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Fashion Designer

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What Do Fashion Designer Do?

Fashion Designer Definition Design clothing and accessories. Create original designs or adapt fashion trends.

Life As a Fashion Designer

  • Confer with sales and management executives or with clients to discuss design ideas.
  • Test fabrics or oversee testing so that garment care labels can be created.
  • Purchase new or used clothing and accessory items as needed to complete designs.
  • Examine sample garments on and off models, modifying designs to achieve desired effects.
  • Design custom clothing and accessories for individuals, retailers, or theatrical, television, or film productions.
  • Read scripts and consult directors and other production staff to develop design concepts and plan productions.

Fashion Designer Skills

These are the skills Fashion Designers say are the most useful in their careers:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

  • Designer
  • Costume Director
  • Fur Stylist
  • Sweater Designer
  • Fashion Director

Are There Job Opportunities for Fashion Designers?

In the United States, there were 23,800 jobs for Fashion Designer in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 2.5% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 600 new jobs for Fashion Designer by 2026. The BLS estimates 2,300 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Fashion Designers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Fashion Designer are Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Pennsylvania, Vermont, or South Carolina. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Fashion Designer

The typical yearly salary for Fashion Designers is somewhere between $36,420 and $155,470.

Salary Ranges for Fashion Designers

Fashion Designers who work in New York, California, or Alabama, make the highest salaries.

How much do Fashion Designers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $98,380
Arkansas $61,800
California $95,250
Colorado $63,110
Connecticut $72,280
Florida $57,770
Georgia $72,010
Hawaii $50,800
Kansas $65,490
Maine $80,540
Maryland $64,500
Massachusetts $77,990
Michigan $62,070
Minnesota $52,540
New Jersey $69,640
New Mexico $67,960
New York $95,830
North Carolina $71,330
Oregon $75,710
Pennsylvania $54,840
South Carolina $75,110
Texas $76,240
Utah $43,610
Washington $66,600
Wisconsin $45,940

What Tools do Fashion Designers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Fashion Designers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Financial accounting software
  • Corel Painter
  • Autodesk SketchBook Pro

How to Become a Fashion Designer

What education or degrees do I need to become a Fashion Designer?

Fashion Designer Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Fashion Designer?

Fashion Designer Work Experience

Where Fashion Designers Work

Fashion Designer Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Fashion Designer Industries

Career changers with experience as a Fashion Designer sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Szilas in the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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