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Top 12 Ways To Gain Skills to Get Promoted & Succeed Your Fashion Industry Dream Job

photo of a female catching a cab in NYC
Female catching a cab in NYC

Greetings Fashion Industry Enthusiasts! If you are reading this, you are interested in leveling up your skills to increase your chances of achieving success in the Top 10 Fashion Industry Jobs. Here is our list of general steps you can take to boost your skills and level up your career.

Check out our handy dandy checklist with actionable steps to keep you on track. Grab your copy here:

Top 12 Ways to Gain Skills to Get Promoted & Succeed Your Fashion Industry Dream Job

1. Education and Training: Pursue a relevant degree or program in fashion design, fashion marketing, business, communications, or a related field. This will provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills specific to the fashion industry. If you are already in the industry, look for professional development workshops- many are available online and you can work at your own pace. Completing a workshop or certificate is an excellent way to increase your knowledge and addition to your resume.

Check our list of Top Fashion Design Programs

2. Gain Experience: Seek internships, entry-level positions, or freelance opportunities within the fashion industry to gain practical experience and build your portfolio. This will help you understand the industry dynamics and develop relevant skills.

Here is Women's Wear Daily featured book and recommended reading: The Little Book to Land Your Dream Job by Billy Clark and Clayton Apgar

From WWD.Com: Billy Clark and Clayton Apgar have helped many in the fashion industry land their dream jobs, and now their secrets are available for all.

The pair have released “The Little Book to Land Your Dream Job,” based on their expertise in counseling more than 5,000 people on career changes and job searches with companies like The Row, Kelly Wearstler, Peter Marino, and more.

“One of the most important components of the dialogue we’ll have with

anyone is expanding what we often traditionally think of as our skill set to encompass attributes, which are broader than our skill set, technical or otherwise,” Apgar says. “Especially in the 21st century, especially in a lot of roles in a service economy, there’s a broader range of experiences, talents, and perspectives that we all can bring to a role that sometimes are more valuable. Helping people see that full landscape, especially in a creative vertical like fashion, can make a huge difference.” WWD

3. Develop Technical Skills: Depending on the role, focus on developing technical skills specific to that position. For example, if you aspire to become a fashion designer, enhance your sketching, pattern-making, and sewing skills. If you aim to work in fashion marketing, focus on digital marketing, social media management, and data analytics.

4. Stay Updated on Trends: Keep a pulse on fashion trends, consumer preferences, and industry developments. Follow fashion publications, attend fashion events, and immerse yourself in the fashion culture to stay current and relevant. Currently, being aware of what's happening in Fashion Tech and sustainability practices is increasingly important. You can find information just by googling! Check out our past event discussion Fashion & Tech, with prominent industry guests

5. Network: Build a solid professional network within the fashion industry by attending industry events, joining fashion associations, participating in fashion competitions, and connecting with professionals in your desired field. Networking can lead to valuable connections, mentorship opportunities, and job prospects.

Action steps:

  • Check out your local fashion shows. Many cities now host their own. Consider participating, even if you're not building your own brand. If you are looking for a way to showcase your talent and skillset, participating in a show is a great way to get seen, meet people, and gather photos and portfolio content

  • Find your local networking events. none in your area? Could you organize your own?

  • Check out existing Fashion Associations that you could join- find one for free or within your budget and sign up.

  • Attend free zooms. There are endless Zoom sessions these days- most are free and bring in industry pros. You can learn about almost every topic, from circularity to sustainable textiles, to design techniques, color, and branding....the list goes on and on. Again just google search!

