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Helping you find a career as a Fashion designer

Fashion designers need to have excellent knowledge of latest trends. Their role is to design set wardrobes for feature films or fashion ranges for the market.

There are different types of fashion designers; those working for high street fashion will need to have experience in buying fabrics, sourcing manufacturing and being up to date with the latest trends. High end fashion designers, known as ‘haute couture’, tend to spend more time on their collections. They usually produce one-off costumes for fashion shows (like Victoria Secret where the average wing takes hundreds of hours to complete).

Fashion designers usually work for high-street brands, haute couture labels or have their own businesses.


What does a Fashion designer do?
A fashion designer needs to keep up to date with emerging fashion trends and they should have a good understanding of specialist software. A typical day for a fashion designer will be:

  • Negotiating with clients and suppliers

  • Sourcing workers

  • Sourcing quality material within the client’s budget

  • Keeping up to date with fashion trends

  • Predicting fashion trends such as colour shade, style, shapes and in some cases setting the trend

  • Working with buyers and forecasters

  • Overseeing production

  • Creating designs by hand and transferring them to computer

  • Understanding the design of patterns and working with different texture fabrics

  • Creating a pattern for sewing

  • Supervising the production of the patterns

What skills and interests should an Fashion designer have?
To become a successful fashion designer, you'll need to be:

  • Creative

  • Innovative (thinking outside of the box with a garment)

  • A keen eye for design and feel for fabric texture

  • A good understanding of fashion trends

  • Ability to forecast future trends

  • Confident presenter

  • Ability to self-promote and approach brands with ideas

  • Good commercial awareness

  • Ability to negotiate client budgets and supplier prices

  • Excellent time management skills

  • Able to work well under pressure

  • Good knowledge of garment technology

  • Skills in pattern cutting


- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Creativity
- Design
- Handling Pressure
- Negotiation
- Presentation Skills
- Self-Confidence
- Self-motivation
- Time Management
What hours does a Fashion designer typically do?
Fashion designers tend to work regular hours, they can expect to work on weekends and into the night in order to meet deadlines, for example in time for a collection launch or a fashion show.
What environment is a Fashion designer based in?
A studio.
How much does a Fashion designer travel?
Travel abroad may be necessary to attend trade shows, fashion shows or meet with suppliers and manufacturers.
How much does a Fashion designer get paid?
A design assistant can expect to earn around £16,000 to £17,000 per annum.

Junior designers earn around £25,000 per annum whilst senior designer salaries earn between £42,000 to £85,000 per annum.
What qualifications does a Fashion designer need?
Entry without a degree is becoming more difficult into an extremely competitive industry. Applicants without a higher education degree face competition from graduates who have gained fashion experience and skills during their degree.

Applicants need to gain experience within fashion-related areas (such as fashion retail) in order to show that they understand the industry and its challenges.

Employers expect to see a portfolio of work, such as self-invented prints, textures, styled collections and finished garments in order to make a judgement of an applicant’s capabilities.
Useful subjects to study at school & university

  • Art & Design

  • Clothing technology

  • Fashion

  • Graphic Design

  • Knitwear

  • Textiles

  • Fashion Marketing and buying

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