BEING A FASHION DESIGNER
Do you have an eye for design and a love for clothing? Fashion design might just be for you!
In simple terms, fashion design is the application of design methods to create a variety of apparel, accessories and footwear. Fashion designers mostly work in three areas which are high street fashion, ready-to-wear and haute couture.
Studying to be a Fashion Designer
After secondary school, students who are interested in fashion design can enrol in either a Diploma programme or Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. A diploma in Fashion Design takes three years to complete and exposes students to the fundamentals of fashion design and pattern making. Diploma students will learn about proportion, cut and form fabrics. In addition, they will be taught computer aided design and technical drawing skills. Final year diploma students have to create a portfolio or individual project to showcase their designs.
Alternatively, students can obtain necessary pre-university qualifications and enrol in a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design. Fashion related subjects are similar to those taught at Diploma level. However, a degree in Fashion Design prepares students for the working world by teaching them professional and business related skills. Examples of subjects include Entrepreneurship, Fashion Marketing and Event Management. In addition, most degree programmes require students to complete a certain amount of industry training in order to graduate.
Daily Tasks of a Fashion Designer
The main task of a fashion designer is to visualise ideas from scratch and create them by drawing or using computer aided design. Fashion designers then develop patterns that is cut and sewn into sample pieces. They have to monitor each garment from start to finish, including fitting, detailing and adaptations. In addition, fashion designers are responsible for sourcing, selecting and purchasing fabrics, embellishments and other details to create a specific garment. Fashion designers need to keep abreast of current fashion trends and find ways to adapt them for mass production. Furthermore, fashion designers have to work closely with their team of buyers, forecasters and marketers to ensure each piece of clothing is targeted at the right people at the right price point.
The main employers of fashion design graduates are branded or independent retail stores, in-house design studios, luxury designer stores and clothing manufacturing companies. Alternatively, fashion design graduates can opt for self-employment, working on a freelance basis or starting their own business. Those who hold a diploma may qualify to become Patternmakers, Product Developers and Design Room Assistants. A Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design opens doors to becoming Fashion Designers, Visual Merchandisers and Retail Buyers.
Individuals who are keen on pursuing a career in the fashion industry need to have an eye for design, especially for colours, fabrics and patterns. A passion for fashion and styling is essential as well. Garment skills are necessary and individuals who have competent sewing and cutting skills will excel as fashion designers. Fashion designers also need to understand the marketing and business side of the industry. Those who are computer savvy, creative, know how to network and love working in a team will enjoy the career as a fashion designer.
Fashion designing might seem like a glamorous job but actually requires hard work, irregular working hours and chasing deadlines. However, those who are truly passionate about design may find the opportunities in fashion design to be endless.