  • Take online classes to meet others and earn a certificate- again many free online classes exist, some with affordable pricing that can earn you a badge to add to your professional profile and is a great way to connect with others.

black and white photo of Get Your Professional Edge on Event with Amy Cole Connect
Get Your Professional Edge on Event with Amy Cole Connect

Are you an introvert and dread networking? Check out this most viewed video on YouTube Networking. for Introverts from marieTV

6. Continuous Learning: Fashion is a dynamic industry that constantly evolves. Commit to lifelong learning and stay open to new ideas, If you're already working in the industry and perhaps have been for many years, continuing education can keep you relevant and expand your skills in areas such as emerging technologies, and industry best practices. Take advantage of workshops, online courses, and industry conferences to expand your knowledge and skills.

photo of desk withe people Working together as a design team
Working together as a design team

7. Develop Soft Skills: Alongside technical skills, focus on developing essential soft skills such as communication, creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, and adaptability. These skills are crucial for success in any fashion role, as they contribute to effective collaboration, innovation, and professional growth.

Photo of Britta Cabanos Behance Portfolio
Britta Cabanos Behance Portfolio Profile

8. Showcase Your Work: Build a strong portfolio or online presence to showcase your skills, projects, and achievements. This includes design collections, marketing campaigns, event planning, or any other relevant work demonstrating your abilities.

photo of Britta Cabanos Draping Swimwear:  Design Mentoring
Britta Cabanos Draping Swimwear: Design Mentoring

9. Seek Mentorship: Find mentors or professionals in your desired field who can provide guidance, advice, and industry insights. Their experience and knowledge can help you navigate the industry and provide valuable career guidance.

10. Persistence and Perseverance: The fashion industry can be competitive and challenging. Staying focused, working hard, and persevering through setbacks is essential. Building a successful career in fashion often requires dedication, resilience, and a proactive approach.

photo of clipboard with resume bullet points
Resume Pointers

11. Update your resume: Here are some pointers from 10 Best Skills To Put On Your Resume (With Examples and FAQ)

12. Enlist the help of a recruiter: Here are a few options. It's worth doing some research to find recruiters that are in your area and specialize in fashion careers and are a good fit for your goals.

photo of Amy Cole Connect Fashion Recruiter in NYC
Amy Cole Connect Fashion Recruiter in NYC

A long-time industry recruiter Amy Cole from Amy Cole Connect has helped hundreds of companies and candidates connect and find the right match. Check her out here: Amy is based in NYC and most jobs are on the east coast, but it doesn't hurt to make yourself known to her. Amy also offers career coaching and if you're serious about up-leveling your professional brand, check out her transformative process:


Bolywelch. Check them out here: Another agency based in Portland. boly:welch is the premier Portland job recruitment agency and is recognized for over 37 years for the great work they do: putting people front and center in the hiring process.

Here is a great resource page from boly: welch

52 Limited. Check them out here: 52 Limited

"52 Limited is a digital resource company connecting creative + technology talent with leading brands, marketing and engineering departments, start-ups, design firms, advertising and interactive agencies. As a boutique agency born and bred in design-obsessed Portland during a tech renaissance, we're high touch and highly knowledgeable." From They also published blogs that are great reads about professional development.



"If you’re ready to begin your search for one of these creative jobs, consider working with the specialized recruiters at 24 Seven.

Our team is a leader in finding creative talent and exciting careers in the marketing, digital, fashion, retail, and beauty sectors. We have deep connections with a vast network of organizations looking for full-time and freelance creative talent just like you!

We often know of opportunities before they’re even posted, and we work as a free job resource for you. Contact our recruiters today, and let’s find your next creative job together!" From


Remember that each role may have specific requirements and paths to success, so it's essential to research and tailor your skill development based on your career goals.

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Hey there, lovely fashion friends! My name is Britta Cabanos, and I'm thrilled to have you here! 


I'm a 25+ year fashion industry design professional, and I'm passionate about supporting conscious designers, ethical makers, and sustainability. I believe that fashion can be a powerful force for good, and I'm committed to helping aspiring fashion industry pros make their mark in this exciting and ever-changing field. 


If you share my passion for conscious fashion and sustainability,  then you're in the right place. I offer industry insights, mentorship, connections, and resources to help you achieve your goals and make a positive impact in the world. Let's connect and explore the possibilities together - are you ready to join me on this exciting journey?

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