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This apprenticeship standard is in development and is not yet ready to use

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Reference Number: ST0173

Details of standard

This apprenticeship standard is currently in development and its contents are subject to change

OCCUPATION: FASHION STUDIO ASSISTANT

Britain is world renowned for our creativity and design talent. British designers capture the mood of the moment, cascading it into the high street, creating a multi-billion pound industry. The direct value of the UK fashion industry to the UK economy is £26 billion. Fashion’s total contribution to the economy is estimated to have risen to over £46 billion in 2014.

The key to creating further growth in the fashion industry is to professionalise and offer better career paths throughout the industry, not just in design talent. This apprenticeship will deliver specific skills that will ultimately contribute to all levels of a fashion business, developing leaders and teams to work alongside our design talent, as well as making Britain the best place to incubate a new business from initial excitement to commercial sustainability.

A Fashion Studio Assistant is a key position in the designer industry, working with the team that creates a collection. This apprenticeship will introduce candidates to the designer fashion industry, with experience gained in both the product and commercial sides of a brand. In a large company, this role would be more focussed on the studio, but in a smaller company this role may also be involved in many other areas of the business.

Busy, challenging, and exciting, the apprenticeship will encompass a wide variety of tasks, and will give a broad education in the reality of day-to-day life in a designer business. The apprenticeship starts in the heart of a designer business: The Studio, to learn about how a collection is created. It will then lead to 12 months in a more focussed area of the business: Product development or Production, Sales and Operations, or Fashion Marketing and Communications. In order to go on to many roles in this diverse industry, a foundation in understanding how a collection is created, marketed and sold is invaluable.

On successful completion of the Apprenticeship Standard, a Fashion Studio Assistant would possess the following Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours:

TYPICAL DURATION: Foundation Core of 6 months + 12 months in 1 of 3 pathway options

FOUNDATION CORE

 Knowledge

 

THE DESIGNER FASHION INDUSTRY AND THE YEARLY CYCLE

 

 

CRITICAL PATH

What it looks like, how it works. Understanding of the seasonal cycle. Understanding of a product journey: conception, design, sample, sales, delivery, in store, marketing, PR. Understanding of the basic business cycle: cashflow, buying, producing, shipping, budgeting. How the different departments are involved in the creation and selling of a collection.

Understanding of how a collection is brought together, how a Critical Path is created and followed.

 

STUDIO WORK PLACE

 

 

TIME MANAGEMENT

Working as part of a wide team. Understanding of health and safety issues.

Awareness of how different departments contribute to a company’s goals.

Skills 

Able to work to a strict deadline, and to deal with simple project management.

 

COMMUNICATION

Communication skills both written and verbal. Professional emails, diary management. Working as part of a team. Communicating with people internal and external to the organisation. Representing the organisation.

 

OFFICE ADMIN

Basic invoicing or ordering, diary management, planning and preparation for meetings, admin and data entry.


PATHWAY 1: PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT and PRODUCTION

Knowledge 

 

 

 

 

 

STUDIO MANAGEMENT

 

 

 

MATERIALS

 

 

 

PATTERN KNOWLEDGE

 

 

GARMENT CONSTRUCTION

Working in a studio team, dealing with designers, manufacturers, technical staff, suppliers, production team, freelancers and clients.

Basic understanding of different fabrics, yarns and trims, how they work, how they are priced, where they may be sourced from. Learning about ways to handle, cut and store materials. Potential to learn about designer specific techniques, such as print, embroidery, knit, jacquard and leather work.

A basic understanding of pattern cutting and grading and the importance of fit. How to take measurements and cost a garment. Awareness of how CAD/CAM may be part of the process.

Good basic knowledge of garment construction. Knowledge of the proto development stage, and the sealing of samples. Be able to cut and sew a toile.

 Skills

 

 

BUYING AND SOURCING

 

 

 

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT

 

 

 

 

QUALITY CONTROL

Researching or sourcing of fabric/components. Placing orders and assistance with controlling inventory. Awareness of leadtimes and minimums for bulk ordering. Consideration of ethical and environmental factors when working with suppliers and factories.

How to cost garments, ability to create a layplan and a bill of materials, how to enter information onto a product management system for use in sales and production.

