Fashion Designers conceptualize, design and produce garments and textiles, as well as other creative items such as jewellery and handbags for film, television, theatre and video productions, models, and/or retailers. They are employed by clothing and textiles companies or may be self-employed.
Some fashion designers work across the full spectrum of clothing, while others choose to specialize in specific categories, such as menswear, sportswear, or formalwear. They may also dive into designing handbags, jewelry, accessories, perfumes, hats, outerwear, and costumes, among others.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Fashion Designers are required to complete.
- Designing and creating garments and accessories for men, women, and/or children:
- Being able to design casual, semi-casual, formal, and business attires;
- coming up with a concept, drawing the initial sketches, and being able to convey ideas through those sketches;
- designing garments to be manufactured in bulk, using different kinds of fabrics, colours and patterns;
- using their artistic flair and expert knowledge of clothes, fabrics and fashion to produce original clothing designs; and
- tweaking and improving the designs.
- Designing everyday clothing (High Street Fashion Designers) and/or one-of-a-kind, haute couture outfits for fashion shows (High-end Designers).
- Defining technical specifications for the garments and being knowledgeable about fabrics, patterns, shapes, and colours:
- Selecting and testing different fabrics;
- knowing about pattern-making and fittings, creating patterns as needed; and
- cutting, sewing, weaving, and pinning the different fabrics in order to transform them into actual clothes.
- Working closely with other professionals, such as buyers, merchandisers, and technical personnel in conceptualizing, planning, and developing new styles or upgrading existing styles, based on popular trends and customer demand:
- Ensuring strong relationships with vendors and suppliers;
- providing design direction for each season; and
- analyzing sales and creating products that support business objectives.
- Keeping up to date on the latest fashion trends and techniques, as well as finding the best quality fabrics:
- Exploring and evaluating new and emerging trends for fashion and graphics by going to stores, scouring the internet and magazines, and traveling to trade, fabric or fashion shows.
- Coordinating with the design/production department to ensure proper measurements, adjustments, or fittings, and communicating all essential corrections, if any:
- Conducting fitting sessions and approving all production elements related to design (e.g. color, trim, fabric); and
- reviewing prototypes to make sure they are in line with the brand direction.
- Organizing, procuring, and maintaining fabrics, trims and other materials.
- Overseeing the production progress in case the clothes are to be produced on a mass scale.
- Ensuring deadlines are met.
- Creating and participating in sales presentations.
- Combining active product use experience, market knowledge, trend research, and collaboration between different designers to create functional, innovative, and quality designs.
- Conveying an idea through a sketch.
- Working with different fabrics.
- Researching trends, colours, fabrics and silhouettes for the upcoming seasons.
- Estimating costs and materials.
- Creating a network of vendors and suppliers.
The average Fashion Designer salary is $64,163 per year or $33 per hour. This is around 2 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $45,000 while most experienced workers make up to $90,000. These results are based on 12 salaries extracted from job descriptions.