All About Fashion (Part 2) – Types of Fashion, Income in Fashion, Fashion Schools and more about Fashion

Types of fashion

The garments produced by clothing manufacturers fall into three main categories, although these may be split up into additional, more specific categories:

Vlada Roslyakova A model walks down the runway during the Christian Dior Haute Couture fashion show for A/W 2009/10 on July 6, 2009 in Paris, France.

Haute couture

Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis (French for high-fashion), with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, and is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make.


Ready-to-wear clothes are a cross between haute couture and mass market. They are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a city-wide basis and occurs twice a year.

Mass market

Currently the fashion industry relies more on mass market sales. The mass market caters for a wide range of customers, producing ready-to-wear clothes in large quantities and standard sizes. Inexpensive materials, creatively used, produce affordable fashion. Mass market designers generally adapt the trends set by the famous names in fashion. They often wait around a season to make sure a style is going to catch on before producing their own versions of the original look. In order to save money and time, they use cheaper fabrics and simpler production techniques which can easily be done by machine. The end product can therefore be sold much more cheaply.

There is a type of design called “kutch” design originated from the German word “kitschig” meaning “ugly” or “not aesthetically pleasing.” Kitsch can also refer to “wearing or displaying something that is therefore no longer in fashion.” Often, high-waisted trousers, associated with the 1980s, are considered a “kitsch” fashion statement.


Median annual wages for salaried fashion designers were $61,160 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,150 and $87,120. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,780.. Median annual earnings were $52,860 (£28,340) in apparel, piece goods, and notions – the industry employing the largest numbers of fashion designers.

Fashion education

There are a number of well known art schools and design schools world wide that offer degrees in fashion design and fashion design technology. Some colleges also offer Masters of Fashion courses. Though it is not a requirement to have a Masters level, it is recommended by those already working in the industry to study at this level. The most notable of design schools in Europe include London College of FashionCentral Saint Martins College of Art and DesignUniversity of Westminster and Kingston University in LondonLimerick School of Art and Design and the National College of Art and Designin Ireland, Edinburgh College of Art in ScotlandIstituto MarangoniDomus AcademyPolitecnico of MilanNABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti MilanoIstituto Europeo di DesignUniversity Iuav of Venice in Italy, the Fashion Federation PARIS] European Fashion, Antwerp Fashion Academy in Belgium. There is Parsons The New School for DesignCreative Business HouseFashion Institute of Technology and the Pratt Institute in New York City. Elsewhere in the United States there is the Savannah College of Art and DesignVirginia Commonwealth UniversityFashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los AngelesSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago in Chicago. The National Institute of Fashion Technology in India, Shih Chien University in Hong Kong, RMIT University in Melbourne, Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan and the Asian University chain, Raffles College of Design and Commerce, all have reputable fashion design courses.

The only Ivy League University having a Fashion Design undergraduate program is Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The program is offered by the department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design]. Cornell University also offers the only Ph.D. program in apparel design in the United States. The program is intended to address the needs of academia, industry and research by considering apparel design as an applied science that embraces design, technology, physical sciences, the humanities and social sciences in order to meet the human needs for clothing. There are many universities that offer fashion design throughout the United States. The major incorporating fashion design may have alternative names like Apparel and Textiles or Apparel and Textile Design and may be housed in departments such as Art and Art History or Family and Consumer Studies.






Filed under Business, Design, Education, Fashion, Fashion Designer, Fashion Industry, Fashion Marketeer, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Mercendising, Haute Couture, Marketing Manager, Mass Market, Merchandising, Niche Business, PR Manager, Ready to Wear

3 responses to “All About Fashion (Part 2) – Types of Fashion, Income in Fashion, Fashion Schools and more about Fashion

  1. Hi, great blog post! I’m considering a career change from banking to becoming a fashion buyer. I had a look at the European School of Economics in the course of Fashion Management. Do you recommend this school? Also, it’d be helpful if you could write a blog about how to get into these fields. Thanks!

    • Thanks for visiting and your comments and questions. I personally know about a very successful High End Fashion Designer from Sweden, that was a banker until his mid-40s, and then decided to go into the Fashion industry, by using his extensive travelling experience as the means to his new passion, which is to use local goods, either old wall carpets, hangings, blankets, covers, table cloths and such, or use the locals to produce hand-made textiles and other for him, and he set up factories either in the homes of local women in a small villages around the world, or even out in the bush, trained them, and are now using them for all his designs. As fas as I know, he has not studied at any school for his Fashion Career, but I am not saying that this is the right way for you, since he might have had the correct experience and connections, as well as enough drive and passion to make this work in his own unique way, which is not possible for all, given or not given the opportunity. Therefore, my suggestion to you, is that you think of the fashion industry as any other industry, where the same principles of Marketing are used as in any other business, but for most part just much faster paced in regards to changes and adaptation, and a lot of what takes place is due to good connections, on all levels and with all types of people, may they be your clients from manufacturing, your customers, or the media, so having great PR (Public Relations) skills is more or less a must in the Fashion World. So, in deciding what you need to study, take a look back at everything you have already done in your life so far, studies and experience, and ask yourself what skills you have that you believe are the right ones for this specific industry, then focus on the ones you rock and can stand out of the crow with, and brush up on those skills, as well as others that you feel you need, but are not mastering them quite yet. have in mind that you can always start with a course or two, get to know the industry from within, and then maybe you find that Fashion Buying isn’t what you want to do, instead you might want to become a Fashion Marketer 🙂
      Furthermore, I want to you know and understand that most who becomes Fashion Buyers have been in the industry for some time, and usually start at the bottom, working themselves up, and most do not have any professional education in this area, but got all the knowledge, experience and personal contacts, so coming from a banking background, with no previous experience, and contacts, may be very difficult.
      Moreover, as the Fashion Industry, like most other businesses, is not doing as well due to the economic crisis, the safer, and probably the most interesting and fun as well, direction is Luxury Goods and Services. People with money have enough to spread around still, and this will always be the case, so it’s pretty safe to say that the High End Fashion Industry will survive, if not flourish the coming years. Having all this in mind, your 360 turn in your professional life, the economic crisis, and the current and future wants and needs, there is only one school I would recommend at this time, the International University Monaco, , which is one of the few, if not the only one, that offers an extensive portfolio in studies regarding Luxury Goods, including the Fashion Industry, and Luxury Retail Management, which have all the classes you will need for becming a Fashion Buyer, and much much more, plus the school set you up with work experience in the best shops and design houses, so you’ll also get your experience and hopefully some great contacts, and most likely some fabulous thank you treats in form of latest High-end fashion items 🙂
      Hope this was at all helpful!
      All the best of luck! Let me know how it ends!! Best, Susann

  2. Pingback: Couturiers and the Ateliers – Site Title

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