This is how fashion & design careers of the future are evolving

by Anjori Grover Vasesi

08-May-2018  |  9 mins read

The automation of jobs within the industry has many advantages attached to it, such as increased productivity, shorter time cycles, reduced wastage and manpower and efficient utilisation of various energy sources. However, the main disadvantage that these concepts possess is the fact that certain careers might become outdated and conversely, unrequired in the next few decades.

Recent studies have shown that younger generations, including the millennials and Gen Z, opt to enter professions and industries that are “future-proof”, secure and less likely to be taken over by robotics and/or machines.

Technological trends are giving rise to a concept called “imagination economy,” which essentially means “an economy where intuitive and creative thinking create economic value after logical and rational thinking have been outsourced to other economies”. It’s a known and time-honoured fact that humans continue to outdo machines when it comes to innovating and pushing intellectual, imaginative, and creative boundaries, which deems jobs involving these skills the hardest to automate. This, in turn, suggests that such careers will be the most sought-after in the years to come.

3D printing fashion designers, augmented intelligence and virtual reality designers, augmented reality architects will be the careers fields that would see much of innovation and competitiveness take place among other already existing digital tools.

Based on data accumulated by job sites, educational institutes, market trends and technological advancements, Apparel Resources has analysed and put together a list of the Top 7 careers/fields that would be in demand – as well as “future-proof” in the time to come…

Trend Forecasting and Analysis

Due to globalisation and fast-changing aspirations, fashion and lifestyle products have to match the varying desires of people simultaneously. Local and subcultural trends keep bubbling above the surface on an everyday basis, creating the long-tail effect. Understanding the movement of trends within different socio-economic environments and how culture and subcultures influence trends in fashion and lifestyle are the need of the hour.

Trend analysis focuses on the interaction of behavioural shifts in the fashion and lifestyle industry, consumer aspirations, socio-cultural influences, and technological advancements as a means to decode future trends.

Professionals who are skilled with the tools that aim in predicting what consumers would be willing to buy in the approaching seasons and who help in determining what kind of product mix needs to be created around it, with an aim to enter the market with a unique product at the right time, are the need of the hour.

Sustainable Fashion Fields

Sustainability is reshaping how we view the fashion and apparel industry as a whole. Having a “sustainable” business model today is not enough, it also has to be “contemporary” in nature to appease to the target millennial and Gen Z audience.

A demand for innovative business models in fashion & luxury has surfaced in recent years with companies and brands being judged on their level of acceptance to, and involvement in the circular fashion loop.

Creating shared value by addressing the needs of the various stakeholders involved, such as the environment, society, institutions, art, culture and the consumers is an aspect every company aims to build upon in the future.

Professionals, who are adept in selecting innovative fibres in fashion, creating moral responsibility guidelines, structuring a good business plan in a sustainable fashion and sharing inspiring business practices in the mass market, premium and luxury segment, for the different business models, will continue to be much sought-after.

3D Printer Engineers

There are no limits when it comes to what 3D printing can do for the future of manufacturing and personal production. 3D printing enables designers to see their 2D visions come to life in a matter of moments.

A career in the field of 3D printing requires being able to execute the technological aspects of the business as well as to carry forward the creative vision of the company/product offering.

With the demand surrounding the concept, it is only but natural for the industry to enable 3D printing to be more accessible and affordable.

Data Scientists

It is true that the future is AI and robotics/machine dominated, but there is only so much a machine can do with algorithms and code – at least for the time being. According to Indeed – an American worldwide employment-related search engine for job listings, there has been a 54% increase in people searching for data science jobs on the job search engine in the UK alone, over the last 12 months. A lot of coverage in the industry related to the JD supports these and points towards a spiked interest and a demand to keep up with it.

Professionals skilled in combining their scientific expertise with an ability to find the trending story patterns hidden in masses of data to decode consumer insights are the future of the fashion and retail industry. A Data Scientist aims to decode mathematical models of fashion to enable the company to move in the right direction by creating designs that lead to a rising trend in the market instead of a downward spiral.

Design, Communications and Marketing Fields

Machines haven’t proved their merit at critical thinking or coming up with new and exciting ideas, which leaves the creativity sector future-proof.

People who work in industries that require design thinking and implementation, brainstorming of ideas, working with words and intellectual property, and graphics/illustrations will thrive in fields of design, automation, coding, and marketing communications as these industries continue to boom.

Consumer Psychologists

Professionals who study and observe consumer behavioural patterns to develop insights as to how to cater to them better with more effective, strategic business or creative decisions, would be trailblazers of the future.

A consumer psychologist is required to enable brands, agencies and creatives understand their target clientele and predict what their aspirations are beforehand.

With this aid at hand, agencies and brands can develop products that fulfil gaps in the market with what the mass consumer actually desires, based on how he/she reacts to the products available in the market in the current scenario.

VR/AR Designers

A VR Developer is required to identify gaps in the market and feasibility of future trend projections and products. He or she would be bestowed with the task of understanding how VR/AR can be applied in a variety of circumstances and communicating the same with the company/brand.

He/she will essentially work very closely with the design team for the creation of high-quality, functional applications for clients. The role would take into consideration graphics, 3D models, human-computer interaction, and design to determine the shape of new creative experiences within the broad and intangible realm of virtual reality.

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