Do you possess an eye for color and detail? How about a strong sense of the esthetic or an appreciation for beauty? If yes, then we got a career for you.
Fashion designers create the dresses, suits, shoes, and accessories purchased every year for people not just looking to rock a red carpet but for the general public. Their designs are mass produced in many sizes, colors and variations.
There are also a small number of high-fashion or haute couture designers usually self-employed who create custom designs at very high prices. Think Calvin Klein or Carolina Herrera.
A designer can specialize into a specific field such as clothing, accessories or footwear. Some segue into costume design for performing arts, motion picture and TV.
They study fashion trends, sketch designs of clothing and accessories, select colors and fabrics, and oversee final production. The first step in creating a design is researching current fashion and making predictions of future trends. This is crucial and separates the best and brightest from the good and typical.
Formal education is important. Most start with an associate or a bachelor's degree in fashion design. Some will combine their design degree with business, marketing or merchandising. Coursework tends to include color, textiles, sewing and tailoring, pattern making, fashion history and computer-aided design.
Aspiring designers master these skills through internships with design or manufacturing firms. They also gain valuable experience working in retail stores, as personal stylists, or as custom tailors. Employers favor designers with a 2-year or 4-year degree who are knowledgeable about textiles, fabrics, ornamentation, and fashion trends.
Competition is keen many are attracted to the creativity, beauty and glamour associated with the job. Cutting some cloth can cut you a nice piece of cash too. Median annual wages for salaried fashion designers were $61,160 in 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Still interested? You may want to head for the two Coasts. The Census reports that the highest numbers of designers are employed in New York and California.
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