2010 was a good year for the luxury industry after a couple of very tough years. Luxury brands who managed the crisis well came out of it leaner and meaner and raring to go. The momentum of last year is still very visible in the industry and practically all the major luxury brands have serious expansion plans at different level of execution. China and the Asian region as a whole is obviously the focus area as it is generating the largest growth but Europe has also started contributing to the growth and several companies in the luxury business are revising their forecast for the current year upwards because of strong and better than expected quarterly results. An expanding business always requires more manpower and the luxury business is no different. They require more people to man their expanding infrastructure and here is the chance to land your luxury job. Kate Benson, founding managing director of Martens & Heads, has made a career of placing top people in some of the finest luxury brands in the world. She is the best person to make you understand the requirements of the luxury industry and what a career in luxury industry entails.
Kate understands the industry very well and give you the right picture and perspective about the industry and the prospects there. She has given out some tips for those who are curious to know about the industry and want to make a career here. This is the right time to look for a break in the industry because it is in the expansion mode and a new comer can also get an entry relatively easily. The industry provides a rather lucrative career. Senior executives in top companies compare well with executives of finance companies. You have a fair chance of getting into the fashion industry even if you don’t have any relevant prior experience. But if you are young and willing to start at the bottom and work your way up, getting a break is relatively easier. There are fashion schools that can give you grounding about the industry. FIT, Parson’s, The New School, Rhode Island School of Design and Central Saint Martins are some of the better known schools. They have courses designed for training you in fashion merchandising, design, illustration, product development, or textiles. However, if you have studied marketing or sales, you have greater flexibility and can shift to a different career if you so choose in the future.
For senior positions in the fashion industry it becomes more important to have business acumen and know how. But at the same time it is very important to have an interest in the industry and have knowledge about it. If you don’t understand trends and forecasting it is nearly impossible to manage or lead a fashion or luxury business. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the luxury industry you must try and understand the industry. You must visit stores and see it for yourself what is working and how it is working. If you are well prepared you stand a good chance of getting an entry into the industry. One must also understand that working for a US-based luxury brand is completely different than working in an affiliate office. But both experiences are relevant for your growth in the industry. Like any other industry dedication, hard work and a passion for your work is the only way to succeed in your career.