Fashion designer essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $62,860
- 2012, number of jobs: 16,560
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 0 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Fashion designers; what they do:
Fashion designers create clothing, accessories, and footwear, overseeing the entire process of their creation. Fashion designer careers include remaining up-to-date on current world fashion trends in order to design materials that attract and satisfy customers. Often, fashion designers create a line of clothing, accessories, or footwear (sometimes a combination of these two or three) around a specific theme.
The fashion design process usually begins with sketches or computer-aided design programs (CAD), followed by fabric selection, and the creation of a prototype. A fashion designer presents their prototype to a creative director. Companies sell approved items to the public, usually through retail stores.
Fashion designers typically specialize as one of the following:
- Clothing designer: Creates all types of men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel.
- Footwear designer: Creates all types of shoes and boots.
- Accessory designer: Specializes in items such as purses, suitcases, belts, scarves, hats, hosiery, and glasses.
- Costume designer: Specializes in performing arts, motion picture, and television show costumes.
Fashion designers job titles:
- Virtual Fashion Designer
- Design Director
- Costume Designer
- Product Developer
- Apparel Fashion Designer
- Clothing Designer
- Dance Costume Designer
- Historic Clothing and Costume Maker
- Latex Fashions Designer
Fashion Designers Education, Certification and License Requirements
Although a fashion designer career can begin with a high school diploma or equivalent, many fashion designers opt for an Associate degree in fashion design or a Bachelor of Fashion Design, a Bachelor in Fashion Marketing and Design, a Bachelor in Fashion Marketing, a Bachelor of Fashion Merchandising or a degree in a related field.
Fashion designers commonly enter the fashion industry through internships or through working as an assistant designer.
Fashion designer programs cover subjects such as:
- Computer-aided design (CAD) technology
- Color theory
- Pattern construction
- Fashion history
Fashion designers don’t need specific licenses or certifications.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Fashion designers often begin their career assisting more experienced designers and gradually advancing to better positions. Experienced fashion designers can advance in their career through obtaining a chief designer, design department head, creative director, or another type of supervisory position.
With enough experience, fashion designers may start their own design company or sell their designs in their own retail stores.
Fashion Designers Job Outlook
Forecast: Little to no employment change from 2010 to 2020 for fashion designers.
Although employment growth may occur for fashion designers in specialized design firms, designing new everyday wear, and designing clothing with new fabrics; the employment growth is offset by declining employment in the apparel manufacturing industry.
Fashion Designers Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: $62,860
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $89,000
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $44,630
Fashion Designer Employers
- Apparel, piece goods, and notions merchant wholesalers
- Apparel manufacturing
- Specialized design services
- Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries