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Fashion communication is a domain that involves the communication of fashion and lifestyle. It has several forms, such as fashion journalism, fashion styling, fashion blogging, visual merchandising and many more. It is noteworthy that fashion design does not only cover the design and production of apparel and accessories; the fashion industry also supports a diverse ecosystem encompassing various allied sectors. Fashion communication is one of them. Whether a fashion house, an export house or an individual business, all of them need to stay relevant in the public domain to thrive in the industry. This reinforces the significance of fashion communication to convey the message via any channel. The representation of fashion via various media is referred to as fashion communication.
So, if you possess excellent communication skills and aspire to enter the fashion industry, this article will help you know all about fashion communication.
The fashion landscape is continuously evolving, leading to the emergence of new trends, techniques and labels. The importance of fashion communication lies in the fact that it builds an identity for fashion businesses. Fashion Communication has made it feasible for these brands to communicate their vision, product offerings and key message to their customers. It supports them by reinforcing their unique value propositions and reaffirming their individuality.
The ultimate objective of any fashion business is to reach out to customers and maximise their experience. This is where fashion communication assumes importance. Fashion businesses consistently require the service of professionals with excellent communication and presentation skills to help their clientele carve their niche in the industry.
In today’s era dominated by numerous fashion luxury brands, it is essential for each of them to develop a unique brand identity and ensure their maximum impact and visibility. Strong brand equity directly boosts sales of fashion businesses, thereby impacting their bottom line. It helps amplify the brand's share of voice in the industry and build a strong recall among the audiences.
The digital revolution has led to the emergence of new disciplines that require students to excel not only in traditional design skills but also explore and design human-centred concepts and system design processes linked with information technology. Fashion Communication is one such discipline that predominantly focuses on building communication skills required in the fashion industry. A course in fashion communication equips students to communicate the key message through print, digital, electronic, and social media channels.
Fashion Communication primarily focuses on four major domains, i.e., Graphic Design, Space Design, Fashion Media and Fashion Thinking, and the related genres of these major areas, using hand and digital skills through knowledge, application and practice-based approach.
As a discipline, some elements of fashion communication include
Furthermore, the discipline comprises a considerable proportion of practical components such as internships, capstone projects and case studies. The fashion communication curriculum also includes a mandatory industry connect in the form of field visits, classroom projects and special lectures by industry professionals/experts. It also involves equipping students with the knowledge of the latest tools and software such as CAD, Photoshop, InDesign, After Effects, Premiere, etc. The continuous evaluation of students is on the basis of their regularity and engagement with the industry, such as participation in classroom projects, fashion weeks, industry events or through faculty assistance in an ongoing consultancy project.
The scope of fashion communication is ever-widening due to the emergence of new technologies, the proliferation of social media and initiatives by leading brands.
A Bachelor’s in Arts (Hons) in Fashion Design is the gateway to a career in fashion communication. The minimum eligibility is 10+2 in any stream with a minimum of 50% marks. Most colleges and universities require aspirants to qualify for an entrance test which assesses candidates on analytical ability, logical reasoning, basic design knowledge and aesthetic sense. The four-year graduate degree equips students with foundational principles as well as enables hands-on learning through design masterclasses, workshops, industry events, etc. It will help you emerge as a well-rounded professional who is competent to offer innovative fashion communication solutions to solve industry problems as well as communicate the messaging in an effective manner.
A course in Fashion Communication equips you with diverse skill sets and opens several pathways for exciting careers in the field. Some of the sought-after roles in fashion communication described below are a testament to the immense scope in fashion communication as a career option.
Fashion Blogging: If you have a keen eye on fashion trends and possess excellent writing skills, fashion blogging is the right career for you. A blog is an owned media platform on the web that enables you to pen down your thoughts and ideas on any topic. A blog consists of text, audio, video, or a mix of all three. You may also consider blogging on a social media platform such as Instagram. Such bloggers are popularly referred to as influencers.
Fashion Journalism: Fashion journalism is a sought-after discipline, thanks to several popular fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Elle. If you stay abreast of fashion events and love to report about them, you may consider fashion journalism as a career option. Fashion journalism also includes television, radio, podcasts and online streaming services.
Fashion Photography: Fashion photography is a specialised genre of photography with a distinct language, grammar and aesthetics. Fashion photographers work as part of a creative team consisting of models, makeup artists, etc., to communicate the brand story and designers’ works. Fashion photography requires sound knowledge of camera and lighting techniques, post-production methods and knowledge of fashion trends to construct a unique image, keeping in mind the theme of the brand. Fashion photographers work in newspapers, magazines, e-commerce and digital media platforms. They may also freelance in their individual capacity.
Fashion Publicist: A fashion publicist is a public relations professional who oversees image and reputation management for individuals and fashion firms. Fashion publicists use storytelling to cultivate a positive image of their clients in the media. Fashion publicists develop relationships with fashion journalists, stylists and fashion companies to help drive communication goals for celebrities and fashion companies.
Fashion Styling: A fashion stylist coordinates all aspects of an individual’s aesthetics to make him look as fashionable and appealing as possible. His/her day-to-day role involves researching fashion trends, attending runway shows, and sourcing apparel from top brands and manufacturers. Fashion stylists work with renowned personalities such as actors, artists, models and many more.
Visual Merchandising: Visual merchandising involves the promotion of fashion brands through proper layout and arrangement of products. Visual merchandisers work on the layout and floor plan of fashion stores, the arrangement of display shelves and the placing of products to attract customers and increase sales. Visual merchandisers must possess excellent quantitative skills, a flair for discovering new trends and establishing interrelationships between standard sales and stock figures.
Fashion Advertising: Fashion advertising involves supervising the production of advertisements for fashion brands. Fashion advertisers recommend the location of the shoot, clothing and accessories to be worn, the angles of the shoot and the content of advertisements to attract customers' attention and trigger product purchases.
Fashion Marketing: A fashion marketing manager is responsible for devising and managing the promotion, advertising and branding efforts of fashion brands, events and businesses. He/She also takes decisions about costing, product design, selling, allocation and advertising. Fashion marketers work closely with the sales department to develop marketing strategies to increase sales and impact the bottom line of businesses.
Fashion Event Designing: This role involves the conceptualisation and design of the fashion event. Creating a dedicated space design for a fashion event requires an in-depth understanding of fashion trends, aesthetics and the purpose of the event. Examples of fashion event designing include fashion shows, the opening of fashion retail spaces, fashion campaigns, etc.
Outlook and ProspectsThe fashion industry is booming, and new Indian and international brands are emerging every year. The scope of Fashion Communication is endless. A course in fashion communication is the first step to acquainting your principles of design along with an understanding of web design, exhibition design, visualising and creative direction, computer graphics and fashion photography. A career in Fashion communication opens a plethora of opportunities for networking, exposure and upskilling. With their astute design thinking and high level of communication skills, fashion communication professionals are able to script success stories of brands and individuals. The emergence of next-gen technologies, innovation by luxury fashion brands, and proliferation of owned platforms and social media have provided a fillip to fashion communication. Newer technologies such as metaverse and the blockchain will further disrupt the fashion communication space. So, if you aspire for a career in fashion communication, the sky's the limit!
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