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Home The Business School Blog 2015 November 27 Cut the cotton: Three myths debunked that'll make you take the fashion business seriously

Cut the cotton: Three myths debunked that'll make you take the fashion business seriously

picture of centennial college fashion business and management program coordinator Leesa Butler working with a clothing manufacturer

If you’re plugged into the world of fashion, then you understand there’s more to it than just models and runways. And unlike the movies, which tend to portray the industry as one big glamorous party after another, there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes in order to get apparel made, onto the runways and into the hands of consumers. In fact, any fashion business program will help you quickly realize just how realistic occupations in the industry are. Below we debunk three common myths about the industry that will help you realize pursuing a career in fashion business and management in Toronto is definitely a viable career option.

Myth 1: “If you want to work in fashion, you have to be a designer.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Like any other industry, be it the forestry or automotive sector, there are a number of jobs that are vital to the success of an organization. In the fashion sector, your options exceed more than just designer (or model). What about the people who organize and ensure the clothes are made and shipped to retail (manufacturing and production coordinators), or those who select and buy the clothes you find on the racks (visual merchandisers and buyers), or the people who perform market research and promote designers’ products to the masses (advertising, marketing and public relations)? There are also stylists, technicians, project managers, event planners, writers, human resource specialists—the list goes on! The opportunities are plenty and there are a number of fashion courses in Toronto that can help you discover what one’s for you.

Myth 2: “No one buys the clothes you see on the runway, so how would a career in fashion be sustainable? “

What you see at Fashion Week is definitely not all you’ll see at your local mall. Remember those eccentric pieces are simply an extension of art that helps promote a designer’s entire collection. Seasonal trends like colours, fabrics and themes might be featured. The more “subdued” selections released for mainstream, mass consumption actually sell.

Additionally, the rise in consumer demand for businesses to become more socially responsible means clothing manufacturers have had to step up their game in making clothes that do more than just adorn our bodies. The fashion industry has had to become more innovative and environmentally friendly— from designing wearable technology to using fabric made from recycled synthetics.

Myth 3: “Come on, fashion is a hobby. Just because you love clothes doesn’t mean it’s a real job.”

Last year, Canadians spent millions on men’s, women’s and children’s apparel. Can you imagine how big your closet would have to be to fit that many items of clothing? To support such a huge demand, the industry employs millions people worldwide. Most of these people aren’t designers or models, and as mentioned in myth number one, consist of merchandisers, buyers, advertisers, marketers, technology experts and more. They’re paid based on years of experience, level of expertise and their achievements and performance—again, just like any job in any industry.

So the next time someone tries to tell you that fashion isn’t a viable career option, you can now tell them all the reasons it’s actually a great choice. There are a number of opportunities other than designer or model, real people buy real clothes and they’re spending a lot of money!

You can get a fashion business management diploma in Toronto at Centennial College, which will prepare you for the skills, knowledge and fundamentals of the industry, including manufacturing, trends and technologies, marketing and promotion, and other aspects of management. The ultimate path you pursue is up to you.

By Ashley Breedon