What Does A Fashion Designer Do?

"I’ve always loved the world of fashion. I love going to the mall not to shop but to look at the latest clothing trends. I learned how to sew a couple of years ago and copy the designs I see in stores and magazines. After high school, I want to go to design school so I can ultimately become a fashion designer. As far as I know, all that a fashion designer does is design clothes but I’m not sure if this is really an accurate picture. Can you please give me a detailed description of the tasks of a fashion designer? What does a fashion designer do?"

asked by Lester D. from Erie, Pennsylvania

The main job of fashion designers is to make original designs for clothing, shoes, bags and accessories. They sketch their ideas first before executing the product. Although fashion designers spend a great deal of time in their work tables sketching and sewing, this is just a one part of their job.

A fashion designer observes fashion trends and based on what they know, try to come up with new designs that consumers will love. This is no easy task as trying to come up with fresh trends that will be patronized by customers is not just mere guesswork. Rather, it involves doing a lot of research, reading trend reports from trade groups in the fashion industry and attending shows and industry gatherings. They then make their predictions based on this knowledge.

Before a designer starts getting down and dirty, so to speak, with the sketching and the creation of the actual products, a designer first has to think of a concept for the collection he wishes to create. A theme holds the show together and provides a sense of uniformity and identity to the designer’s work.

With the theme in mind, the fashion designer can then get to work. Although paper and pencil are the common tools of the trade, more modern and technology-savvy designers now make use of computer software designs to come up with their creations. There are a lot of benefits to using computer-aided design programs. For starters, these programs enable designers to get more realistic views of their creations. It also allows them to make adjustments for the shape, color and other design elements even when actual production has not yet started.

When the sketches have been made, the fashion designer then makes his creations come to life. This involves a number of activities. The designer visits fabric makers or trade shows in order to view and buy the fabrics he intends to use for his designs. This is where he also starts sewing, embellishing and crafting the apparel. He also fits the clothes on models and makes adjustments if needed.

Large firms often have a team of designers working together to create a collection. They are led by a creative designer who solicits ideas and approves the final designs. In this set up, it is part of each designer’s job to consult and collaborate with each other in order to pull off the work.

After the collection has already been created, the next task of the designer is to come up with a show or attend events that would feature his creations. He may need to work with modeling agencies so he can assemble models who would wear his dresses on the runway. He will also have to work with hair and makeup stylists so he can achieve the look he wants to create with his models as well as the stage crew to determine the lights, music and stage setup for the show. The designs that receive good reviews from fashion magazines are the ones that are ultimately manufactured and sold to consumers.

Career Spotlight: Fashion Designer

Fashion Designer

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 [...]

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