How To Become A Fashion Designer
Fashion designers are the masterminds behind the latest fashions. They design and create original pieces of clothing, accessories, and more. Each piece of clothing we wear was first conceptualized by a fashion designer. In order to become a fashion designer, you need a bachelor’s degree, plus experience working in the fashion industry.
Why Become A Fashion Designer
Fashion designers have a wide variety of responsibilities. They are responsible for designing the products that come out for clothing retailers. They study fashion trends and think of what kinds of products will appeal to their demographic base. Fashion designers need to be progressive and forward thinking, and they often create fashion trends that spread widely to consumers.
They often start by sketching out designs by hand, or using computer programs to create designs. They work on a team of designers to collaborate. They present their ideas to a creative director or the head of their fashion house. This is a long, elaborate process because it can take several drafts before they are given permission to go ahead with a particular design. Fashion designers give instructions for production and oversee the creation of their final design.
This is a good career for somebody who is passionate about fashion, enjoys being creative and showing off their artistic side.
Fashion Designers must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Enjoys Fashion
- Detail Oriented
- Business Skills
Fashion Designer Work Environment
Fashion designers work in a manufacturing environment. They often work for wholesalers or manufacturers, who sell their apparel and accessories to retailers for distribution. Fashion designers spend their days creating designs, selecting fabrics, and working with a team to create prototype designs. They spend much time researching different styles to decide what is on trend and what people might buy. They spend time creating many different designs, going through several drafts until they design something that is going to be used as the final product. Being a fashion designer is a time-consuming process that requires lots of patience. Many fashion designers head to trade shows through the country and world to catch up on the latest fashions.
Fashion Designer Salary
The median annual salary for fashion designers was $68,000 in 2017, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are many factors that determine salary in this field. Entry-level fashion designers will earn less than those who are at the senior level had have several years of experience. The industry in which one works can play an important role. Those who work in manufacturing earned an annual salary of $66,000 in 2017. On the other hand, those who worked in management earned $82,000. It is important to consider which industry you would like to work in.
Average Fashion Designer Annual Salary
The average annual salary for fashion designers is $78,870 a year. Salaries start at $33,910 a year and go up to $135,490 a year.
Average Fashion Designer Hourly Wage
The average hourly wage for a fashion designer is $37.92. Hourly wages are between $16.30 and $65.14 an hour.
Stats were based out of 18,940 employed fashion designers in the United States.
Highest Paying States For Fashion Designers
- 1. New York $43.42 / hr $90,320 / yr
- 2. Massachusetts $41.42 / hr $86,150 / yr
- 3. Oregon $37.64 / hr $78,300 / yr
- 4. Maine $37.43 / hr $77,850 / yr
- 5. California $37.12 / hr $77,210 / yr
Top Paying Cities For Fashion Designers
- 1. Boston, MA $43.95 / hr$91,410 / yr
- 2. New York, NY $43.04 / hr$89,530 / yr
- 3. Oxnard, CA $40.36 / hr$83,940 / yr
- 4. Portland, OR $37.76 / hr$78,550 / yr
- 5. Los Angeles, CA $37.61 / hr$78,230 / yr
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Fashion Designer Career Outlook
Employment of fashion designers is projected to grow by 3 percent from 2016 to 2026. This will result in the creation of only about 500 jobs in the fashion industry in the United States during this 10 year period.
Most fashion companies choose to produce their clothing overseas. This cuts down on labor and production costs for the company. As a result, there are not as many opportunities for fashion designers in the United States. Those who are serious about working in this industry must do the work necessary to stand out. This includes going to school and pursuing a degree in a fashion program, receiving internships at fashion houses, magazines, etc., creating a brilliant portfolio, and promoting ones work. The best opportunities for careers will be in major fashion centers such as New York City and Los Angeles.
Fashion Designer Degree
To become a fashion designer, you will first need to have a bachelor’s degree. Research undergraduate schools that specialize in fashion, art, design and related programs. There are more than 350 schools in the United States that specialize in these programs. During these programs you will take courses in fashion, design, merchandising, and more. You will get an in-depth look at the fashion industry and learn if this is the right path for you.
During this time it is important to get as much experience as possible within the industry. Scoring an internship at a fashion design office or a major fashion house would be a great advantage. It would be a way to see what daily life is like inside the industry and earn real world experience. It is also a stepping stone to a job in the fashion industry.
It also is beneficial, if not required, to build a portfolio of your fashion designs. You can bring these to fashion houses you wish to work with, and show it off as a resume of sorts.
Fashion Designer Coursework
If you are interested in becoming a fashion designer, you should apply to a college or university that focuses on fashion and design. You will be given specific coursework in fashion. Below we have listed some example courses you will take in a fashion, art, and design program.
Sewing Techniques: Students learn the professional techniques used in the construction of designer garments. Sewing techniques such as cutting, construction, and finishing are explored, using professional equipment to create sample garments.
Draping: This course focuses on three-dimensional draping and executing garment design. The projects in this course focus on the principles of grain, balance, and construction. Students develop their own sense of proportion, silhouette, line and style.
CAD for Fashion Design: Students learn computer-aided design programs to aid their fashion designs. They digitally create fabrics and textiles for garments they have designed. They learn how to merge garment and fabric design inside of computer programs in order to create fashion designs.
Fashion Designer Career Path
A fashion designer is a great profession for those who love fashion. Typically people start off as assistants in a fashion design studio, and move on, becoming promoted to more senior positions, such as associate designer and finally head designer. There are many opportunities for growth in this field.
Overview A head designer supervises the fashion design team at a company
Responsibilities Head Designers are responsible for overseeing the design team and approving of all designs that will be included and produced in the upcoming season’s fashion collections
Education Required In order to become a head designer, a person should have worked in the fashion industry for at least 7-10 years before being promoted to this position
Benefits This is a good advancement choice for somebody who wants more responsibility and wants to take on more of a management role
Fashion Designer Related Careers
Fashion design is both a fun and rewarding career. It is an opportunity to show off your artistic and creative skills. There are many related careers as well. If you are interested in this profession, there are others you may be interested in.
Models: Models are people who pose for photographers and other clients in order to advertise clothing, cosmetics, a brand, and many other purposes. Many brands employ models to help sell their products.
Graphic Designers: Graphic designers design logos, brochures, flyers, and other kinds of visual materials in order to help companies market and publicize their brand to consumers.
Floral Designers: Florists and floral designers cut and arrange flowers and greenery into decorative displays for residential and commercial clients.