Any companies with good work/life balance?

I’m starting to reach the point of burnout in my job/company due to many, many reasons I won’t get into here because it’ll be a loooong post if I do, but I realize this is still the best job/company I’ve had. (Scary!) I know this industry is pretty toxic overall, so I wonder… are there even companies that have good work/life balance and treat their employees well anymore? All of my colleagues have had similar experiences to me with terrible companies, bosses, hours, pay (I live in LA). I’d love to hear of some good places to work in the industry–and let me know if they’re hiring :wink:


I call it exhaustion of spirit. You go through so many companies and nothing changes…I have reached the point of no return and decided that the current epidemic will only make things worse. Its time to evacuate…sorry, I dont have anything positive to say about the industry. I have worked for probably close to 15 different companies (freelanced for a while) and have nothing positive to say about any of them. So dispiriting…


You are in the wrong industry. I have been in this industry working in NY and LA for 35 years as a designer. The market is OVERFLOODED with kids coming out of design schools ever since reality shows promoting fashion design came out. Companies, esp in LA take advantage of this, salaries overall have plummeted as a result.
You hit a salary cap by about age 40-45 as a design director though I have heard male design directors fare better salary wise than women.
Long periods of unemployment between jobs as 100+ apply to one design job. Retail dying. Branding agencies replacing fashion designers, and suddenly the traditional fashion designer is nothing more than a graphic artist putting together tech packs copying clothes already out there online. No creativity required, especially in LA. People are highly disposable. Find a backup career now.
Good luck.


Totally agree w Vetdesigner! I’m also in the industry, off and on, for 37 years. Great in the beginning with lots of creativity, upward mobility, pretty good pay and great international travel and shopping trips. ALWAYS long hours though.
I made $150K in 1996 as a Senior Designer. Salaries have actually gone down in 25 years, without the fun travel and shopping trips.
As well as every college opening a fashion design department, totally saturating the labor market with designers, the amount of stores grew exponentially through the 90’s, creating huge pressure on margins and the amount that owners will pay staff. Online shopping and fast fashion put the final nail in the coffin.
Unless you are in luxury wear, get out now.


Yes i think larger cooperate companies have better benefits overall and have more of a “benefits for the employer” type of motto and to be honest most of those top apparel brands are not located in NYC sadly. So that would be the first thing to consider. Also NYC is a fast work non stop paced life compared to other areas like Colorado, Florida, Seattle or Canada which are more affordable and no long commutes. NYC people work hard, long hours, travel and commute for longer, in all industries. It’s tough city that you either survive, get burnt out and time just goes by. In the garment industry it’s always been this way and it won’t really change unless those small brands or small family owned don’t work people to the bone.

Under Armor
Hanes Brands
JCpenny HQ
Dicks sporting goods
Lands End
Amazon Apparel
Urban Outfitters
North Face
MT Hardware
Columbia Sportswear

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Hi Everyone,
This is my brain fart:
Everyone responding to this post (including myself) have experienced this very abusive/predatory industry!
I wish we veterans can somehow band together and build/create a different way in this industry to make it better.
Between all of our skills and experiences there must be something we can do to make it better.

That’s it. I have nothing better to add :frowning:


If you can afford to freelance, there’s a lot of scope for work/life balance. I have been doing freelancing in NYC for midsize fashion companies (under 50 employees) for the past 12 years because I needed the flexibility to take care of my kids. Not sure of LA area though. Ofcourse, right now, I’m sure it’s worse with finding jobs with work/life balance as companies are trying to squeeze two jobs into one to cut costs.

I totally agree. Maybe start a petition?

How do you find your gigs? Is it all word of mouth? I’m wanting to do some consulting, but honestly don’t even know how to start… I always worked in large companies, so am not even aware of how to find smaller ones.

I found my latest two gigs by word of mouth, but the previous three gigs via recruiters. I do network and spread the word to my connections that I’m looking for a consulting job. I also update my portfolio with latest trends to keep it fresh. I do have to say, it wasn’t easy to find fulltime freelance positions and I did have long gaps between them. It also helped that I am in a niche speciality that requires a lot of technical knowledge. Good luck and hope you find a consulting gig, it’s definitely worth it.


I have a niche as well (along with an overall experience of 30 years in the industry in US and Europe), but am very old school and most of what I can bring to the company is my opinion (unfortunately not tech packs:) , which is what companies need nowadays mostly). Not many people are willing to pay for an opinion now.

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