10 Weirdest jobs in fashion

If you are toying with the idea of working in fashion but you do not want to go all mainstream, consider our list of unusual jobs that the fashion world has to offer. For example, how would you like to be paid for feeling someone's skin, making sure shoes and bags always reach the customer wrinkle free, interpret someone's lip profile or organise hundreds of closets? If this sounds strange and wonderful, follow our countdown from 10 to 1 of the weirdest fashion jobs. All of these jobs are real, by the way - we could not possibly make them up even if we tried.

10 Weirdest jobs in fashion

10) Live mannequin

How about giving unsuspecting window shoppers the shock of their lives when the mannequin whose clothes they are admiring suddenly comes to life? Somehow like the movie "Mannequin" but better because you are getting paid for it! As a live model, you have to be good at standing a lot and being perfectly still for a while before you can change your position. Live mannequins find work in small boutiques or at trade fairs for brands that want them to interact with their customers. Conversation not going your way? Just freeze. And then move on.

9) Fabric librarian

If you know fabrics like no one else and have a degree in fashion, textiles and/or library science, fabric librarian may be the perfect job for you. A fashion librarian visits designers and fashion houses and tells them about new and old fabric options. Apart from becoming a whiz with the different fabrics and materials out there, you will also quickly build up a network of contacts in the industry. No wonder it is a popular job with those starting out in the fashion world.

10 Weirdest jobs in fashion

8) Professional closet organiser

This sounds like a dream come true – who would not want a professional closet organiser to come home and straighten out their wardrobe, maybe colour-code shirts and pants and tidy up once and for all? Well, we're talking about a professional closet organiser, not a personal one, so hold your horses. A professional closet organiser works for fashion companies and thus operates on a much grander scale – think along the lines of devising a system for a chain of retail stores, an apparel manufacturer or a fashion house. In any case, the system needs to be intuitive, make sense and allow easy retrieval of whatever clothes are needed.

7) Fit model

This may be less glamorous than being a runway model but by no means less important. In fact, a fit model's job is to show designers how the clothes they have created look on different body types and shapes, if they are practical at all and work for real-life people. So instead of walking the ramp, a fit model will visit designers' stores or fashion companies to try on their clothes and make sure they really are ready-to-wear.

Needless to say, a fit model needs to be comfortable trying on clothes, many different ones, day in, day out. He or she also has to give an honest opinion about how each garment fits on them - or not. So next time you slip on a skirt that just seems to fit your body type perfectly, thank the fit model for her valuable feedback.

6) Runway choreographer & soundtrack composer

Have you ever thought about the music you hear when models walk the ramp? And the choreography they may be doing instead of just sashaying down the catwalk? Well, some fashion shows stick out by their choice of music and/or the choreography the models are following; in fact, nowadays no fashion show is complete without its own soundtrack. In that case, they sure have taken professional help from a runway choreographer and a soundtrack composer. This is actually two jobs rolled into one but we thought one can't really do without the other, so we clubbed them.

5) Style scenographer

How about runways that turn into construction sites, giant mazes or fantastic wonderlands? It is not unusual that the scenery for a fashion shoot or catwalk steals the show and requires outlandish props like giant hedges, clouds that look real or oversized mirrors. A good idea for a scenery is only as good as the person who can make it a reality. This is where the style scenographer comes in. He or she is not fazed by even the strangest request and is crafty and resourceful when it comes to sourcing what he or she needs. Now who comes up with the idea in the first place is another question.

10 Weirdest jobs in fashion

4) Model and celebrity tanning professional

Have you ever seen a model (or celebrity for that matter) who did not look like they just came back from a nice vacation somewhere warm where they acquired a beautiful tan? Well, neither have we. But fashion being fashion, all is not what it seems. If you would like to help people acquire a healthy, sunny glow, becoming a tanning professional may be the job for you. It entails bronzing up everyone who's on stage or in the public eye and a side effect is getting up close and personal with supermodels and celebrities.

3) Wrinkle chaser

No, we're not still talking about models (and their usually non-existent wrinkles) but about fabric wrinkles on shoes, bags and accessories. Have you ever wondered how fabric on shoes remains stretched and wrinkle-free, ditto with a bag that you just ordered online and unwrapped at home? Enter the professional wrinkle chaser who, with a special iron, will make sure that the fabric on products around us remains tight, stretched and wrinkle free, usually between delivery from the factory and shipment to stores. Thoroughness and patience are a must and those who are not too fond of ironing need not apply.

2) Face feeler

Yes, you read correctly – there are people who are getting paid for feeling other people's faces. Not without a purpose of course. The aim is to determine who's got the softest skin after applying a certain moisturiser. Also called "sensory scientists", these professionals go through rigorous training before they start out commercially; there is even a society of sensory professionals.

1) Lipstick reader

Ah, and here we go, our number one when it comes to weird jobs in fashion. Though we have to say it was almost a tie between 2 and 1. A lipstick reader or lipsologist (yes, it is a science) is someone who can tell quite a bit about a person just by reviewing a lipstick imprint left on paper. What started as a hobby for Seattle-based entertainer Jilly Eddy turned into a serious science after more than 30 years of research.

How is this useful in fashion? Well, brands want to make sure that the lipstick hues used on models and the lipstick imprints in their advertising are sending the right message. Is the model tired? Artistic? Or maybe picky? Or even energetic? Romantic? This and more is what a good lipsologist can tell just from looking at a lipstick imprint.So the next time you pucker up and leave a mark, think about what you may be revealing about your personality. Or go to lipsology.com to find out.

This brings us to the end of our list and no doubt, these are not the only weird jobs in fashion. In fact, we have enjoyed this list so much, here's a bonus entry:

Fashion florist

Yes, there are professional fashion florists who provides flowers and everything green for runway shows and photoshoots. Ever wondered where those gorgeous flowers came from? Well, the fashion florist is your woman (or man) to say it with flowers and provide arrangements that are individual and show-stopping. Where they are are sourcing from and how they do it is their trade secret.

Credit illustrations: Studio Iva (IGM: studio_iva)
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