Recent studies done in May 2008 show that the median salary for a fashion designer is around $64,000 per year. Designers that fall into the middle group earn salaries between $48,000 and $82,000 per year. Designers that fall into the lowest earning group make approximately $32,000 per year or less. Higher earning fashion designers represent about 10% of the industry. They can make in excess of $126,000 every year. Geographic region, experience, and talent all play a huge part in the exact salaries. In addition, many fashion designers also become millionaires. The most noted fashion designers around the world earn millions of dollars every year.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Fashion Designer Job Description and Outlook
Fashion designers create beauty with fabric and sketch pads. These people produce the billions of dresses, skirts, pants, shirts, jackets, shoes, and other clothing items that people wear each day. The fashion designer is a student of fashion trends. They study sketches and drawings of clothes. They become masters of creating patterns from their sketch pads. These professionals are able to take their vision of a piece of clothing and bring it to fruition. Their creative genius produces the most beautiful and elegant garments in the world.
Designers produce clothing for men, women, children, and babies. They create garments for every area in life. People have to wear clothing every day, and people have many occasions in their life. They dress the public from all the events and occasions in one’s life. They dress the public from the cradle to the grave. The initial design concept is longer than most people know. Once the design is created, it still takes 18 to 24 months before the design is actually produced. Designers will conduct fashion research to produce new designs. Other fashion designers simply rely on trade magazine reports in fashion. The trend reports make predictions as to what style, fabric, and color will be popular in any given season. Those in textile manufacturing use trend reports to develop and design new fabrics and patterns. This happens even before the fashion designer comes up with a new design. The designer will then visit trade shows and manufacturing factories to decide what fabrics will be used in their designs.
Furthermore, the next step of the process involves making a prototype of the design. The designer will make a less expensive version of the design to determine what changes need to be made. A model wears the creation and adjustments are made according to the fit on the model. After the changes have been made, the designer will create the real version of the designs. The garments are then marketed to different clothing retailers in the business. The retailers decide which fashion designs they want to purchase for their stores. The retailer places an order for the garments, and they are produced and shipped to the retailer.
Computer aided design is a new technology in the fashion world. Most designers will draw a sketch, and then translate this on to the computer. This methods allows the designer to make changes and adjustments to virtual models. This reduces the amount of time spent in making adjustments once the garment is made.
Fashion Designer Training and Education Requirements
The typical employer hiring a fashion designer is seeking someone with formal education from a two or four year college. These professionals must be knowledgeable about textiles, trends, and ornamentation. Fashion designers need a fashion degree. Some fashion designers also earn a business, marketing, or business merchandising degree in addition to the fashion degree. All of these degrees are very important in this field to be successful. The courses within the programs usually include fashion history, sewing, pattern making, and fabrics and textiles. Classes in computer aided design are also an important part of the curriculum.
Fashion Designer Certifications
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design is the accrediting body for more than 300 schools and colleges. Students that are seeking entrance into a fashion design program have to give evidence of their talent. This will usually include submitting a sketch of their work. The design will be judged before the student is admitted.
Those that aspire to be fashion designers also earn credentials by working under an experienced fashion designer. Oftentimes, they will work in textile factories or in other areas to gain the experience. Designers aspiring to become known can enter their work in contests. There are many contests held around the world each year for designers. This can gain a person exposure to the world of fashion.
Fashion Designer Professional Associations
There are many fashion designer associations. These organizations are important to the career of a professional. Fashion designers need to network and gain exposure. Marketing is a big part of this industry, and the fashion designer can meet important contacts in the world of fashion.
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