Apparel represents a $276 billion retail market in the United States. The U.S. industry employs large numbers: 116,000 in textile manufacturing; 170,000 in apparel design and production; 140,000 in apparel wholesale distribution; and around 3 million in apparel retailing. Currently, around 96% of the apparel sold in retail stores is imported into the U.S. However, almost all of the clothing we buy is designed, branded and marketed by American companies. What is more, American brands are famous and widely sought by consumers around the world. Among these, Californian brands are perhaps the most dynamic and diverse, including Quiksilver, Patagonia, Volcom, Forever 21, BCBG, Seven for All Mankind, Vans, St John Knits, True Religion, American Apparel. Nationwide, the greatest concentration of apparel companies and jobs is to be found in Southern California, centered around Los Angeles.
Career pathways in the apparel production and distribution sectors include: retail buying and international sourcing; merchandising; product development; wholesale sales and marketing; market research and forecasting; retail marketing and promotion; visual merchandising; brand management; production management; supply chain management; and product design.
Pathways in related industries include textile buying and wholesaling, fashion journalism, public relations, higher education, and the marketing of equipment and support services (financial, software, international trade, and business consulting) to the fashion industry.
AMM students have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Many aspire to start their own business and a significant number of our alums are successful business owners.
Some students complement their AMM major by completing a business, communications or art related minors. This helps expand or better focus their career opportunities.
Listed below are some of the primary career tracks, together with typical salaries in California associated with specific positions
|General Merchandise Manager (GMM)||$222,500|
|Divisional Merchandise Manager (DMM)||$212,500|
|Associate Merchandiser||$ 65,000|
|Assistant Merchandiser||$ 51,750|
|Assistant Planner||$ 47,500|
|Director of Visual Merchandising||$122,500|
|Visual Coordinator||$ 45,000|
|Overseas Production Manager||$76,800|
|Fabrics & Trim Buyer||$64,750|
|National Sales Manager||$107,000|
|Assistant Technical Designer||$43,500|
|Sample Room Manager||$36,750|
|Cost Sheet Developer||$43,350|