What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Fashion Designer?

Fashion designers are in charge of the design and development of clothing and other fashion products. Read on to learn the main occupational tasks of fashion designers, as well as the education requirements and employment statistics for this field. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

As a fashion designer, your main career objective is to develop and create various pieces of apparel. You may choose to focus your creativity on one of the three main areas of fashion - clothing, footwear, or accessories - or to work in a broader setting and create multiple types of fashion garments and apparel. You will be in charge of guiding all steps of the design process, from initial conception to final manufacture and marketing. Other responsibilities may include monitoring current fashion trends and movements with the purpose of designing products that meet contemporary purchasing preferences.

As a fashion designer, you'll work with many other people. For example, you may be in charge of supervising a team of technical designers, who will do most of the actual drawing and cutting of your specific design ideas. You also might work with individual clients to design pieces of custom couture, in addition to collaborating with sales and marketing managers to determine the best way to present your new ideas to the public.

Important Facts About Fashion Designers

On-the-Job Training None
Key Skills Oral and written communication, computer proficiency, creativity, artistic ability, excellent decision making, detail oriented
Work Environment Office or home-office settings
Similar Occupations Art directors, floral designers, graphic designers, industrial designers, jewelers, models

Educational Requirements

Earning a bachelor's degree in fashion design is the typical educational route for becoming a fashion designer. Combining a fashion design program with a degree in an area like merchandising or business can prove a valuable asset in the fashion industry. Degree programs in fashion design generally feature courses in areas such as:

  • Clothing design
  • Apparel construction
  • Illustrating for fashion
  • History of clothing and fashion design
  • Predicting fashion trends
  • Computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Woven materials and knitwear
  • Principles of tailoring
  • Marketing fashion
  • Draping methods

Employment and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), there were 17,840 people employed as fashion designers in May 2014. Many of these fashion designers worked for apparel, piece goods, and notions merchant wholesalers. The BLS also reported that in May 2014, fashion designers earned an average yearly salary of $73,690. The Bureau predicted that in jobs for fashion designers could increase by as much as three percent from 2014-2024, which could be partially attributed to an increase in overseas clothing manufacture, which in turn limits.

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