Serving Art Educators
and Students Since 1994


 

Fashion Design


If you wish to get a job in fashion, make sure you attend an art school with a good job placement history. Most jobs are located in major cities across the world. Most fashion designers entering the industry have some formal education where they learn design skills, such as how to use computer-aided design (CAD) technology. Employers usually seek applicants with creativity, as well as a good technical understanding of the production process for clothing, accessories, or footwear. If you are fluent in several languages, consider cities in France and Italy because they are known for the latest fashion the world over.


Fashion designers create original clothing, accessories, and footwear. They sketch designs, select fabrics and patterns, and give instructions on how to make the products they designed. Fashion designers work in wholesale or manufacturing establishments, apparel companies, retailers, theater or dance companies, and design firms. Fashion designers are usually found in large cities, such as New York or Los Angeles. In May 2010, almost 75 percent of all salaried fashion designers worked in New York and California.

 

Starting jobs in fashion may mean sewing the latest fashions designed by others. During this time, keep your own designs in front of people and be assertive. You might want to create one of your designs and have a model wear it so your supervisors can see your talent.

 

Internship and Training

 

wedding dress

  There is a demand for wedding and prom dress designers. This dress is from Dreamprom.

Says Devoid and Deveil (whose work is featured below), a recent fashion graduate, "I am working on creating my own label. At the same time I was lucky enough to intern for my hero of fashion design, Narcisse Designs. I was promoted to assistant designer before I even graduated so I held that title while I worked on my label. This will be really great to have on the resume." (See his fashion line below)

 

The good schools train students to master woven fabrics as well as knits or stretchy fabric. They also learn how to dye, colour, paint, and create different textiles with fabrics, to draw and colour. To get the concept of design across, schools spend much time focusing on teaching students how to use woven fabrics and how to manipulate them. Most couture designers use woven fabrics so its best to know how to use all the tools to get a custom fit. Getting into the business is rather tricky. If you think that you don't need to go to a fashion design school, you're wrong - you do. It's best to sign up and do the best you can try to establish your style of design and try to branch out from that as well. You then won't be so limited design-wise. You can create different designs with the same feel.

 

fashion 9Says Devoid and Deveil, "Internships are a great way to get to know the industry. One of my best friends took three internships so she could understand different points of view from the industry personally. Myself, as a designer, I avoid designing with fads. If it takes 10 hours to make a jacket for a client, you're not going to charge them 50 dollars. If you charge them the average wage, we should be paid $15 an hour minimum, not including the price of fabric, and closures and whatever else you use."

 

"If a client is paying around $150 dollars you definitely don't want to make something trendy that will be out of style in three months because the client may never wear it. Personally I like to design timeless pieces, we are told that because of our education we should get paid a minimum of $15 an hour. If you work 40 hours a week for the entire year, its about $30,000 a year before taxes. Your hourly rate will increase with experience. Personally I love having this image of a creation i want to make and then making it from a thought to reality - something that you can see and touch and hold in your own hands."

 

Devoid and Deveil's Facebook page has more of their fashion designs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the current figures for the pay and job outlook for fashion designers:

 

Quick Facts: Fashion Designers [1]

2010 Median Pay

$64,530 per year 
$31.02 per hour

Entry-Level Education

High school diploma or equivalent

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

None

On-the-job Training

Long-term on-the-job training

Number of Jobs, 2010

21,500

Job Outlook, 2010-20

0% (Little or no change)

Employment Change, 2010-20

0

 

Photographer: J. William Photography
Model: Candace Revello
Mask is from Effigy Masks

Because most people can find traditional fashion online fairly easily, we are including a unique line of fashion called Gothic. Although non-traditional, it will give you a good idea of the types of fashion there are.

 

fashion 1 Fashion 2

Fashion Schools

There are many fashion schools around the world. This is a short list of the best fashion schools:

  1. Parsons, The New School for Design - Most consider this the best school in the U.S. (Located in New York City)

  2. University of the Arts London - This is their Central St. Martins campus in London, UK. Many consider this the best school in the UK for its teaching staff and influence. Their London College of Fashion branch is also notable.

  3. Royal Academy of Fine Arts - Located in Antwerp, Belgium this is one of the oldest schools in the world.

  4. Fashion Institute of Technology - Located in NYC in the heart of the Garment District, the school has access to incredible resources and professionals.

  5. Bunka Fashion College - Located in Tokyo, Japan, Bunka most notably came to prominence in the 1960's when its graduates starting showing in Paris.

  6. Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale - Prestigious French school located in Paris that offers world-renowned couture classes.

  7. Istituto Marangoni - Located in Milan, Italy, this school has a 90% placement rate after graduation!

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Resources:

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Fashion Design Books