As Fashion Industry Evolves, So Does Its Workforce


(DGIwire) – Fashion is one of many industries in the midst of a seismic shift. As the customer base evolves, styles are sure to change—but the need for fresh workers in the industry is likely to stay strong. According to the 2015 U.S. Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study, conducted by the United States Fashion Industry Association, more than half of responding companies expect to hire more employees in the next five years. These employees will include sourcing specialists, fashion designers, supply chain/logistic specialists, buyers, merchandisers and market analysts.

The sheer size of the fashion industry ensures its enduring appeal to workers; according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the industry generates up to $2.5 trillion in revenue per year and could double over the next decade. The WEF also notes that the industry currently employs up to four million people in the U.S. alone. More than $250 billion is spent annually on fashion in the United States alone, according to industry analysts cited by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee.

“Companies in the fashion industry are not only compelled to keep their finger on the pulse of their customers’ tastes for fashion, they also need to keep tabs on what professionals entering the industry are looking for in a career,” says Rebecca Cenni, founder and CEO of Atrium Staffing. “Today’s workers are looking for a distinctly different type of work environment than members of previous generations, and the smart company will learn to recognize and respond to these desires in order to stay competitive as an employer.”

Atrium is a New York City-based talent solutions firm, focused on providing contingent workforce management services for mid-size and Fortune 500 companies in nearly every industry. Atrium’s expertise includes regional Temporary and Direct Hire Staffing, national Employer of Record Payrolling, national Independent Contractor Engagement and specialty Intern Recruiting Services.

In a recent WWD article, Ms. Cenni noted that it is critical for leaders in fashion houses to lead by example with a positive attitude, stressing communication and listening to staff, involving them in meetings and business decisions, and offering feedback that reflects appreciation for their efforts. Acknowledging how all employees feel, she added, can help improve morale, which in turn will increase productivity and profitability.

Given that New York happens to be the fashion capital of the U.S., it is no surprise that Atrium Staffing has been instrumental in staffing numerous fashion companies that have a presence in the city.

“The ability of a company to stand out in the world of fashion requires a sensitivity to customers’ ever-changing desires. Similarly, its ability to attract and retain the best employees requires a sensitivity to what employees are looking for—a challenge that will remain key in the years to come, as Millennials further dominate the workforce,” adds Ms. Cenni