The retail and apparel field is part of a supply chain process that starts with the creation of goods (apparel) and is then sold in large quantities to a retailer that sells smaller quantities to the consumer. The retail industry offers opportunities in merchandising, store management, central management, and buying. Apparel or fashion designers create original clothing, accessories, and footwear while working in wholesale or manufacturing establishments, theater or dance companies, and design firms in large cities.
Designing your major
Your major may be indirectly or directly related to your career choice, and it’s only one of many pieces to finding a good career fit. There are many majors that are related to retail and apparel, including:
Learn about careers in the field
- Commercial and Industrial Designers
- Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers
- Fashion Designers
- First-Line Supervisor of Retail Sales Workers
- General and Operations Managers
- Interior Designers
- Logistics Analysts
- Marketing Managers
- Merchandise Displayers
- Online Merchants
- Product Promoters
- Purchasing Agents
- Purchasing Managers
- Retail Loss Prevention Specialists
- Retail Sales Persons
- Sales Representatives
- Wholesale and Retail Buyers
Learn through experience
Join a student organization
Student organizations can help us clarify our interests and build experience. Here are a few ideas of organizations in this area:
- Apparel Merchandising Industry Field Seminar Group
- Retail Innovation Organization
- Retail Studies Organization (RSO)
- Runway of Dreams Foundation at Indiana University
Volunteering in the community has many benefits for the community and for your personal and professional development. How can you use your knowledge and skills to make a difference?
- City of Bloomington Volunteer Network
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore
- Hoosier Hills Food Bank
- Middle Way House
- My Sister’s Closet
- Opportunity House
Interested in graduate school?
In this field, some common graduate school programs may include Apparel Merchandising, Marketing and Advertising, Fashion Design, International Business, Entrepreneurship, and many more!
There are many ways to explore careers, through research, gaining experience, and talking with other people. Your career coach is here to mentor you and help you find ways to explore that fit you best.