Becoming a fashion designer can be an exciting and artistically rewarding career, but taking the right first steps is crucial for success in this complex and competitive industry.
For creative minded individuals with a passion for fashion, become a fashion designer can be a dream career come true. This career choice can be exciting and rewarding both artistically as well as financially, but it’s can definitely be a challenging path as well. The fashion industry is often more complex and competitive that many young designers expect.
If you’re considering becoming a fashion designer, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of the industry as well as the preparation needed to be successful in this fun and challenging career.
A Day In The Life Of Fashion Designer
Depending on the education, time in the industry, creative talents and area of focus, a fashion designers day can very, but common aspects the the job that most designers find themselves involved in at some point in their career.
Some of which include:
- identifying target markets and demographics for designs
- sketching rough and detailed drawings of apparel or accessories, and writing specifications such as color schemes, construction, material types and accessory requirements
- conferring with sales and management executives or with clients in order to discuss design ideas
- selecting materials and production techniques to be used for products
- examining sample garments on and off models and then modifying their designs to achieve desired effects
- directing and coordinating workers who draw and cut patterns and construct samples or finished garments
Being a fashion designer often includes a great deal of travel to fashion shows, conventions and other industry events.
Fashion Design Courses & Education
You don’t need a college degree to become a fashion designer, however to enter in to the fashion industry you will be expected to have a firm understanding of many aspects of the business. Even to become an intern you’ll be competing with other candidates, many with 3-4 years of formal education such as an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in fashion design or a related field.
The fashion industry is fairly complex and fashion design programs are designed to educate their students on all aspects of design as well as the market place and industry. Many fashion design programs work closely with the industry giving the students an advantage and deeper understanding of what will be required of them and what will set them apart.
Most fashion designer programs are 3 to 4 years long and many include everything from the design aspects to the marketing and financial aspects of the business.
Schools not only can have very different approaches to fashion design, but many focus on particular areas of the industry. This makes it extremely important to get information from multiple schools in order to effectively discern which schools offer a program that is right for your long term objectives.
Most fashion designers start off in an apprentice or internship role after graduation. Even an internship can be challenging to get out of the gates, especially with a reputable designer. Having some industry experience, as well as a strong portfolio can help make you more marketable.
How Much Can You Expect To Make As A Fashion Designer
In 2011, fashion designers earned a median annual salary of $64,690 or $31.10 per hour (US), putting it on list of the highest paying occupations that don’t require a college degree. However, keep in mind that most people working in the field did, in fact, have a degree.
Other Design Areas
As your fashion design career progresses, you may find (as many designers do) that your career preference may change. This is why it’s often advised to receive a well rounded education which allows you the ability to entertain other design career chooses.
Often, fashion designers may choose to leave the fashion field entirely or choose a particular niche that utilizes their design talents. Some of them use their color and design skills to become interior designers, graphic designers, or fashion consultants.
If you think you have what it takes to be a profession fashion designer, use our Design School Finder below to find some course options that best fit your career path.
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- AAS in Business Administration – Retail Management