dior Couture in Sydney, NSW, as part of her degree.

In addition to the Dior internship, like other ICMS fashion students Julie attends photoshoots, meets celebrities and takes part in the ICMS Fashion Week as well as a range of other activities designed to immerse fashion students in the fashion and global branding industry.

Julie was invited to continue her Dior internship after the ICMS WIL placement ended, and is still working there – gaining invaluable industry experience and connections – as a Marketing Intern while she completes her studies.

“This internship provided me with the ability to add experience on to my resume that other students wouldn’t have had. On my first day at Dior I got to do a fitting with Simon Baker (who acted in The Devil Wears Prada alongside Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep),” Julie said.

“It was an incredible opportunity to meet him and work with his team for the day. Having this internship on my CV gives me an advantage to get in there quicker and sooner because I have more experience than other candidates and I also have a degree on my side.”

What do you need besides a degree to work in fashion?

A well-rounded business degree with a focus on fashion will get you into the fashion industry, but your attitude will take you even further than a degree ever could.

Take it from straight-talking Alex Perry, who firmly believes starting out in the industry is less about what degree you have and more about your work ethic and drive to prove yourself to whoever will give you the opportunity to showcase what you can bring to the table.

Of long working hours and doing grunt work, Alex advises: “Stick it out. Figure it out. Prove to people that you’ve got staying power, that you’ve got some resilience, that when things get tough you don’t crumble. Take on criticism, be proactive, offer solutions and make yourself invaluable and noticed in the work environment.”

For more information on the ICMS Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management), click here.

To watch the ICMS Masterclass featuring Alex Perry, click here.