Fashion is so collaborative, a lot of big fashion brands don’t let you work remotely. But what a lot of fashion professionals don’t know is that there are a kajillion small to medium size brands that do allow remote work.
If you want to know how to work in fashion remotely, this article outlines 7 different jobs that can all be done from home. We’ll go through these remote fashion job opportunities, and tips on how to get started.
I bet “fashion blogger” or “social media manager” are the first remote jobs in fashion that you think of. And yes, these are jobs you can do remotely!
But those are obvious options.
The surprising truth is, almost any job in fashion can be done remotely – whether you’re working as a full-time remote employee or freelancing. The opportunity for remote work depends less on the job and more on if the brand allows you to work from home.
Pro Tip: Small to medium brands are more likely to offer remote jobs in fashion. Brands that aren’t located in big fashion hubs are even more open to it as they don’t have access to huge talent pools.
Here are 7 of the best remote fashion jobs you can slay while lounging in your fave PJ’s.
(Some of these will surprise you!)
Fashion Designers conceptualize clothing and accessory collections. The fashion designing process involves creating moodboards and developing products for fashion brands.
Skills Required: Creativity, knowledge of garment construction and digital design tools (Adobe Illustrator, CAD software, etc) to execute designs remotely.
In fashion companies, a graphic designer shapes a brand’s visual identity. They work with marketing to create visuals for social media channels, websites, email campaigns, print materials, and more.
They may also design trims like labels, zipper pulls, and hangtags. Some graphic designers in fashion even create prints for things like tees and sweatshirts.
Graphic design is one of the most popular remote fashion jobs, as you can work remotely with just internet and design software.
Skills Required: Proficiency in design tools like Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator), CorelDraw, or Sketch; knowledge of color theory, typography, and layout principles.
Skills Required: Strong drawing skills, color sense; familiarity with production processes and knowledge on different types of fabrics and print techniques; proficiency in various design software such as the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator).
You may be surprised that many brands don’t use fashion illustrations! Instead, they use technical sketches and flats during the design and development process. But, there are still opportunities for fashion illustrators.
Fashion illustrators can work remotely with brands to sketch illustrations for presentations, social media, and other marketing materials. There is also opportunity to do fashion illustration for weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
Skills Required: Ability to render the human body in natural or 9-head proportion; knowledge of how fabric drapes; proficiency in programs like Procreate, Sketchbook or Adobe is likely required to be a fashion illustrator and work from home.
A Production Assistant manages parts of the manufacturing process in the fashion industry. They collaborate with fashion designers, suppliers, and manufacturers. They may coordinate timelines, monitor inventory, facilitate communication, and oversee quality control.
Another related role is a Sourcing Agent, who finds materials (sourcing) for garment production such as fabrics, hardware, and trims.
Skills Required: Project management software, or industry specific tools like tech pack software to stay connected remotely.
If you want to break into the fashion industry but have limited experience, a Virtual Assistant (VA) is a great option. As a Fashion VA, you’ll support fashion brands, assisting with scheduling, email management, research, and data entry.
Fashion VA’s can also act as the fashion company’s social media manager.
This remote role allows you to gain exposure to the fashion world, learn the inner workings of the industry, and build a network.
Skills Required: Strong organizational and communication skills, ability to handle various administrative tasks, and familiarity with online communication tools like Slack, Zoom, and project management software.
Fashion Consultants offer advice on trend forecasting, brand development, strategic planning, and assisting fashion brands in the design through the development process.
The main difference between a fashion consultant and the other roles is that consultants tend to offer advice and guidance, and not execution. So while a fashion consultant may advise, “hot pink is on trend,” a fashion designer would execute and design a hot pink collection.
Skills Required: Trend forecasting, brand development, and strategic planning, along with excellent collaboration and communication skills. Familiarity with online communication tools like Slack and Zoom is also essential.
