A fashion director is a coordinator for fashion-oriented clients. They come up with and organize fashion concepts and events and provide business advice based on market information. If the director does her job well, the client becomes known for the concepts and events and subsequently gains a profit from consumer sales.
Fashion directors are concerned first and foremost with delivering a certain fashion style to clients. They look at the overall fashion statement the client wants to make and determine what clothing and accessories best convey that image. It is the director's job to ensure that all the fashion-related projects the client might have, such as photo shoots, video advertisements and runway shows, all provide the same fashion flavor to the consumer. Thus, they are a major part of a client's business branding team, cutting material, sometimes literally, that does not work toward the client's goals.
As part of their work, fashion directors do market research. They gather data about fashion trends in order to make some guesses about what consumers will wear in the future. Once they understand where the public is headed with style, they advise the client on what direction to take to adapt while simultaneously remaining true to the client's original business concept.
In addition to providing general advice to clients, a fashion director may give more specific recommendations about the business or brand. For instance, if a client wants to focus on clothes and accessories for people who are heavier, the director may serve as a liaison between the client and plus-size models with good reputations and portfolios. The director also may suggest particular photographers, videographers or event coordinators.
A fashion director may work with a client to create specific design concepts. During this process, she may coordinate with one or more fashion designers to get initial sketches and prototypes of designs the client can see and test. Sometimes she creates the sketches and prototypes, depending on her expertise, but it time constraints are tight, she more often serves as a manager and delegates tasks to others who are talented artists and seamstresses.
Another role a fashion director plays is price setter. Directors understand that, regardless of how spectacular a fashion looks, consumers will not buy it if it is not affordable. They look at whether the finished fashion product is actually accessible to a large segment of the consumer population. Fashion directors look at similar fashions made from similar materials, as well as what consumers are willing to spend for a product regardless of manufacturing costs, and suggest to clients what to charge for the fashions.