Fashion Designers Job Data presented by Apparel Search

Fashion Industry Employment  Employment Agencies  Fashion Designer Directory 

Fashion designers are regarded as the artists of the apparel industry. They conceptualize and create ideas for a variety of items such as dresses, coats, suits, hats, and more. The three major design categories are clothing, accessories and footwear.  Accessories include items such as belts, hats, handbags, scarves, eyewear and hosiery. Some designers specialize in one of these categories yet some work in all three sections.

Fashion Designer Characteristics

Some of the vital characteristics for fashion designing are a good feel for color, style, texture and ornamentation. They must also be knowledgeable about the characteristics of various fabrics such as their stiffness and durability. A solid understanding of fashion trends and business and marketing are also essential in the occupation. Being able to work under pressure is also important. Creativity, vision and ambition are part of being successful in the fashion industry.

Fashion Design Schools

Due to the demands of employers it's important to select a fashion school that provides extensive training with computer-aided design software. This type of training is provided in fashion design, fine art, and art programs available at many four-year institutions and two-year technical schools. Many institutions require students to have completed one year of basic art and design courses before they may enter a fashion design bachelor's degree program.

Training is also offered at fashion design schools which provide associate degrees or certificates. These programs typically take two to three years to complete. The basic classes include textiles, colors, pattern making, sewing and tailoring, and computer aided design. Designers who completed a two-year program are prepared for designer assistant jobs.

Those new to the field typically are provided with some on-the-job training. After they gain some experience designers have opportunities to advance into positions including pattern designer, assistant technical designer or head designer. Some professionals choose careers in merchandising and various aspects in the business part of the industry.

Acquiring a Fashion Designer Job

Schools that offer internships in the fashion industry should be given strong consideration. Internships with design and manufacturing firms provide valuable experience and networking opportunities. Often interns are offered jobs from their internship provider. Networking also may lead to a job. In addition, student and amateur contests also provide networking situations. The education level and the reputation of the design school are important, however a great portfolio is often a major factor in acquiring a job in fashion design.

The competition for jobs is expected to be strong. Apparel wholesale companies and other businesses that design apparel for mass markets are expected to provide the best opportunities for employment. Many desire to become international well-known designers, however based on the number of star designers and the amount of people who have entered the occupation the chances of becoming a world renowned fashion designer are about 150,000 to 1.

Major Employers of Fashion Designers

The majority of fashion designers are employed by apparel manufacturers and produce designs for the mass market. Some high-end fashion designers are self-employed and design apparel for individuals and some provide apparel for speciality shops or upscale department stores. They create original designs and also design garments that adhere to the latest trends in fashion.

Job Opportunities

  • Lead Designer- Oversees the development of products
  • Merchandiser - Maximizes sales
  • Sourcer - Finds raw materials
  • Technical Designers - Ensure quality and the stability of production of products
  • Stylist - Organizes accessories with apparel for fashion shows and photo-shoots
  • Marketer - Promotes products
  • Textile Specialists - Improves fabric
  • Costume Designer - Designs outfits for theater, movies and television
  • Fashion writer - reviews trends, styles and fashion shows for magazines and newspapers

Popular Fashion Design Schools

  • Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Parsons The New School for Design
  • Art Institute of New York
  • Westwood College
  • Academy of Art University
  • Art Institute of California
  • Keiser University
  • Miami International University of Art & Design
  • Wood Tobe-Cobern School
  • International Academy of Design and Technology
  • Lehigh Valley College

Job Data for Fashion Designers 2008
(for historical reference)

Job data for fashion designers, by metropolitan area. A Job Popularity rating of 1.0 means the metropolitan area has a typical number of these jobs for to its population. A higher or lower rating indicates relatively more or fewer jobs of the type in that metro area. Data is as of 2008.

State Metropolitan
Number of
California Oakland 1.2 110 $76,000
California Riverside 0.9 110 $52,000
California San Francisco 3.4 310 $80,000
California San Jose 0.8 70 $62,000
California Santa Ana 2.8 390 $70,000
Colorado Denver 0.4 50 $64,000
Florida Orlando 1.6 150 $58,000
Florida Tampa 1 110 $43,000
Florida West Palm Beach 0.6 30 $81,000
Maine Portland 3.3 60 $82,000
Massachusetts Boston 0.8 130 $51,000
Massachusetts Framingham 2.1 30 $58,000
Minnesota Minneapolis 0.6 100 $52,000
Missouri Kansas City 0.7 70  
Nevada Las Vegas 0.8 70 $49,000
New York Nassau 1.6 190 $87,000
New York New York 15.1 7,140 $80,000
Ohio Columbus 4.9 420 $58,000
Pennsylvania Allentown 2 60 $65,000
Pennsylvania Philadelphia 0.8 140 $49,000
Texas Dallas 0.4 80 $52,000
Washington Seattle 0.8 100 $72,000

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You may have interest in the following links:

Fashion Schools

Fashion School Review 2009

Fashion Careers

Fashion Research Reports

Apparel Industry Research

Apparel Search Fashion Industry Directory

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