Fashion Design Business, Part 2

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4) To advance in the fashion design business, you must also have a strong sense of the esthetic...

an eye for color and detail, a sense of balance and proportion, and an appreciation for beauty.

Having sketching ability remains an important advantage in the fashion design business. A good portfolio—a collection of a person’s best work—often is the deciding factor in getting a freelance job.

In addition to creativity, fashion designers also need to have sewing and patternmaking skills, even if they do not perform these tasks themselves.

Designers need to be able to understand these skills so they can give proper instruction in how the garment should be constructed.

5) Fashion designers need excellent communication and problem-solving skills.

Fashion designers also need strong sales and presentation skills to persuade clients to purchase their designs.

Good teamwork and communication skills also are necessary because more and more the business requires constant contact with suppliers, manufacturers, and buyers around the world.

Fashion designers held about 20,000 jobs in 2006. About 24 percent were self-employed.

6) Fashion designers are necessary to the culture.

A growing population is demanding more clothing, footwear, and accessories.

Demand is increasing for stylish clothing that is affordable, especially among middle income consumers.

Even though sewing and manufacturing tends to be outsourced to countries outside of the US, employment of fashion designers won’t suffer because design work can be done in-house.

Starting salaries in fashion design tend to be very low until designers are established in the industry. So don’t quit your day job just yet.

You might think about doing this job to supplement your full-time work. Or else consider getting a full-time job in fashion retail, so that you’re constantly in the mix..

A few of the most successful self-employed fashion designers may earn many times the salary of the highest paid salaried designers. Self-employed fashion designers must provide their own benefits and retirement.

For general information about art and design and a list of accredited college-level programs, contact:

  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190. Internet:

For general information about careers in fashion design, contact:

  • Fashion Group International, 8 West 40th St., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10018. Internet:

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