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Fashion Designers Career

Career Description

Design clothing and accessories. Create original designs or adapt fashion trends.

What Job Titles Fashion Designers Might Have

  • Costume Designer
  • Design Director
  • Designer
  • Fashion Designer

What Fashion Designers Do

  • Direct and coordinate workers involved in drawing and cutting patterns and constructing samples or finished garments.
  • Examine sample garments on and off models, modifying designs to achieve desired effects.
  • Sketch rough and detailed drawings of apparel or accessories, and write specifications such as color schemes, construction, material types, and accessory requirements.
  • Confer with sales and management executives or with clients to discuss design ideas.
  • Identify target markets for designs, looking at factors such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status.
  • Attend fashion shows and review garment magazines and manuals to gather information about fashion trends and consumer preferences.
  • Select materials and production techniques to be used for products.
  • Provide sample garments to agents and sales representatives, and arrange for showings of sample garments at sales meetings or fashion shows.
  • Adapt other designers' ideas for the mass market.
  • Purchase new or used clothing and accessory items as needed to complete designs.
  • Visit textile showrooms to keep up-to-date on the latest fabrics.
  • Collaborate with other designers to coordinate special products and designs.
  • Design custom clothing and accessories for individuals, retailers, or theatrical, television, or film productions.
  • Determine prices for styles.
  • Draw patterns for articles designed, cut patterns, and cut material according to patterns, using measuring instruments and scissors.
  • Develop a group of products or accessories, and market them through venues such as boutiques or mail-order catalogs.
  • Read scripts and consult directors and other production staff to develop design concepts and plan productions.
  • Test fabrics or oversee testing so that garment care labels can be created.
  • Sew together sections of material to form mockups or samples of garments or articles, using sewing equipment.

What Fashion Designers Should Be Good At

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

What Fashion Designers Should Be Interested In

  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

What Fashion Designers Need to Learn

  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Median Salary: $65,170

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.