A fashion coordinator -- often called a fashion director -- works with a variety of fashion-oriented companies and organizations to create fashion shows, magazine layouts and other fashion productions. She is responsible for showcasing the work of a designer or store, and implements current fashion trends, typically working long hours and traveling frequently to conduct market research. The coordinator relies heavily on a zeal for fashion and a background in marketing or promotions.
A fashion coordinator establishes relationships with designers, manufacturers and merchandisers to both showcase new collections and stay abreast of current market trends. Using inspiration and research gained from these relationships -- and attending fashion events and monitoring fashion publications -- the fashion coordinator selects the garments and accessories used for events like photo shoots and couture shows. Marketing is also a large part of this job as she is responsible for coordinating public relations for upcoming events. If employed by a retailer, she might also be expected to share insights that helps the store's buyers fill inventory.
Skills and Qualifications
A love of fashion is essential, as is an eye for artistic balance and general aesthetics. Her understanding of current trends and consumer spending habits helps the fashion coordinator present shows, shoots and other events that are original, stylish and relevant. She must be an analytical thinker and effective problem solver who can use logic and reasoning to plan events and resolve issues. Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, are a must for the public relations aspect of this job, and effective money and time management skills help her facilitate events that run efficiently and within budget.
Most positions require extensive fashion experience in lieu of specific educational requirements, but fashion coordinators should have some sort of background in a fashion-related course of study. For example, coursework in textiles, apparel manufacturing or fashion design would help. In addition to experience, most positions rely on a portfolio that showcases artistic ability, conceptual design and use of fashion. Project management experience is also beneficial for managing multiple large events at once.
Most fashion coordinators work at least a full time schedule -- with longer hours when facilitating large events -- and will be involved in a variety of activities, including bending, twisting, lifting and walking. A good deal of travel might be expected, both for research purposes as well as implementing photo shoots and hosting events. In terms of a working locale, a majority of fashion coordinator or fashion director positions occur in larger metropolitan areas where shopping districts, malls and specialty boutiques are plentiful.
Even though closing sales is not the direct responsibility of this position, sales are always the bottom line. You won't work in contact with the consumers who are making the purchases, but you will encourage their spending, so expect to focus all of your efforts on creating events that increase consumer interest while meeting the demands of current fashion trends.
Based in Tampa, Fla., Danielle Fernandez been writing, editing and illustrating all things technology, lifestyle and education since 1999. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, Working Mother magazine, and a variety of technical publications, including BICSI's "Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual." Fernandez holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of South Florida.