Footwear News recently reported on the severe dearth of jobs for recent design-school grads. If you weren’t independently wealthy and refused to do anything but fashion design, you were bound to be screwed out of employment. However, today, WWD reports the industry’s job prospects are not entirely dismal. Liz Claiborne has been recruiting for its Kate Spade and Juicy Couture brands. And the retail sector has a lot to offer, landing at the top of a recent survey by National Association of College and Employers of those offering jobs to new bachelor’s-degree holders. Macy’s, JCPenney, and Target are among those companies recruiting the most on college campuses.
However, specialized fashion students will have to compete with students who majored in things that have nothing to do with the business of clothing. And people with MBAs!
[Anne Voller, vice-president for executive recruitment and college relations for Macy’s], who has a team of 12 recruiters, said Macy’s visits 40 college campuses (sometimes Macy’s chairman, CEO and president Terry Lundgren will show up on campus, too) and recruits all majors, ranging from business to fashion retailing to psychology. “We look for leadership potential, smart students that are interested in retail, that have good critical-thinking skills, are involved in campus, have juggled their multiple priorities and have an ability to be flexible,” said Voller. She said Macy’s doesn’t recruit M.B.A.’s, but Bloomingdale’s will bring in a few M.B.A.’s in the buying and planning area.
Oh, man. Now fashion students are expected to study and partake in campus activities, instead of being too cool for them? And then maybe even go to grad school? What has the economy done to fashion school!?