Fashion designers design clothing and fashion ranges. As a fashion designer, you could work in high fashion or designer ready-to-wear fashion. You could also work in high street fashion. You would often specialize in particular types of clothing - for example in men’s, children’s or sportswear. If you love being creative and you are passionate about fashion, this job could be perfect for you.
To be a fashion designer, you will need to have a good eye for color and shape. You’ll need skills like pattern cutting and sewing. You’ll also need to able to spot trends.
You will usually need a relevant degree to do this job. A course that teaches both design and technical skills will give you the knowledge you need to work in the industry.
Your work would normally involve:
· working to design instructions (known as a brief)
· analysing or predicting trends in fabrics, colours and shapes
· producing concept and mood boards (a collection of items to capture a mood, such as photos, fabric pieces and colour samples)
· developing basic shapes ('blocks') through patterns
· estimating costs for materials and manufacture
· finding suppliers
· supervising the making up of sample clothing items
· making in-house presentations, for example to finance departments and merchandisers.
You would often work closely with garment technologists and sample machinists. You could also liaise with manufacturers (often based overseas) to make sure that designs are reproduced accurately.
Working hours and conditions
You would often work long hours and weekends in order to meet deadlines, for example at the launch of a new collection.
You would be based in a studio or workshop, but may travel to visit manufacturers (often overseas). You could also go on research visits, for example to art galleries, trade shows or to particular places or countries that are linked to a design theme.
Starting salaries can be between Rs. 20,000/ and Rs. 45,000/ a month. With experience and increased responsibility, earnings can rise to between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 100,000. Senior designers can earn up to 200,000 a month or more.
Freelance designers may charge per design or per collection, and rates vary widely.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
1. NIFT- www.nift.ac.in
2. NID- www.nid.edu
3. FDDI- www.fddiindia.com
4. Symbiosis- www.set-test.org
Training and development
You will often start as a design assistant before working your way up to a full designer role. Practical job experience and a good track record are vital for progressing in this career.
You can develop your knowledge and skills throughout your career by doing short courses in particular aspects of the fashion business or by taking a postgraduate qualification.
You can gain professional recognition by joining an organisation like the Textile Institute or Chartered Society of Designers. Professional bodies like these also offer continuing professional development options, conferences, seminars and workshops. See their websites in the More information section.
Skills, interests and qualities
To become a fashion designer, you will need to have:
· a good eye for colour, texture and shape
· an understanding of the characteristics of fabrics and how they can be used
· technical skills such as pattern cutting and sewing
· the ability to spot and develop trends
· drawing skills
· the ability to use computer design packages
· an understanding of production processes
· the ability to solve problems
· commercial awareness
· the ability to work as part of a team.