How to Become a Fashion Designer
A fashion designer brings together ideas for clothing, accessories and footwear. Using their own creativity, along with a knowledge of current trends, a fashion designer will come up with a range of clothing or other accessories, which may then be put into production by a fashion label. Working in the fashion industry can be a glamourous job, but also a demanding one. Entry into the fashion industry can be very competitive.
The most important thing you will need to be successful in this industry is a passion for fashion. If you obsess over fashion magazines and love to make clothes for your friends, then you are probably on the right track. You'll also need a good knowledge of design, be a creative personality, have good drawing skills, and be focused on achieving your goals.
Education Requirements to Become a Fashion Designer
There are no formal educational requirements to become a fashion designer. While there are some big names in fashion that have no formal training, most have some kind of degree in textiles, fine art, design, or fashion. There are courses at college which will allow you to specialize in fashion and design. There are also specialist fashion schools, as well as courses at community college available.
If you're still in high school, the best approach is to take art and design classes. You might like to get a part time job in the fashion industry, or do some work experience if the opportunity arises. You could also take short courses in fashion, design, and sewing on your school holidays.
The Internet provides many avenues to sell you own work, without the high costs of producing a full label. Perhaps you like to make clothes in your spare time, or screen print t-shirts. This is a great way to gain experience while you are studying or waiting for your break in the fashion industry.
Fashion Designer Job Description
Creating new fashion in only part of a role of a fashion designer. They also need to keep on top of current trends. Seeing other shows, networking with other designers, and more recently keeping an eye on fashion blogs, is all just a part of a normal day. Many in the field spend just as much time networking and marketing as they do designing. There are many events and functions to attend. Here are some of the tasks a fashion designer could find themselves completing:
- Researching trends and styles
- Creating sketches and designs
- Selecting fabrics
- Putting together samples
- Attending fashion shows
- Marketing and promotional tasks
Fashion Designer Salary and Career Path
Fashion design is a competitive field. To become a fashion designer, you're going to need to start from the bottom. This means taking an entry level job within a fashion design firm. While many people get jobs as design assistants, as there are many more applicants than jobs, you may also have to take a role that is not linked with design. You might be making coffee or answering phones. You might be an assistant to a designer or other person in the company. After some hard work, you will get a promotion. Keep working on your portfolio, and it will happen.
The field of fashion you are in will dictate how easy it is to find employment. For instance, if you are designing running shoes it's going to be easier to get a start that if you want to design high end fashion.
After a few years working as a design assistant, you may be able to get a promotion to an associate designer, and then to a fashion director. Many fashion designers start their own labels after they have some experience behind them. Others go on to work in other areas in the field, such as textile design, or within marketing and promotions.
The median wage for a fashion designer is $60,000. When you first start out in the industry, you can expect to earn around $40,000 in an entry level role. The highest 10% in the industry take home a six figure salary.
If you are interested in design and love fashion, working in this industry can be very rewarding. Although you'll need to work hard to become a fashion designer, working in the glamorous world of fashion can also be a lot of fun. There is a good salary available for those with a few years experience, as well as the opportunity to work for yourself later on.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics