If you want to be a true fashionista you’ll need to have a reasonable command of the English language. Why? Well, for a start many of the world’s leading designers are British or American: Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs, to name but a few. The world’s best designers, such as Karl Lagerfeld, Donatella Versace, and Jean-Paul Gaultier are all able to discuss their designs in English quite comfortably, despite being non-native speakers.
Fashion is a truly international industry at every level and it’s growing. In fact it’s growing 4% faster than any other industry as we emerge from the global recession. It’s also an industry that provides a vast array of career opportunities, from designing and manufacturing to styling and reporting.
Designers set the fashion trends for upcoming seasons when they show their collections, usually at one of the fashion weeks around the world, such as London, Milan, or New York. This is the top end of the fashion industry. The UK has what is generally regarded as the best fashion school in the world, Central St Martins in London. Famous alumni include designers Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. It also has its own language school, because of the huge volume of overseas students studying there.
Magazines cover the trends set by the designers and publicise them. Most of the industry’s top publications, such as Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire are based in English speaking countries. It’s also common place to find a British Editor at the helm, such as Joanna Coles at Marie Claire and Anna Wintour at Vogue. A typical fashion shoot at a glossy magazine might involve a British stylist, a French photographer, and a Russian model, all using English as the accepted lingua franca of the industry.