Fashion designers design clothing such as coats, dresses, suits and other varieties of clothing. They prepare design sketches either by hand or on the computer. From these sketches the designs become the clothing. Designers find this job difficult but an enjoyable career. They enjoy making or designing clothes and seeing people wearing them. Many designers start out as an assistant designer to learn the basics of designing and process clothing. Then they advance to higher position as they gain more experience. In the U.S., the salary ranges from $13,780 to more than $1 million (Wallner, 4). The starting salaries for most of the designers are between $21,000 and $30,000 (Schmidt, 6). Most assistant designers receive a salary of $15,000 to $30,000 a year (Giacobello, 16). The more customers buy their design, the more money they will earn. However, designers who have the most skills and are well known earn the most.
In the fashion business, designers compete with ideas. In order to be ahead of others, they must be observant, unique, creative and self- motivated. Thus, in order to succeed as a designer, one must go through schools of education, adapt to the career, and seek opportunities to advance.
To become a designer, it is best to begin at a young age and develop their talents. A fashion designer should be artistic and full of imagination and ideas. In addition he should be able to work hard, be open- minded to other workers, which includes self- motivation and the ability to work under pressure. Once such talents are discovered they should be developed in school. A high school diploma is required to enter college. In addition, students must take some classes to prepare to enter an art institute college. They should also take other academic classes such as fine arts, home economics, mathematics, and chemistry to meet the requirement to obtain high school diploma (Wallner, 5). Students should also take other extra curricular art classes to further develop their skills and to prepare a portfolio. You need a portfolio in order to be accepted in any art school you attend. The portfolio is essential to enter Art College. A portfolio is a book that you gather to display your work. You must prepare a year in advance to enter the college that you desire.
Some colleges offer a 4year program but 2 or 3- year programs are most common. Two of the best schools are Pasadena Art Center and Otis. At Pasadena Art Center, students who are enrolling must make a deposit before you begin. If you are a new student, the cost of the deposit is $200 and it is nonrefundable. The deposit holds the classes that they want to take. If you are a returning student, the cost of the deposit is $100 and it is also nonrefundable. The minimum educations in the U.S. are your associate s or bachelor s degree. (Wallner, 4) You need a portfolio in order to be accepted in any school you attend. At the beginning, you will be assigned as an apprentice. Then after working as an apprentice you will move up to be an assistant designer.
There are many advantages as well as disadvantages to being a designer. One of the advantages of having this career is working with other people and traveling all over the world. Working with other staff members such as a head designer, assistant designers and a few people who make the samples can be exciting. Another advantage as a designer is that they are able to showoff their creative and artistic talents. They get to see the result of their effort in the final design. Designers also have the opportunity to impress their clients with their designs.
As much as there are advantages to being a designer, it is also important to know the disadvantages. One disadvantage is working late shifts and overtime, without receiving much salary. The advantages can be in a way disadvantages. While working with other people there might be conflicts or a possibility of fighting with difficult coworkers. Another disadvantage is that designers work in a room that is very noisy and distracting. Fashion designers work the hardest when it is right before a deadline or a fashion show. They cram everything, which places more pressure on them during this time. Last but not least, fashion designers have a difficult time trying to find one specific type of clothing that fits all the people.
The best location for the fashion industry is in the European countries. Many popular designers are found in London, Milan, and Paris. However, another good location is found in the U.S. There are many schools, manufacturers, shows, and designers that are centered in the fashion district of New York City. There are also markets located in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles (Giacobello, 17). There are several cities that specialize in certain apparel such as Boston for bridal s wear, Denver for skiwear, and Miami for children clothing (Wallner, 18).
People wore garments in the past for they can maintain warm body temperature. Dress design became popular around the 1600 s (http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos090.htm). The garments were made by hand until the sowing machine was invented. Elias Howe invented the sowing machine in 1846. One of the first designers was Rose Bertin. Rose Bertin was a French milliner who dressed Marie Antoinette and influenced women s fashions during the French Revolution (Encyclopedia of careers and vocational guidance, 17). French designers are the most popular designers worldwide. A man named Charles Frederick Worth opened a salon also known as fashion houses. He was the first designer to make garments by fabric and present it to customers. He was also the first designer to show his clothes with live models.
Fashion designers will always have competitors as long as there are people buying clothes. And as long as there are competitors, there always will be job opportunities for designers. The best chances for success will come to those who are most skillful and trained. Job openings are always available because designers come and go all the time. Designers who develop their artistic skills through education, training, and experience will advance in their career. With consistent effort, hard work, and preparation assistant designers will move up to become head designers within the firm or by advancing to a bigger firm.
I will enjoy this career because I love to draw and come up with fun, imaginative ideas. Hard work and diligence will lead to success. The fashion business is fun and gives me the opportunity to be imaginative. I work well with other people and enjoy sharing ideas and listening to their ideas. I will also enjoy it because I will be one of the first people to know what is in style and what will be in style the next season. As much as I would enjoy myself as a fashion designer, this career will always be a learning device for me to observe the making and designing of clothing.
I can serve God by becoming a designer. I will make clothes that are modest but in style. I can thank God and pray everyday so I may be able to succeed in life as a designer. Also I will serve God by putting a symbol of Christ on the clothing to show the customers that I am a Christian. Making fashionable but modest clothing is how I can serve God in the fashion business. God gave me this talent, and I will use it to serve God and succeed in life.
Fashion Designers. Career discovery encyclopedia (1997), 2, pp. 170-171.
Fashion Designers. Encyclopedia of careers and vocational guidance (2000), 3, pp.
Giacobello, John. Choosing a Career in the Fashion Industry. New York: The Rosen
Publishing Group, Inc., 2000.
Schmidt, Peggy. Careers Without College: Fashion. New Jersey: Peterson s, 1992.
U.S Department of Labor: http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos090.htm
Wallner, Rosemary. Career Exploration: Fashion Designer. Minnesota: Capstone Press,