A fashion production assistant serves as the point person between internal departments and external vendors. Closely monitoring the production calendar to meet deadlines, preparing shipments and tracking samples are some of their everyday duties. This entry-level job is a valuable learning experience, serving as preparation for more advanced roles in the fashion industry.
Keep your cool
Successful candidates are excellent communicators, problem solvers and multi-taskers, with the ability to manage competing priorities. Being highly adaptable is a must, as the fast-paced fashion industry is constantly evolving. A fashion production assistant has the capacity to remain calm under pressure, as the job can involve long hours and high stress, especially before fashion shows, previews of new collections and new store openings. Previous experience working or interning in the fashion industry is preferred, but not always a requirement, as it is an entry-level position.
Specific job duties for fashion production assistants vary by position, but generally involve tasks such as pre-production sample tracking and organizing, following up with vendors and updating factory packing lists. The fashion production assistant works closely with all members of the design, product development, sales and planning teams, ensuring all tasks are completed by scheduled deadlines. Analyzing weekly production reports to anticipate upcoming issues is another key responsibility, helping the team anticipate and avoid problems.
A fashion production assistant may have administrative responsibilities, such as data entry, processing orders, invoicing and shipping and receiving. Successful candidates are expected to pitch in wherever necessary to get the job done, even with tasks that don’t traditionally fall under their realm. Travel to vendor locations, factories and the company’s retail storefronts may be required.
Education, Salary and Opportunities for Advancement
A fashion production assistant is typically required to have a bachelor’s degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites the average salary of a fashion production assistant at $22.90 per hour or $47,630 per year, as of May 2013. Salaries vary by region. For example, the job site Indeed.com notes the average salary of a fashion production assistant is $56,000 per year in New York City, $44,000 per year in Los Angeles, $39,000 per year in Miami and $49,000 per year in Chicago. Working as a fashion production assistant provides the necessary experience to move into more advanced roles in the industry. Mid-level positions include production planner and production supervisor roles. Higher level jobs consist of sourcing manager, product manager and plant manager positions.