What does a fashion designer do?
Fashion designers design and create original clothing and accessories as well as designs that follow current trends in fashion. They carefully research and plan fashion collections and ensure that all the items in a collection complement each other and have a specific “look”. Fashion designers choose styles, fabrics, colors, and oversee the final production of their designs.
Fashion designers are responsible for examining past fashion collections and keep up with what other designers and companies are doing. They monitor current fashion forecasting sources as well. Savvy fashion designers note styles that take off and those that don’t, in hopes of projecting trends before the competition does.
Fashion designers may generalize, or specialize in clothing, footwear or accessories, and use a variety of methods to create their designs. Some combine and drape fabrics on a dress form or mannequins and others sketch their ideas on paper. The use of computer-aided design (CAD) to create sketches is common. Click here to learn how to become a fashion designer.
What kind of training does a fashion designer need?
Employers usually seek designers with associate and bachelor degrees in fashion design or fine arts and a solid foundation of knowledge in fabrics, fashion trends, ornamentation, and textiles. Some fashion designers have a dual degree in fashion design and business, marketing, or fashion merchandising. Courses in psychology, mathematics, and human anatomy are also useful in this field.
Many schools offering degree programs in fashion design do not allow admission until a student has completed basic courses in art and design. Students may have to submit samples of their artistic ability such as sketches and portfolios before admission, as well. Click here for a list of online fashion design degree programs.
What are the prospects for a career in fashion design?
Jobs in fashion design are expected to experience slower that average growth for all occupations, growing just 5% from 2006 to 2016 (1). However, a growing population that demands trendy, affordable clothing, footwear, and accessories will drive opportunities. Heavy competition is expected because of the attraction to the glamour and creativity that a fashion designer career offers. Positions with firms that design mass market clothing in retail chains will offer the best opportunities.
The best candidates for fashion designer jobs are those with a fashion merchandising degree, design degree or other fine arts degree and an abundance of experience and exposure to many different designs and trends. Since the fashion industry is worldwide, experience in an international fashion center, such as Paris or Milan, can increase employment opportunities. Click here to find your path to a fashion career.
How much do fashion designers make?
The average fashion designer salary is between $36,659 and $54,175, with the highest 10% earning more than $63,418 (2).
A career in fashion design is a great choice for people who have an eye for color and detail and strong balance and proportion sense. Fashion designers must also have excellent communication, teamwork, and time management skills. Strong creativity, patternmaking, and sewing skills are also necessary for this profession. Click here for a list of programs to get your fashion degree online.