Only 10 percent of the students graduating from F.I.T.'s accessories program have found full-time jobs, according to WWD's Footwear News. Only one of the ten shoe-design students from Parsons has found full-time work.
It's nearly impossible for recent design graduates to find work now. Companies are producing more with fewer staff, while recent grads have to compete with laid-off, more experienced baby boomers for open positions.
Landing work in fashion should probably be harder than in most professions. All those things that people want to do, like dream up shoes, are harder to get jobs in than all those things people do because they don't know what else to do, like slaving for corporate America. That's why it's best to have money before you get into it — because if you can't find work, you can fund your own label, which is what 22-year-old Jackson Moad did after he graduated last year from Parsons and couldn't get a job after dozens of interviews.
He launched Jackson NYC, which produces leather portfolios and clutches, ranging from $245 to $310, in a tiny Manhattan factory.
So far, two stores have bought his wares, but production costs are high, and Moad said he is worried about earning enough money to pay rent.
Money also makes it easier for recent grads to take unpaid internships, which school administrators advise students to do so that at least they're not unemployed. Some advise graduates to pay for an extra semester or two of school. Italy's University of Bologna is launching an MBA program in English for the first time to give American fashion grads something to do with themselves after school. Graduate school is always a fabulous excuse to travel and find oneself without a résumé gap.
Fashion Grads' Grim Outlook [Footwear News/WWD]