Fashion Designer Job Description

Find out what a fashion designer job is really like.

fashion designer

While good fashion design will never bring about world peace, fashion can make a person feel better. Whether you think of royalty or rock stars, you visualize their appearance and presentation. What people wear projects who they are.

The sophisticated and often over-the-top styles found on the runways of Paris and New York do not represent the full spectrum of fashion designers' work. In reality, there are a multitude of opportunities in fashion design, from sportswear, to children's clothes, to haute couture. If you can wear it, someone has designed it.

Common Tasks

As a fashion designer, your job description may include a variety of tasks. Designers may be responsible for the following:

  • Attending national and international fashion and trade shows 
  • Researching and predicting fashion industry trends 
  • Staying current on contemporary styles 
  • Putting together a cohesive collection theme 
  • Creating sketches and samples
  • Choosing fabrics and colors 
  • Using computer-aided design programs (CAD) to produce designs
  • Doing fittings and making alterations
  • Pricing and marketing products
  • Working with creative directors, models, tailors, patternmakers and clients 
  • Performing business administration tasks

Essential Skills for a Fashion Designer Job

  • Creativity and Style – The fashion design industry is in a perpetual state of metamorphosis. Fashion designers need to draw inspiration from past trends and see new possibilities for their future designs. They need to innovate and put a fresh spin on things. From sketching to execution, fashion designers need artistic ability and originality to succeed in the industry.
  • Knowledge of Fashion History – Fashion designers have to be a step ahead. To do that, they need knowledge about previous styles and movements in fashion history. They also need to be aware of current fashion events and developments.
  • Business Know-How – Knowing the ins and outs of business is essential for any fashion designer. In this highly competitive industry, aspiring designers can't rely on their artistic vision alone to bring success. For fashion designers, understanding basic principles of marketing and business can help them reach their goals.
  • Ability to Perform Under Pressure – A fashion design career isn't for the faint of heart. Fashion designers should thrive in high-pressure environments. Those entering this occupation should be willing to work in a team, and they should work well under the demands of deadlines. They should also be able to handle criticism. Critics can be brutal. Successful fashion designers know how to learn from a critique while maintaining their individual style.