How Do I Become a Menswear Designer?

Explore the career requirements for menswear designers. Get the facts about salary, job outlook and degree requirements to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Menswear Designer?

Menswear designers specialize in creating original clothing and accessories for men. They may design suits, jackets, pants, shirts, ties, hats and more. Menswear designers typically sketch their designs or create them using a computer. They may draw inspiration from current or past fashion trends. They then select the colors and materials for their pieces and oversee the production of their designs. Often, these designers will create a whole collection to showcase at a fashion show. They may sell and market their products directly to customers or to bigger retailers. The majority of prospective menswear designers have an undergraduate degree in fashion design or a related major. Find out about some of the skills needed, as well as what you may experience in terms of salary and employment, as outlined in the table below.

Degree Requirements Associate's or bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Fashion design
Key Skills Creativity, communication, artistic ability, attention to detail
Job Growth (2014-2024) 3% increase (for all fashion designers)*
Average Salary (2015) $73,180 (for all fashion designers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Training Do I Need to Be a Menswear Designer?

Most fashion designers have at least an associate's or bachelor's degree in fashion design. To enter one of these programs, you may need an awareness of current fashion trends, as well as a background in sketching, art and/or drawing.

You also could gain access to a design house through an alternative route, like working as a personal stylist or custom tailor. Additionally, you might seek out an internship with a design house or enter amateur and student design contests.

What Might I Study?

While enrolled in a fashion design program, you'll likely learn how to cut and sew patterns, in addition to learning how to tailor a design to fit a model. You might take courses in sketching, fabric selection and clothing line development. Additionally, you might take business and fashion merchandising courses, through which you could learn how to determine an appropriate price for your products by considering everything from the type of customer to quality level to manufacturing costs. Your program also might feature opportunities to intern at fashion-related businesses to further develop your understanding of the industry.

What Job Duties Might I Have?

As a menswear designer, you would use your knowledge of current fashion trends to develop and select materials for a design, prepare the design in the form of illustration, develop a prototype and facilitate production of that design. You might begin working at a design house as a patternmaker or sketch assistant and then advance to head designer or some other supervisory position. In addition, you might start your own design company or open a retail store featuring your own designs.

What Is the Job Outlook for This Field?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the field of fashion design as a whole is expected to see a 3% increase in employment between 2014 and 2024. In addition, competition for jobs is likely to remain high, with most opportunities expected to be found in design houses that focus on mainstream clothing sold in department stores and clothing wholesale businesses. As of May 2015, the average income for fashion designers was $73,180.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are several related careers that require a bachelor's degree and either involve fashion or design. Buyers and purchasing agents, industrial designers and art directors are a few of these careers. Buyers and purchasing agents may purchase things like clothing and accessories for their organization to resell. They handle the contracts and purchases of these goods. Industrial designers are responsible for creating the designs for a wide variety of everyday products, such as cars and toys. Art directors design and maintain a certain visual style for their publication or production. They may work for magazines, movies and more.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Michigan State University

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