Understanding of the importance of an accurate technical sheet for manufacturers.

Able to quality control garments, fabrics or accessories. Good eye for detail, awareness of what to look for, how to report and communicate issues. How to prepare garments ready for sale or presentation: steaming, labelling, packing, storing. 


PATHWAY 2: SALES and OPERATIONS

 

 

 

Knowledge 

 

 

 

SALES STRATEGY

Awareness of the different selling channels open to designers: wholesale, retail, online, via a franchisor, licensor, with agents and distributers.

Understanding of how a strategy will be created and followed for targeting a market. Understanding in more detail of how either wholesale, ecommerce or retail works.

 

MARKET AWARENESS

Develop knowledge of a specific market, either domestic or international. Gain the ability to describe who a brand’s customer is and to be able to undertake basic market and competitor research.

 

MERCHANDISING

Understanding of the importance of range planning, price architecture and sales analysis. Involvement in sales analysis, gathering sell through information, assistance in report creation.

Skills 

 

LOGISTICS

Packaging, dispatch and shipping, including an awareness of basic international regulations. Dealing with couriers and deliveries, to and from suppliers and customers.

 

SHOWROOM

How to present a collection, look after a space, greet clients, maintain a required standard of visual merchandising. Involvement in preparing documents for sales such as linesheets.

 

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

Ability to manage customer data in a responsible way. Awareness of how it is used, and how it should be protected. Knowledge of the importance of customer service and an ability to deal with certain customer service issues.

Assistance with clienteling or chasing sales leads.

 

PATHWAY 3: FASHION MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

 Knowledge

 

PR STRATEGY

Understanding of how and why a brand is promoted in different channels and markets. Awareness of how a strategy is created for a brand or product and what the marketing calendar will be.

 

ONLINE BRAND COMMUNICATION

Involvement in digital marketing: social media, mailers, websites. Understanding of how the channels work, how they contribute to brand awareness and how to effectively use them for communication. Ability to create basic reports on traffic and growth in brand following.

OFFLINE BRAND COMMUNICATION

Understanding of the role played by print media, and events. May include fashion shows, VIP dressing, collaborations with other brands and partnerships with retailers.

 Skills

 

 

EVENTS

Involvement with events preparation and coordination. This could be fashion shows, sales showrooms, tradeshows, photoshoots or press days. Helping to set up and run a showroom space, manage an appointment diary, and coordinate samples.

MEDIA AND INFLUENCER

RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

 

 

CONTENT CREATION

Developing relationships with clients, press or fashion organisations. Understanding of the role of influencers from different spheres and how to engage them with the brand.

Assistance in writing copy and creating presentations. Involvement in preparing professional documents such as press releases or event invitations. Potential involvement in social media uploading, and manipulation of images and graphics for on or offline marketing.


CORE BEHAVIOURS for all pathways

 

ADAPTABILITY

Able to work to strict deadlines and to cope with a work pace varying considerably throughout the year. Ability to think on feet, be resourceful, and have a flexible attitude toward changes in work plans.

 

SELF MOTIVATION

Hardworking, able to work independently without supervision, hands on attitude and drive to succeed in a competitive environment. Interested in self-development.

 

PROFESSIONALISM

Shows maturity in coping with a fast paced, pressured environment. Professional approach to job, and in dealings with other members of staff and external company contacts.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

English and Mathematics GCSE at Grade C or above or equivalent functional skills are expected on entry. If not set as an entry criterion, candidates will achieve English and Mathematics level 2 by the end of their apprenticeship.

DURATION: Typically 18 months

LEVEL: 3

REVIEW: This standard will be reviewed in 3 years


Crown copyright © 2017. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: In development
Proposal approved Standard approved Assessment plan approved
Level: 3
Reference: ST0173
Route: Creative and design
Trailblazer contact(s): zoe@roksandailincic.com
Employers involved in creating the standard: Roksanda Ilincic, Tom Lipop, Matthew Miller Ltd, LR Studio Ltd, Richard James, Osman Yousefzada, Christopher Raeburn, Lou Dalton, Burberry, Marios Schwab Ltd, Mulberry, Jonathan Saunders Ltd, Jasper Conran Ltd