The fashion industry is big business, but it can be surprising to see how few designers actually have a business background. The fashion business needs MBAs, especially at a time when efficiency and managing a shifting supply chain is more important than ever. Those with MBAs can drive down costs while still maintaining value. They can see leaks in processes that some with less of a solid background will be oblivious too. However, this doesn’t mean that MBAs are bulletproof, and there are things that you need to know before obtaining or using your current MBA as a springboard to get into the fashion business. Here are a few of them.
1. Get Informed
For many MBAs, the fashion industry might feel like an easy touch, but that’s only if you actually understand and know the business. The sector is so wide, and you have to know exactly where you’re going to fit.
You also need to be aware of all the different roles in the fashion industry. Whether it’s sourcing, mergers and acquisitions, product development, or supply chain management, the number of roles that could be open to an MBA is huge, and will speak to different skill sets. You might be more creative, pragmatic, or both. You might work better with numbers while others are better when they’re close to the ground and day to day operations.
This is why you need to establish your skillset form the get-go and get in where you fit in. You also need to learn as much about the business side of fashion. Sites like Fibre2fashion.com and The Business of Fashion are two great places to start. If you were thinking of entering the field, we hope it is out of love. If it is, staying on top of the recent changes in the industry should feel like fun for you, and not a chore. So, make it your homework to constantly stay ahead of trends and learn more every day.
2. Get the Right Formation
One of the best things you could do if you were thinking of earning an MBA for the purpose of getting into the business would be to start with landing a job in the industry first. Try to make it as close to your intended goal. If you want to work on operations, then try to get a job at the warehouse. If you want to work at the retail level, then look for a job in stores. There’s also the opportunity to score an internship at the end of your programme.
Another thing you should consider is online MBAs. The most beautiful thing about them is that you don’t have to leave home or be limited to the choices in your state or province. If you’re Canadian, for instance, you can easily find an online MBA Canada that will give you all the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the industry. The best thing is that you can do it while working in your current job. The skills you acquire during your classes could even propel you into higher positions as you go.
3. Understand the Value of Relationships
If you don’t see yourself as a ‘people’s person’ then don’t go into fashion, period. This industry is all about building relationships and not burning bridges. Get onto somebody’s good side, and that could translate into more visibility for your press releases or a gloating article in a prominent magazine.
So, you have to be ready to play the fashion industry game, even if it feels convoluted. Everybody is connected in this industry, and if you meet someone, chances are they know someone you should meet. You should try to get in touch with as many professionals as you can, whether it’s merchandisers, young designers, or wholesale agents. You want to learn as much as you can from every perspective to make you a more well-rounded executive.
4. Understand the Creative Side
At the end of the day, fashion is art, and you can’t take a purely technocratic approach to it. You should at least take the time to read up on your favourite designers. If you don’t have any, then we have a problem. This is probably a sign that your heart isn’t into it. It’s creativity that moves this business, and unless you not only understand the creative side but are kind of a creative yourself, you’ll have difficulty making a mark in this industry.
The fashion business can be a great avenue for any MBA for a genuine passion for the field. Make sure that you take all of these points into consideration, and ensure that you’re well prepared before you make the transition.
Article Submitted By Community Writer