8 Steps to Becoming a Fashion Designer
Step One: Ask questions like, “What is a fashion designer?” and “What do they do?”
Fashion designers help create the billions of dresses, suits, shoes, and other clothing and accessories purchased every year by consumers. Designers study fashion trends, sketch designs of clothing and accessories, select colors and fabrics, and oversee the final production of their designs.
For the first part of your career, you’ll probably find yourself working in supporting roles while you learn the ropes and establish your vision. These roles are not to be taken lightly; design requires an entire cast to be successful. While in this role, take time to determine your future fashion career and gain industry experience that’ll put you on track to attaining that goal.
Fashion designers employed by manufacturing establishments, wholesalers, or design firms generally work regular hours in well-lit comfortable settings. Designers who freelance generally work on a contract or by the job. They frequently adjust their workday to suit their clients’ schedules and deadlines, meeting with the clients during evenings or weekends when necessary. Freelance designers tend to work longer hours and in smaller, more congested environments, and are under pressure to please clients and to find new ones in order to maintain a steady income. Regardless of their work setting, all fashion designers occasionally work long hours to meet production deadlines or prepare for fashion shows.
The global nature of the fashion business requires constant communication with suppliers, manufacturers, and customers all over the United States and the world. Most fashion designers travel several times a year to trade and fashion shows to learn about the latest fashion trends. Designers also may travel frequently to meet with fabric and materials suppliers and with manufacturers who produce the final apparel products.