The world of fashion design jobs is more than just gorgeous high heels, silky garments, and rainbows of nail polish, eye shadow, and lipstick. It is an international industry that screams creativity and passion. The field crosses barriers of culture and language, reflecting our values and what is happening in the world. By finding fashion jobs abroad, you not only step into a fun, fierce, fast-paced world of glitz and glamour, but you broaden your experience and perspective with knowledge of an ever-changing global market.
Why Work Abroad in Fashion
Fashion exists in every culture, in every corner of the earth, so gaining international experience will only help you in the job market. Whether you are just entering into the field or you’re an experienced fashionista, jumpstarting fashion design careers allows you to step further into the business while gaining a unique perspective of the field. Your insight and knowledge of international aesthetics will be an automatic resume booster.
Fashion is a medium we use every day to express ourselves. It is more than just clothes or models; it is a method of communication that reflects culture and changes in history, as well as personal experiences and beliefs. By finding international fashion jobs, you actively take part in communicating solely through self-expression, and in doing so, you become more aware of cultural differences and new design strategies.
Working abroad in fashion design also allows the opportunity for networking. You have the chance to work in some of the world’s most fashion-influenced cities and gain hands-on experience with top international designers. Not only will doors open further for international work, but your home department will be dramatically impressed by your reputation after seeing your experience in a foreign market.
Because the fashion industry expands through every culture, there are endless opportunities for fashion jobs abroad. But the world of fashion is not for the faint of heart. In this cutthroat industry, competition is high, so don’t be afraid to look near and far when applying for international fashion design jobs.
The United States is a fashion mecca if you want to work in fashion— especially New York City. Despite its small size, the city breathes extreme creativity through its art and culture and inspires many current and future fashion icons. Famous designers like Marc Jacobs and Vera Wang have offices in NYC, and Fashion Week attracts many international designers as well. Check out the Garment District or the Museum of Modern Art while you make a name for yourself in the fashion capital that never sleeps.
Asia is filled with extreme fashion trends. China is one of the most diverse countries when it comes to culture, with many ethnic groups, traditions, and styles, and its fashion industry is one of the largest growing markets in the world. Two decades ago, Chinese streets were filled with Zhongshan suits (generic business attire), but the culture is now embracing bold, luxurious fashion— a perfect fit for entry level fashion design jobs. Work abroad in Beijing or Shanghai, where you can take part in leading international fashion trade shows, while gaining experience in branding.
Europe is full of trendsetters, and Italy is another popular location for fashion design jobs abroad. Italians are known for la bella figura (literally translated as “the beautiful figure”), an essential philosophy that encompasses visual beauty, presentation, and good first impressions. Italian fashion is luxurious and the “Made in Italy” label instantly signifies authenticity and the highest quality. Fashion design jobs are popular throughout the country, from Venice and Florence, to Rome and Milan. You may find yourself feeling like the next Versace or Armani as you work your way up in some of the world’s top fashion capitals.
And of course, you can’t think of fashion without thinking of France. It is one of Europe’s leading countries for jobs in fashion design, as fashion plays a key role in every part of daily life, culture, and history. Make Paris your home base, where you can get lost in one of the world’s most fashionable cities, basking in the glory of Chanel, Dior, and Vuitton. Help host Paris’ bi-annual Fashion Week, or hop between cities to some of the 14 other fashion weeks hosted around France.
Fashion Design Jobs Abroad
The fashion design world never sleeps. While this can be overwhelming when looking for work, it also means there are endless fashion designer job openings. Whether you are looking for full-time work or an internship position, there are many areas to get involved in the fashion world. International companies are always looking for a foreign eye because they value an outside perspective, so don’t be afraid to jump right in!
Entering into the fashion world as a designer is highly competitive, but there are many great opportunities to get your foot in the door abroad. Try working alongside a designer by assisting with retail management, stocking, and shipping. You will gain hands on experience as your designer becomes a mentor. Just know that a job in this field will require a higher fluency level of the native language and background in fashion, as these positions do not typically fall as entry level fashion design jobs.
If you have an eye for trends, look for jobs in merchandising and fashion buying. In these roles, you watch out for styles and trends that appeal to your fashion company’s clients and consumers, ensuring the right products are available for purchase. This is an excellent area if you’ve worked in the retail industry and have a business mindset.
Creative and communicative types can enter the fashion design world through marketing and sales. If you’re interested in learning about the behind-the-scenes moves to get products out to the world, marketing and sales jobs are a step in the right direction. You can work alongside manufacturers, or set up focus groups to get feedback from buyers. If you’ve always dreamed of getting the word out about the hottest fashion trends and latest styles, look into fashion design careers focused on public relations or advertising. In any of these fields, you’ll learn what consumers want, the most essential part of the fashion design business.
Benefits & Challenges
If you’ve ever seen The Devil Wears Prada, you already know that entering into the world of fashion is competitive. Securing international fashion design jobs is tough, and you may find yourself in an assistant role, doing the dirty work and having to grab coffee for your boss more often than you’d like. But while your first fashion design job abroad may not be the most glamorous, you’ll gain valuable experience that will boost your credibility in the business.
Finding jobs in fashion design in other countries is a major resume booster. Cultural differences are reflected through fashion design, and working internationally means you have to cope with these changes, cross language barriers, and become more open-minded in order to succeed. You’ll show future employers that you can adapt to new situations and communicate on a visual level, and you’ll proceed into the world of fashion with a special eye.
Fashion jobs abroad are perfect for those natural leaders with entrepreneurial spirits. You’ll have the opportunity to learn in a global market, embrace a new culture through style, and enhance your dream career. You may have to prove yourself in the fashion world, but working abroad in fashion design will be an adventure filled with creativity, hard work, and lots of sparkles!