Fashion Design ♥
Job Description, Salaries, Benefits and Useful Links
Fashion/clothing designers design clothes, accessories and shoes. Some design expensive one-off pieces. Others work in a team creating a whole range of mass-produced fashions, or specialise in particular areas such as sportswear. The responsibilities of a designer may include:
making sketches by hand or on the computer
analysing trends in fabrics, colours and shapes.
Designers normally work from 9am to 5pm, but they may work longer hours when preparing samples for buyers or collections for fashion shows. Fashion designers usually work in a studio or small workshop. They may attend fashion shows, prediction fairs and exhibitions, as well as visit clients. Travel is often required. Salaries may range from around £13,000 to around £60,000 a year. Fashion/clothing designers need:
to be creative
an eye for colour, texture and pattern
the ability to visualise things in three dimensions
technical skills in areas such as pattern cutting, grading and garment construction to enjoy following trends in fashion and clothing.
Fashion designers work for designer labels, as part of in-house design teams for retail chains, and for clothing manufacturers. The heaviest concentration of designers is in London and the surrounding area. Competition for places is intense. Fashion designers usually start their career after taking an HNC/HND or a degree in fashion. There are many different courses available, some of which give a general grounding in fashion design, while others focus on manufacturing and clothing technology. Most college and universities require evidence of academic achievement, including GCSEs/S grades. A strong portfolio of work is needed to gain employment. Training is usually on the job, working alongside and learning skills from more senior designers. As competition is extremely strong, most employers expect new recruits to have learned basic skills at college. New fashion designers need to be prepared to work in junior positions, developing other people's designs, as colourists or in pattern-cutting, in order to gain experience and contacts. With experience, designers may be able to move into senior design roles and work with more established fashion labels. Very few designers are able to design clothes for their own fashion label. Fashion designers may also move into specialist areas such as colour predicting, style consultancy, fashion journalism or costume design. What is the work like?
Fashion/clothing designers design clothes, accessories and shoes. Some design expensive one-off pieces. Others work in a team creating a whole range of mass-produced fashions, or specialise in particular areas such as sportswear. There are three main sectors:
Haute couture - designers work on exclusive one-off creations that can cost thousands of pounds. They work directly with the client, organising fittings and making alterations, and the work takes a high level of skill and large amounts of time. Many couture designers also produce ready-to-wear collections that are produced in relatively small numbers. Ready-to-wear (or prêt-a-porter) - designers work on garments that are sold in small numbers but often at a high price. These garments bear the designer's name. Designing for High Street stores - designers develop cheaper ranges for the mass market. These garments are manufactured in large numbers and are quite often produced overseas. There is generally much less scope for creative input, as garments are made in line with strict budgets and need to be easy to produce efficiently. Designers usually work two seasons ahead, liaising with buyers and forecasters to predict the coming fashions. They draw initial sketches by hand or using computer software. Designers have to consider who might buy and wear their designs, how much they will cost to produce and how much people will be prepared to...
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