What Does a Fashion Designer Do?
A career as a fashion designer may appeal to those who enjoy mixing their talents with business. It is a field that requires a designer to be creative and artistic, but also requires a designer to be able to work with other professionals in the industry. Fashion designers can work with fashion wholesalers, manufacturers, apparel manufacturers, distributors and retailers. They are in charge of developing and designing the clothes and accessories for both men and women.
The typical responsibilities performed by a fashion designer consist of: Creating theme based lines and designs from concept. Developing pattern based designs with computer-aided applications. Attend trade shows to observe trends, meet with manufactures and locate materials. Visit manufacturers to get ideas and visit fabric stores to find out what’s in.
While some designers will attend Fashion Design School and other will gain experience on the job by working with a supplier to learn about fabric types, colors and design processes. After graduation, they will be required to take formal training classes on sketching, fabric cutting and designing as well as being taught how to spot trends. They will also need to learn how to work with other professionals such as cutters, tailors, sewers, accountants and bankers.
For the most part, the education and training needed to become a fashion designer leads only to an on-the-job apprenticeship or internship. Most designers begin as interns, usually working for a clothing line for a few months before progressing to full-time employment. Interns learn more about the company while gaining valuable experience on the job. Graduates will typically work as freelance designers with small or mid-sized companies in their hometown or the city where they live. Larger companies seek out full-time workers who are able to relocate or take on more responsibilities once they have fulfilled their internship.
Once a fashion designer is full-time, he or she will probably start out working with one or two clients. These can range from private collectors to major department stores. Clients pay an average of twenty dollars an hour for a designer’s services, which can go up to forty dollars an hour with more exclusive clients. Clients are responsible for paying for the supplies necessary to create their styles and spot trends. Clients can choose to work with any number of designers, but usually prefer those who specialize in their favorite areas.
A large number of fashion designers start their careers working in show rooms, as assistants to designers and as sales and marketing assistants. These positions are not permanent positions; however, many graduates find that they eventually land jobs in which they are hired as a full-time designer ready-to-wear or production assistant. Graduates who have chosen to go into the fashion industry as an assistant instead of starting out as a designer may work on the show room floor as a merchandiser or department head, depending on the company. They may work with one or two designers, depending on how quickly they are able to learn the job.