When I started as a remote freelance fashion designer back in 2009, there weren’t great resources online. Through some verrrrry painful trial and error, I learned the 4 key steps to kick-start your remote fashion career. These steps apply whether you want to work as a full-time remote employee or a freelancer.
Learning how to work remotely in fashion requires specific skills for each role (as outlined above).
But beyond that, what do you need *at minimum* to jump-start your remote fashion career?
Good news. You don’t have to know allll of them. You just need to be quick to adapt! My go to’s are Slack (online communication), Asana (project management), Dropbox (file storage), and Gsuite (Sheets, Docs, and Slides).
The truth is, being skilled in fashion is one thing, but being tech-savvy is another. And in the remote fashion world, you need both to survive.
True Story: I once hired a fashion VA and assumed she was digitally literate. Turns out, she could barely navigate Dropbox. If you struggle to grasp new technology, working remotely in fashion may not be right for you!
When I was just starting out, I learned that sounding too stiff and formal didn’t always resonate well with my clients. Find your own authentic voice to establish a genuine connection.
It’s awesome not to have your manager breathing down your neck, but you need a whole lot of self-discipline to meet deadlines and manage multiple tasks. I found that planning my schedule ahead and blocking time for specific tasks helped me make sure things got done on time.
It’s different for everyone, so figure out your workflow and stick to a routine!
You don’t need an elaborate website or a massive social media following to make an impact. A niche and professional PDF portfolio can do the trick!
Choose work that best showcases your abilities as a fashion designer, illustrator, patternmaker, or whichever role you’re aiming for. And avoid dumping alllll your work in your portfolio (what I call “portfolio vomit”).
You only have a few seconds to impress a brand before they close that tab, so make those seconds count! If you’re stuck, check out my free Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Fashion Portfolio (in a weekend).
Pro Tip: If you’re new to the fashion industry or don’t have any professional experience, it’s ok to include personal fashion designing projects in your portfolio.
One of the biggest hurdles to remote fashion jobs is finding clients (or brands that are offering remote opportunities). Not exaggerating, it took me A FULL YEAR to land my first client.
(That’s because I started back in 2009 and the internet didn’t have resources like it does today. I made a lot of mistakes! Just reading this article puts you 10x ahead of soooo many people trying to work remotely in fashion!)
The best way to get started is by figuring out who needs your services.
Sending proposals: Don’t be scared of sending proposals or pitches to prospective clients and fashion brands, even if you’re a newbie. Remember, every remote fashion worker started somewhere.
There’s an art to pitching, but the 80/20 of it is to make your proposal more about them than you. I cover this more (with templates) in my Ultimate Guide to Being a Freelance Fashion Designer.
Find remote fashion jobs online: Check out freelance websites like Upwork to expand your opportunities and find clients worldwide. While there are some junky clients there, you can find some great gigs. It’s how Lucia, a textile designer, is charging $60/hour and is fully booked.
Being present on LinkedIn can help you connect with various fashion companies and clients who are offering remote opportunities. Don’t overthink it, just create a niche profile and make thoughtful posts/comments on relevant topics. It’s exactly how Aashika, a freelance fashion designer, is getting clients to come to her.
Undercharging is the #1 mistake most freelance fashion designers, illustrators, etc, make! Know your value and don’t be afraid to charge accordingly.
I know, I know, “don’t undercharge” is the most generic advice ever.
If you want specific pricing strategies, (especially if you’re pursuing a freelance fashion design opportunity), here’s my guide on pricing hacks to make sure you don’t undercharge and 3 strategies to figure out your freelance rates in fashion.
Here are some things to look forward to and be wary of when transitioning to remote fashion work.
If you want a change of pace in your fashion career, take advantage of opportunities to work remotely in the fashion industry. Whether you’re an experienced fashion professional or new to the industry, remote fashion work allows you to build a fashion career on your own terms.
Remember, how to work in fashion remotely comes down to these 4 steps:
With the right skills and attitude, working in the fashion industry remotely is possible for anyone. It provides you the freedom to balance work and life while doing what you love – from anywhere in the world.