Fashion designing involves the application of art to the creation of clothing, footwear, and accessories. Fashion designers study historical and contemporary fashion trends, and determine what will appeal to the general public or to specific clients. Since they are also responsible for selecting style, color, and fabric, fashion designers may have to regularly visit manufacturers or attend trade shows. Fashion designers do not just design the products, but they are also involved in formulating production plans for their designs, overseeing the production, and marketing or promoting end products to the consumers. Although fashion designers may be employed by larger companies where they work under the supervision of a creative director, some choose to be self-employed and work independently.
According to the US Bureau of labor Statistics (BLS), in 2012, fashion designers earned a median annual pay of $62,860. Fashion design graduates may also go on to pursue career options like fashion journalism, knitwear design, textile design, fashion styling, merchandising, and visual merchandising. There are many institutes that offer a fashion design degree as a distance learning course. Online education may help to reduce costs, and allow students to study within the comfort and convenience of their homes. However due to the hands-on knowledge and training required in fashion design, some schools offer hybrid programs where you may be required to take some on-campus classes too. These will usually be conducted in art and design studios. Before you choose an institute, you should ensure that it has received accreditation from an organization like the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
Most fashion designers hold one of the fashion degrees that is available. Students may earn an associate, bachelor, or master's degree in fashion design. There are many factors that prospective employers take into account including relevant work experience, creative skills, and technical knowledge of design and production process. Fashion designers typically maintain a personalized portfolio which contains a collection of their original designs and ideas. Since it provides a good indication of your abilities and skills, employers usually go through the portfolio before hiring a fashion designer.
Even though the curriculum varies across institutes, examples of courses that you may take in traditional or online fashion degrees include:
Elements of Business
Introduction to Fashion Industry
Fashion Writing and Publicity
Besides specialized and technical knowledge, degree programs in fashion are designed in such a way that they encourage students to enhance their creative and imaginative skills. This will help students to draw inspiration from their surroundings, and come up with more impressive designs or simply play with colors and fabric more creatively.
To help students enhance their learning experience and gain hands-on experience, many of these degree programs require students to get involved in an internship as a part of the curriculum. As a degree completion requirement, you may have to complete a final year thesis or dissertation which involves a lot of practical work too.