From Fashion Designer to Lawyer, Real Estate Broker, Or..?

Has anyone on here spent decades in the fashion industry, done well but noticed as they approach 50 the high paying jobs in LA dry UP? And, if so, have you chosen to go back to school to become something offering STABILITY and financial gain over the hire and and fire fashion industry such a LAWYER, MEDICAL SCHOOL, or other field?

I am particularly interested in hearing from someone who pivoted to a high paying job as a lawyer or similar where using your BA by getting two years of law school launched you into a different career at 50 or over since life is still long and no. one wants to struggle for decades watching their job options dry up in fashion over ageism and over saturation with supply much greater than job demand and more kids coming out of schools every year.

1 Like

Experiencing the same, and pursuing a Master’s in Poly Sci to pivot at this point. There are fewer and fewer jobs at our level in the apparel industry and employers are paying less and less with fewer benefits. It’s just not worth it anymore.


What will your new career path be? I waited too long to make an intelligent career change after so many layoffs the last 7 years and had no back up plans for a different career path, now I am regretting it and wish I had changed careers years ago.

1 Like

You’re not alone. The last 6-7 years have been brutal - layoffs, acquisitions, closings… Apparel has always been a bit tumultuous but it’s been borderline reckless to be in these jobs in the past several years. I plan to go into government support work and I’ve taken a few freelance projects (web and communications-based) locally with a few neighborhood organizations to build familiarity with how the city works. They’ve already opened the door to learning about the foundation of how information moves and how decisions are made (and who makes them, most importantly). Now I’m applying for Data and Policy Analysis work, which I find infinitely interesting and fundamentally rewarding as it will have a direct impact on my city. What are you looking at your next steps?

1 Like

Law school to become a commercial real estate lawyer or more likely, corporate law specifically in business and trademark acquisitions in the fashion industry, and get some online UX/UI design certifications in the meantime to bring cash in and work remotely. I sold a former fashion business 20 years ago to a huge fashion conglomerate and learned so much about that transaction from a legal standpoint. I am definitely not going to be happy making a low income after being a Design Director the last 10 years of my career and watching most people I know my age thrive and have materially comfortable lives while I live impoverished with an unknown financial future blowing in the wind because I overstayed the last several years in the fashion industry being out of work for a year or more every other year when a fashion retailer goes bankrupt and lays everyone off. Sometimes it’s age or personal family/health/childcare issues that come up and the industry can be ruthless if you have an urgent matter at home- you could get let go over those things, too if you show up late on a Saturday you didn’t even know you had to work until the Friday night can come down to the views of your boss who considers employees as disposable and replaceable commodities rather than human beings with family and health matters. Also, it burns me watching HR directors post jobs I’m suitable for that they ignore me for while they post unprofessional LinkedIn posts about their dog’s birthday, their dog waking up in the morning, and the day they came out to their dad- you just have to be professional watching someone with no appropriate decorum behave like they’re on Facebook yet be the gatekeeper of who gets to interview and who does not and keep your mouth shut.


This is an interesting question I’m following. I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all answer because the pivot will be different for everyone. I went back to school for interior design and I love it, but starting over and not necessarily from the top.
Did you like the creativity that the fashion industry offered or the high pay? If you liked the creativity - could you be happy in a non-creative job? If you liked the pay, then there’s many directions you can take - working in finance, technology and healthcare are very lucrative.

1 Like

Hi Vetdesigner…I was wondering how the UX/UI certifications worked out for you. Were you able to find work quickly? If so, would you mind sharing where you got your certificate from? Im thinking of doing the same.

I have not done the work yet as I have ANOTHER side hustle that has been bringing enough in to BARELY pay my overhead, but I’ve decided to give it a few more months to build to see if it’s worth continuing ( has nothing to do with the fashion industry).
I AM still considering UX because my friends who are UX designers have more work and income than I did in fashion and no slowing down during the recession. Coursera Google UX design is the certification course I have been looking at.

Thank you! Ive been thinking about transitioning into UX. I heard its good pivot for designers. I actually took a digital marketing course during the pandemic but found out to late that “entry level” means 2 years experience interning in that field. Im too old for that! I wonder if its the same with UX. Its a shame to throw away all of our experience but sometimes you need to cut your losses. Im on the fence…Good luck with your side hustle!!

1 Like

UX is another heavily saturated areas,
I was seriously considering a few years ago- pre-Pandemic-
have industry friends successfully transitioed easily back in 5-6yrs ago.
But now its definitely way saturated last 3-4yrs already.
You need to have lots of freelancing works to get in your feet and also a fantastic portfolio to show as well… plus networking

1 Like