Fashion Designer Career Working Environment

The working conditions of a fashion designer are as varied as the types of design work available. Because designers can be employed by major corporations, manufacturers, design firms or themselves, it is impossible to pin down a "typical" working condition. Should you choose to work independently, you'll spend more time one-on-one with clients, adjusting your work in their home or in your store until they are pleased with the final product. If you work for a larger employer, your day will be spent surrounded by people doing jobs similar to your own, usually in a well-lit and spacious center.

Because this is creative work, long hours are sometimes involved, especially during direct interaction with a client or during shows. Designers-typically independent artists-must sometimes accommodate their schedules to those of busy clients, and their work is not finished until someone else says it is. But most designers take great satisfaction in their finished product. 

For many fashion designers, the most rewarding-and most stressful-part of their job is a fashion show. This entails long hours and constant interaction with models, buyers and reporters. It will also probably involve some travel to major metropolitan cities around the world.

Fashion Designer Career Description

Fashion designers take their own creative ideas and those of their clients and turn them into designs to be produced as clothing either for a mass market or a specific client. This is a career for those who are innovative and driven as well as willing to take risks creatively and intellectually.

Fashion Designer Career Specializations

The most well-known fashion designers are those who produce one-of-a-kind garments for celebrities at high-profile events. But before a designer reaches that level, he or she passes through a career of designing for the mass market. This could include clothing and accessories, but could also include designing in other areas, such as items for the home. Once established in the clothing market, however, most designers tend to focus on men, women or children, and pick a genre on which to concentrate-sportswear or eveningwear, for example.

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Quick Fact
In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fashion Designer Career Required Training

It is important to remember when considering a career in a creative field such as fashion design that neither education nor creativity on its own will guarantee you a successful career. Rather, it is generally only when these two elements work in tandem that successes are made. 

A prospective fashion designer should have a good eye for color, texture and balance. Furthermore, most employers require at least a two-year degree before considering a potential employee for an entry-level position. They must also demonstrate a knowledge of fabrics and trends. And because technology is now so heavily relied-upon in the field-especially if you plan on working for a larger company-a demonstrated knowledge of computers and design software is a definite plus.

Fashion Designer Career Coursework

Natural talent in this field will only carry you so far, but the specific education that may be required by a future employer will vary depending on what kind of design work you want to do. Many employers look for such qualifiers as a degree from an art institute, which typically involves a portfolio audition of some sort to attend. 

Bachelor's of Fine Arts programs are available at many four-year colleges and universities, and typically provide an extremely well-rounded art education that dabbles in art and art history, principles of design and work in various media. If you plan on working independently, it is recommended that you consider a liberal arts education, in which you can study business, marketing and merchandising along with your craft, to prepare you for your freelance work. 

Most fashion designers agree, though, that their most valuable training comes at the hands of their mentors. This can mean either through an internship in a design house while completing their schooling, or once they are hired at a junior level position or as an assistant to a designer.

Fashion Designer Career Future Job Outlook

While demand for fashion designers will remain strong, so will the supply of people who want to become the next hot thing. Prospective fashion designers' chances of landing a job are pretty much directly proportional to the amount of training they put into their careers. This is not the career for those who hope to just coast into a job-it takes talent, training and, above all, perseverance.

Fashion Designer Salary

In 2011, the median salary of a fashion designer was $64,530 a year. The fashion designers you see parading their designs at the Oscars, of course, earn a bit more than that.

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Career Info Design