The Arts and Fashion Industry: Jobs, Skills, Trends and Job Outlook

Arts industry jobs and careers

The Arts and Fashion industry encompasses all professionals involved in the design or conception and the creation of art products, productions, works or performances that have aesthetic value. For example:

  • Visual materials, including photographs, pictures, illustrations and paintings
  • Audio products, including songs, soundtracks and radio programs
  • Audiovisual products, including films, advertisements and music videos
  • Physical objects, including haute couture creations, clothing and accessories, and sculptures
  • Live events, including concerts, theatrical productions, dance performances, and fashion shows

Professions operating in this industry include musicians, singers, dancers, fashion designers, models,  photographers, set designers, lighting and sound technicians, art directors and casting directors.

The realization of an art product, such as a film or a theatrical production, is a complex process, involving a large number of people and various stages of production. These include the pre-production stage, when an artistic concept or idea is originated and developed by an Art Director or other creative professional, the planning phase, when the technical and logistical aspects of the production are defined and the budget is planned and, finally, the production or execution stage, involving the participation of performers and technical staff.

In some cases, there may also be a post-production phase, in which the product is fine-tuned, edited, finessed - or in some cases even reworked - to ensure it is ready for distribution and marketing.

The creation of a fashion collection is no less complex, involving a conception and design phase, the making of samples and test garments, and the production of the garment itself - not to mention the organization of fashion shows, which are events in themselves, requiring the participation of set designers and builders, models, photographers, make up artists, hair stylists and sound and video technicians.

As befits a vast and varied industry, the training and education requirements to work in the arts and fashion are equally varied, including qualifications in the visual arts and fine arts, choreography, set design, dance, theatre, music, cinema, photography and fashion, to name but a few.

What types of businesses operate in the Arts and Fashion industry?

Companies hiring in the Arts industry

Arts and fashion industry professionals may be able to find work in the entertainment industry, which includes TV and radio, cinema and theatre. Many are also hired through entertainment, talent booking or casting agencies which recruit staff to work in hotels, on cruise lines, and in holiday resorts.

Other organizations that often recruit talented arts and creative professionals include advertising and communication agencies and event organizers.

The world of fashion, meanwhile, offers employment opportunities in a range of different companies and businesses, including haute couture fashion houses, fashion design studios and atelier workshops, high street ‘fast fashion’ brands, textiles companies and clothing manufacturers.Fashion agencies, casting agencies and advertising agencies are also constantly on the look-out for modelling talent.

A further career option in the arts and fashion industry is to teach an arts subject, for example at a school of art, a musical school or conservatory, a dance school or fashion colleges.

Many people in the arts and fashion industry work on a freelance basis, either on their own projects or carrying out work on commission.

Companies hiring in the Arts and Fashion industry:

Arts and Fashion Industry - Trends and Job Outlook

Arts industry trends and job outlook

The best employment prospects in the arts and fashion industry are enjoyed by those able to to use new and innovative technologies.

This includes digital media professionals who employ software applications and tools to create sounds, special effects and CGI animations, as well as 3D printing experts.

Another area offering numerous job openings is the holiday entertainment sector, with large number of agencies recruiting staff to join the entertainment teams at hotels, holiday resorts and on cruise ships.

In the fashion industry, globalization, the spread of internet and the emergence of online sales channels has given fashion designers a much wider audience than ever before. As a result, fashion and textiles companies need fashion management experts who can help them plan new brand, product, communication and retail strategies that reflect the ever-evolving market environment.

What skills are required in the Arts and Fashion industry?

Arts - skills and qualifications

The skills required to work in the Arts and Fashion industry tend to vary from sector to sector. However, there are a number of transversal competencies required by all arts and fashion professionals.

The three most important are:

Creativity and taste

Whether you’re a musician, photographer or fashion designer, you won’t get far without creativity and taste. The ability to create harmonious compositions of sound, light, colour, shapes and materials is to some degree innate, but hard work and experience can serve to develop and refine it.

Ability to understand and satisfy an audience

In order to be commercially viable, all arts and fashion products need to appeal to the tastes and preferences of their target audience. A film or theatrical production that nobody goes to see, or a fashion collection nobody wants to buy have both failed to satisfy their target audience’s needs and expectations.

Passion and determination

Turning your passion into a profession with a career in the arts is by no means easy. The creative industries are a sector in which it is notoriously difficult to excel and stand out from the crowd - especially because acquiring the technical skills needed to succeed require real hard work and commitment. Passion and determination are therefore essential qualities for anybody wanting to make it in the arts and fashion industry.

Arts - Job Descriptions

Interested in finding out more about jobs in the Arts and Fashion industry?

Take a look at the job descriptions we’ve prepared:

Most Popular Arts and Fashion Jobs