People in fashion careers generally benefit from fashion associations. A fashion association is a professional organization designed to help aspiring fashion professionals begin their careers in the industry and/or advance their careers once they are in. An association may be able to help you meet new people and establish a network of professional contacts; learn about the new techniques and technology used in the fashion industry; find a job; find recruiters or modeling agencies that may be able to help you find a job; show off your designs, and help you in a number of other similar ways.
Every fashion association offers different benefits and has different requirements. Here are some of the major fashion associations, and what they can do for you.
- The American Sewing Guild (ASG) is primarily intended for seamstresses and tailors, but fashion designers, pattern makers, and other fashion professionals may be able to take advantage of some of the benefits of the ASG, as well. The ASG offers conferences; discounts on fabric and other sewing supplies at certain major retailers; a journal that discusses current sewing industry techniques, trends, news, and tips; meetings that allow local members to discuss new techniques and styles; a bimonthly newsletter for its members; fashion shows that allow local members to show off the accessories and garments that they have created; seminars; workshops; and other similar benefits.
- The Costume Society of America (CSA) is primarily intended for those interested in the preservation, exhibition, and study of historical accessories and garments, but anyone in the fashion design field may be able to take advantage of some of the benefits of the CSA, as well. The CSA offers discounts on books about the history of fashion at the CSA store; grants for researchers and costume designers; an Internet forum that allows fashion professionals to build professional relationships and discuss a variety of fashion-related topics; a journal that discusses the history and evolution of fashion; meetings that allow fashion designers and marketers to discuss the history of, evolution of, and trends in fashion; and other similar benefits.
- The Council of International Fashion Designers (CIFD) is primarily intended for fashion designers, but anyone with at least two years of education or experience in the field of fashion design may be able to take advantage of some of the benefits of the CIFD, as well. The CIFD offers discounts on the legal fees that a fashion professional may have to pay for a lawsuit related to his or her activities in the fashion industry; discounts on seminars and other professional gatherings; a week-long fashion show that allows members to see the latest designs and/or display their own new designs; and other similar benefits.
- The Association of Stylists and Coordinators (ASC) is for styling assistants, stylists, and other similar individuals who have at least three years of experience in the styling field. The benefits that the ASC offers are primarily designed to help individuals in the styling field expand their professional network and their clientele, and include meetings, a website that members can use to promote their skills, and a list of other stylists that members can contact for advice.
- The World Model Association (WMA) is primarily intended for models, but fashion photographers, talent scouts, and other similar professionals may be able to take advantage of some of the benefits of the WMA, as well. The WMA offers discounts on some of the products and services that a model will typically use, such as cosmetics and car rental services; insurance and retirement plans; matching services to match models with modeling agencies, talent scouts, photographers, and other similar professionals; training seminars and workshops for models; and other similar benefits.
The fashion industry is built on the demand for new designs, and fashion careers, as a result, are constantly changing as new fashion trends emerge and new designs are created. In fact, many of the designs that we see today are nothing like the designs that we saw 10 years ago, let alone 20,000 years ago when the first sewers started making clothing out of tree bark. Fashion professionals are faced with the extremely difficult task of staying up to date with the latest designs, trends, technological changes, design and manufacturing techniques, and other similar aspects of the fashion field to ensure that the industry can continue to create the new designs that the public demands.
Staying up to date with all of this information is not only difficult but also time-consuming; there’s simply too much information for a single person to sift through in any reasonable amount of time. There are, however, a number of journals and magazines that are designed not only to help you learn about the latest trends in the fashion industry, but also to find opportunities to improve your skills, show off your designs, meet new people, and expand your network of professional contacts. Here are some of the major fashion journals and magazines that will help you keep informed about the industry as you pursue your fashion career.
- Allure is a beauty magazine published by Condé Nast Digital that provides information about the latest designs, trends, and techniques in the fashion industry. This magazine is primarily targeted at female consumers who want to improve their own image, but models, fashion designers, stylists, and other fashion professionals may be able to find a significant amount of information about new designs, makeup tips, styling techniques, and other similar aspects of the fashion industry.
- Apparel News Weekly is a fashion news journal published by MnM Publishing that provides information about the latest events, issues, and trends in the fashion industry. This journal primarily focuses on the current activities of major fashion companies, fashion designers, and fashion shows, but it also provides pictures of new designs, information about fabrics and styles that are becoming popular in the field, job listings, regulatory changes that may affect fashion professionals, and other similar information.
- The Clothing and Textiles Research Journal (CTRJ)is a research journal published by the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) that provides information for fashion professors, researchers, and students. This journal is primarily intended to help individuals learn about the changes and research currently taking place in each part of the fashion industry; it typically includes articles related to consumer behavior, fashion design, the manufacturing of textiles and garments, the history of fashion, retail management, and other similar topics.
- Dress is a research journal published by the Costume Society of America (CSA) that provides articles about the history of fashion and the way that fashion has evolved in society. These articles are primarily intended for individuals interested in the history of fashion or the preservation of historical garments, but some articles may also be helpful to costume designers or fashion designers trying to re-create old designs or learn how previous designs may have inspired current trends.
- Gentleman’s Quarterly (GQ) is a fashion and entertainment magazine published by Condé Nast Digital that provides information about celebrity clothing and menswear in addition to a number of other topics. The magazine is primarily targeted at male consumers who want to stay up to date on the latest entertainment news and fashions, but models, fashion designers, and other fashion professionals may also find a significant amount of information about the latest fashions in menswear.
- Notions is a sewing journal published by the American Sewing Guild (ASG) that provides information about sewing techniques and sewing industry news. This journal is primarily intended for seamstresses and tailors, but any individual who designs and creates garments or accessories may find the journal helpful.
- Trends is a statistical research journal published by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) that provides information about the employment and sales trends in the fashion industry. This journal is a “just-the-facts” report that includes information about the number of garments produced, the number of garments sold, the number of garments that have entered and exited the country, the amount that consumers have spent on their clothing and accessories, pricing, and other similar categories.
- Vogue is a fashion magazine published by Condé Nast Digital that provides information about the latest designs in the fashion industry. This magazine is primarily targeted at female consumers who want to stay up to date with the latest fashions, but it can help fashion designers, models, or other fashion professionals keep up with the latest trends, as well.