What is a fashion designer?
A fashion designer is someone who loves to study fashion trends, sketch designs, select materials, and have a part in all aspects of producing their designs. They contribute to the creation of millions, if not billions of pieces of clothing and accessories purchased by consumers. Fashion designers create women’s, men’s and children’s clothing. This could include sportswear, maternity wear, outerwear, underwear, formal wear, glasses, and footwear. There are also accessory designers who design belts, scarves, hats, bags, and hosiery.
What does a fashion designer do?
The design process from design concept to final production takes many months. Researching current fashion trends and making predictions of future trends is the first step in creating the design. Some fashion designers do their own research, while others rely on trend reports published by trade groups in the fashion industry. Trend reports let you know what styles, colors, and fabrics will be popular for a given season in the near future. Textile manufacturers use these trend reports to design fabrics and patterns, while fashion designers begin to draw designs. Designers then visit manufacturers or trade shows to obtain fabric samples and find out which fabrics to use with the designs they are making.
A fashion designer is involved in almost every aspect of bringing fashion to the public. Creating the basic design can be done in different ways. You can include storyboards with sketches, work with a mannequin, and sew pieces of material together. This first draft of the design is worked on as the designer develops the first basic prototype.
Computer-aided design is being used more and more in the fashion design industry. Although most designers initially draw designs by hand, a growing number take these handcrafted sketches and put them on the computer. CAD allows designers to view clothing designs in virtual models, in many colors and shapes, thus saving time by requiring fewer adjustments later.
The fashion designer’s next step is to take the sketch or model and develop a more specific work pattern. Usually the designer will make a rough model, this is done by sewing cheap material to make a rough model of the design. When this is placed on a mannequin, the designer can see how the material hangs in a human shape.
Large design houses hire their own tailors who create the master patterns and sew the prototypes. Designers working in small design companies, or those new to the business, typically do most of the technical tasks of pattern making and sewing, in addition to designing clothing. When the garment is complete, the designer will modify, delete, or approve the design for display in a collection.
A fashion designer is usually in full control of a fashion show, often choosing the models, determining the price of each garment, and organizing how the garments will be presented. Most designers have assistants to help with all the little details, but in general, the designer is in full control.
What is the workplace of a fashion designer like?
A fashion designer working for wholesalers or manufacturers creates designs for the world market. These designs are made in various sizes, colors, and materials. A small number of haute couture designers are self-employed. They create custom designs for individual clients, usually at very high prices. Other high fashion designers sell their designs in their own stores or cater to specialty stores or high-end fashion department stores. These designers create a mix of original garments and fashion trends. Fashion designers employed by manufacturing establishments, wholesalers, or design companies generally work regular hours in well-lit and comfortable environments.
Some fashion designers specialize in shoe design or costume design for performing arts, movies, and television productions. Costume designers’ work is similar to other fashion designers, except that they must thoroughly research the styles worn during the period in which the show takes place. They can also work with the directors to select and create certain costumes. Costume fashion designers sketch designs, select fabric and other materials, and supervise the production of the costumes, while staying within the costume budget.
Designers who work freelance or freelance generally work to order. They often have to adjust their work day to suit their clients’ schedules and deadlines, which can include evenings or weekends. Freelance designers tend to work longer hours and in smaller environments and are under constant pressure to please clients and find new ones for a steady income. Regardless of their work environment, all fashion designers occasionally work long hours to meet deadlines or prepare for fashion shows.
The nature of the fashion business requires constant communication with suppliers, manufacturers and customers around the world. Many fashion designers travel to shops and fashion shows several times a year to learn about the latest trends. Designers may also travel frequently to meet with suppliers and manufacturers of fabrics and materials.