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Fashion Designer

Career Highlights

  • Use your creativity in clothing
  • See people wear your designs
  • Bring back retro styles with a new flair

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Career Summary

A writer once said that you do not become a writer because you want to, you become it because you have to. Fashion Design is also like that. You don't become a fashion designer to make millions. You do it because you can't help it. Your creativity bugs you until you finally put down thoughts and images to paper. Than it bugs you more until you make the vision into a finished garment.

Few other professions depend so much on keeping on top of fickle popular opinion of fashionistas and what competitors are doing. The life of a designer is intimately linked to critics, fashionistas and the tastes and sensibilities that change at a momentís notice. Designers reflect societyís 'wants' through clothing design.

Fashion designers are involved in every phase of designing, showing, and producing all types of clothing, from shoes to evening gowns. Those with vision, determination, ambition and a 'can do' attitude can succeed in this incredibly demanding, and highly competitive industry. A designerís career includes reading current fashion magazines, pattern creations, and media that reflect current trends. They look at materials, attends fashion shows, and works with other designers on projects.

As a designer you must be able to communicate your vision, and capabilities through your designs. Designers must produce a creative, exciting, and profitable product line. You will start from the bottom and work yourself up. This is not a career where you shoot to the top right after college. An excellent portfolio is a must for the job search. An in-depth knowledge of textiles and a familiarity with the quirks of a variety of fabrics is a must. Other careers a fashion designer can work in include interior designers, graphic designing, or fashion consultants.




This career requires a degree in:

  • Fashion Design

Career Skills

  • Sketch the creatorís ideas.
  • Draw and cut patterns to create sample garments.
  • Select fabric and trimmings.
  • Combine basic dressmaking and tailoring principles
  • Fit and modify the finished garment.
  • Arrange showings for press and buyers when the sample garment line is ready.
  • Compare merchandise with those of the competitors.
  • Keep current on trends by reading trade magazines and attending fashion shows.
  • Visit textile showrooms to keep up to date on latest fabrics.

Additional Information

Black Fashion Designers Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 3567
New York, NY 10163-3567

The American Apparel & Footwear Association



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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.