What Do Fashion Designers Do?
A fashion designer creates new clothing and accessory designs. Occupying a creative role, your job is just as much to adopt the running trends as to lead the way with new ones, and the most successful fashion designers have an impeccable sense of how to do this. Be prepared to work abstractly in the initial phases with illustrations, and to work with models in the later development phase.
Fashion Designers Skills and Abilities
The primary knowledge that will come into use has to do with the principles and techniques of Design, including the ability to produce technical models. As you will be designing products that will be made from raw materials, some knowledge of production and processing will be needed. You will also find yourself needing to sell your products and manage their design, so some knowledge of sales and marketing as well as of administration and management will both come into play. You will also have to be able to generate a number of new ideas and to express them effectively. Be prepared to listen as well as to speak, and make decisions based on cost-benefit analysis.
Fashion Designers Duties
Being a successful fashion designer does not just have to do with thinking creatively, though that is the first part of it. You must also be able to organize and plan work responsibly. You will find your work much easier if you can maintain interpersonal relationships. You will find yourself at times having to gather information and place judgments as to the value or importance of things and people. Also, be prepared to:
- Build models, patterns, or templates
- Collaborate with others to develop or refine designs
- Conduct market research
- Conduct research to inform art, designs, or other work
- Draw detailed or technical illustrations
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products
- Monitor current trends
- Promote products, activities, or organizations
- Select materials or props
- Study scripts to determine project requirements
- Write informational material
As you can see, most of what you will be working with will be not fabric, but information.
Fashion Designers Tools and Technology
However, you will still be working with fabric. You ought to know how to use some typical tools:
- Cloth cutting machines
- Drafting Curves
- Domestic clothing irons
- Sewing machinesAll of these will be important physical tools, but don’t forget to be a pro with a Desktop Computer to be able to manage all the trend and product information and to do effective research. Within your computer there will be some technology to become proficient with:
- Accounting software
- Computer aided design CAD software such as Autodesk AutoCAD Design Suite
- Electronic mail software
- Graphics or photo imaging software such as Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
- Internet browser software
Education and Training for Fashion Designers
In order to get a job as a Fashion Designer, your best shot is to get a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in a Design program. Alternatively, it is possible to become qualified through special programs and training, such as:
- Apparel and Textile Manufacture
- Costume Design
- Fashion and Fabric Consultant
- Fashion/Apparel Design
- Textile Science
There are some who have made it in this profession without any college education, but most have at least completed a Bachelor’s program.
Fashion Designers Salary
This occupation has one of the widest ranges of salary, as the amount you make will have a lot to do with how your designs are received by others. An extremely successful fashion designer can make thousands of dollars a month, averaging out to over $62 per hour. On the low end Fashion Designers can make less than $16 an hour, which is less than some of the workers making their products in the factory are making.
Fashion Designers Jobs by Geography
New York is the Capitol of fashion design in the US, and California is not far behind. Every other state has a much lower number of designers, though it is growing rapidly in Texas, Arizona, and Utah. New York and California also provide some of the best salaries, though if you can land a job in Massachusetts, the wages are higher there on average than any other state. Arizona is not the place to work as a Fashion Designer if you want to make good money.