Do you have a flair for creativity? Do you enjoy mixing, matching, and even designing your own clothes? Do people rely on you for advice on the latest trends and the clothes they should wear? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider a career as a fashion designer. This is a highly profitable profession which thoroughly allows you to exploit your passion. If you are unsure of how to become a fashion designer, continue reading our guide to find out what it will take.
What Does a Fashion Designer Do?
Many people want to become fashion designers, but they believe that the job only requires them to be creative and artistic. While creating original clothing and accessories is a part of fashion designing, it is not the only one. Professionals in this field are constantly dealing with people (from vendors to tailors), purchasing materials, and delegating orders for the clothes to be prepared according to the artist's vision. Designers also need to have good communication skills when meeting with prospective clients to house their collections and market their product to consumers. They must also have a keen understanding of the way the fashion world works, in order to anticipate the needs of the consumer and fulfill it immediately. There are broadly four categories of designers. Some focus on clothing for different needs - maternity clothes to sportswear to intimate apparel.
Others focus on footwear, while others still focus on accessories. Some professionals also work with television producers in creating original costumes. The field is open for you to join.Individuals who want to become fashion designers must possess good negotiation and communication skills; be able to effectively multitask; and ensure that the products they are releasing into the market are original, creative, appealing, and functional. If you feel you have what it takes, the next step is to find formal training to sharpen these traits.
What Training is Required?
While formal training beyond secondary education is not required, some students choose to enroll in post-secondary education programs, which range between 2 and 4 years. These programs allow students to sharpen their understanding of the skills and knowledge needed in the fashion industry, and add credibility to their resume. These programs may help you understand the difference between materials and their appropriate use in designing. They may also groom your communication skills. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design has a list of about 300 programs one may choose from.
Before you become a supervisor or creative director, you will have to start from the bottom. Most fashion designers begin their career as patternmakers or sketching assistants, using the time to gain experience and assume more responsibility. As of May 2010, the top ten percent of fashion designers were earning upwards of $130,000 annually; even the median salary of $64,530 is much higher than that of other occupations. However, there is expected to be little or no change in the number of jobs in this industry, so the competition may be high for jobs; but with education and experience, you may have a leg up on getting a job.