Job description

Fashion designers are skilled professionals who design clothing, shoes, accessories and footwear. They do this by creating unique sketches by hand or through CAD software, selecting fabrics and overseeing the entire production line in fashion houses.

Duties

    • Study fashion designs and predict future trends
    • Create unique designs that will appeal to your target market
    • Devise themes for biannual look books
    • Use computer-aided designs (CAD) programs to bring ideas to life
    • Gather samples of fabrics and gems to use within creations
    • Supervise pattern-cutters, dressmakers and other designers to create prototype designs
    • Present design ideas to creative directors, investors and celebrities
    • Seek endorsement opportunities and market designs through social media channels
    • Showcase new designs at fashion shows

Skills, qualities and knowledge

Communication
Critical thinking
Problem-solving
Decision-making
Creative thinking
Organisation
Attention to detail
Physical stamina
Patience

Working hours and environment

Average working hours

40hweek

Typical schedule

Full Time

Nights, weekends and occasional holidays

Most fashion designers work in design studios for wholesalers or manufacturers. Others are self-employed and work from their home studios or fashion house.

You will be required to travel to client meetings, trade shows and fashion events to market your products and gain new clients. You may also be required to travel overseas to source new materials and fabrics for your apparel.

The work also requires a lot of time spent on networking and social media to increase brand awareness.

Salary

Bottom 10%

$36k

Median

$73k

Top 10%

$160k

Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level

Undergraduate

DVM / VMD degree

Study time

3years

To become a fashion designer, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in fashion design or fashion merchandising at an accredited college or university, which typically takes three years to complete. If you want to continue your studies, you can pursue further training through an MBA in Fashion and Business Management.

While studying, you’ll need to develop a portfolio with a collection of your designs and ideas. It will also be beneficial to enrol in a number of internships to gain experience in well-known fashion houses, which will further enhance your portfolio and skills.

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.

3%

No of new jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.

600

Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.

2%

Career progression

Many fashion designers progress to set up their own fashion label or design studio, and create unique items carrying their logo. Others choose to go into teaching and work within accredited fashion schools.