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Fashion Design

A description of a fashion designer?

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11/08/2007

Fashion/clothing designers design clothes, accessories and shoes. Some design expensive one-off pieces. Others work in a team creating a whole range of mass-produced fashions, or specialise in particular areas such as sportswear. The responsibilities of a designer may include: * producing concepts * making sketches by hand or on the computer * developing patterns * overseeing production * analysing trends in fabrics, colours and shapes. Designers normally work from 9am to 5pm, but they may work longer hours when preparing samples for buyers or collections for fashion shows. Fashion designers usually work in a studio or small workshop. They may attend fashion shows, prediction fairs and exhibitions, as well as visit clients. Travel is often required. Salaries may range from around £13,000 to around £60,000 a year. Fashion/clothing designers need: * to be creative * an eye for colour, texture and pattern * the ability to visualise things in three dimensions * technical skills in areas such as pattern cutting, grading and garment construction * to enjoy following trends in fashion and clothing. Fashion designers work for designer labels, as part of in-house design teams for retail chains, and for clothing manufacturers. The heaviest concentration of designers is in London and the surrounding area. Competition for places is intense. Fashion designers usually start their career after taking an HNC/HND or a degree in fashion. There are many different courses available, some of which give a general grounding in fashion design, while others focus on manufacturing and clothing technology. Most college and universities require evidence of academic achievement, including GCSEs/S grades. A strong portfolio of work is needed to gain employment. Training is usually on the job, working alongside and learning skills from more senior designers. As competition is extremely strong, most employers expect new recruits to have learned basic skills at college. New fashion designers need to be prepared to work in junior positions, developing other people's designs, as colourists or in pattern-cutting, in order to gain experience and contacts. With experience, designers may be able to move into senior design roles and work with more established fashion labels. Very few designers are able to design clothes for their own fashion label. Fashion designers may also move into specialist areas such as colour predicting, style consultancy, fashion journalism or costume design.