Education and Training Requirements
High school classes that are fashion related can help acquaint you with the industry. Some schools, such as the High School of Fashion Industries in New York City, offer fashion-related courses such as fashion design, illustration, fashion merchandising, and art history, along with the more traditional academic classes. Even if your high school does not offer specialized fashion courses, you can still prepare for this work by taking classes such as family and consumer science. Take art classes to learn about color and composition. English and speech classes will help you develop the communication skills essential for this line of work. You may be surprised to find out that a knowledge of math is useful in this field, so do not neglect mathematics courses. You may also want to take business or accounting classes since many fashion coordinators are responsible for accounting and budgeting for fashion shows.
While a college education may not be absolutely necessary for every fashion job, in this case, a bachelor's degree plus experience will give you an edge over candidates working solely on past job skills. Most fashion coordinators have degrees in fashion design and merchandising, marketing, or other business-related courses. Computer skills are also important. Many coordinators use computer-aided design software to complete projects.
It is imperative to spend time in an internship, preferably with a company you hope to be employed by after graduation. Companies prefer to hire graduates who have relevant work experience. In fact, many companies offer their interns full-time positions. If you are unable to find an internship in the fashion industry, consider internships in the music and entertainment industries. These fields are also important sources of fashion trends. Internships at popular entertainment houses such as MTV or VH1 will give you the opportunity to see the role fashion plays in promoting an image as well as give you work experience.
Other Education or Training
Fashion Group International, Inc. offers a Beauty and Retail Symposium Series that “features influential business leaders in a panel format who address global issues and the changing dynamics of today's marketplace.” Contact the organization for more information.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
There is no certification or licensing available for fashion coordinators.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Aspiring fashion coordinators should obtain as much experience as possible in general fashion and fashion merchandising and sales via internships, volunteerships, or other opportunities.
Fashion coordinators must be hard working, organized, and well-rounded individuals. They often juggle many tasks simultaneously in order to meet deadlines or produce a flawless fashion show. Be prepared to mingle with the high-power fashion elite one minute and set up folding chairs the next.
A strong sense of fashion is important. You should have an eye for color, design, and what is fashionable. Fashion sense can be learned, but the interest must be present before it can be nurtured. Fashion coordinators, along with anyone working in the fashion industry, keep current by reading fashion magazines and newspapers and visiting Web sites devoted to fashion.