Basics of fashion design
At a glance, the life of a fashion designer may seem glamorous. After all, he or she is surrounded by beauty all the time. From the development of the sketches to the models wearing the garments on the runway, fashion design is an exciting job, but it can also be demanding as well.
The one thing that is true about the field of fashion design is that most designers must pay their dues to be successful. This may mean waking up very early in the morning. Some designers begin their day as early as 4 a.m., and the day may not end at 5:00 p.m. as many jobs do, but most designers are so passionate about fashion that this is hardly perceived as a negative aspect of the job.
Fashion designers may be called to perform many different duties depending upon for whom they are working. Being a fashion designer is not just sitting around sketching ideas all day but, but it is at least part of the job. The designer will spend time creating and visualizing an idea. Some designers still sketch these ideas by hand while others use a computer design program to assist them.
Inspiration needs to come from somewhere; many designers will research market and fashion trends to make sure their collections are timely. This includes analyzing the latest trends in fabrics, colors, and shapes. The designer also needs to know what is out there to prevent inadvertently copycatting pieces by other designers.
Another part of the daily job of a fashion designer may include visiting manufacturers to pick out the best fabrics for the collection. This may include searching through countless bolts of fabric to find the perfect color and texture. Once the fabrics are found and purchased, the designer will need to cut and sew prototypes.
Fashion designers who work for larger firms are often required to work with others in the office, so communication skills are essential. This can include employees in sales, marketing, and manufacturing professionals who will want to know the production costs of pieces of the collection. The designer will also have to work with buyers and forecasters when developing new fashions.
Specification sheets may be another daily chore for a fashion designer. These help simplify the manufacturing of the piece and ensures that the finished pieces are executed correctly. A basic specification sheet may include a front and back sketch, a description, sample size, photo shoot size, fabric swatches (and information about the fiber content), lining and trimming information, the delivery date, size range, and style number of a piece.
Some designers will be required to go on location to fit the models with pieces from a collection. The fashion designer has to have all the tools that help make the garments perfect. Some items may need to be steamed to remove wrinkles, additional fitting may be required, and all the outfits and accessories need to be organized. It would be a good idea to bring along a seamstress for those last minute alterations.
A few fashion designers will be lucky enough to travel to meet with others in the field. This could include meetings with fabric manufacturers and attending trade shows and runway shows to see the latest trends and collections.
Each day, a fashion designer may need to put many of his or her skills into play including design knowledge, creativity, fabric and textile understanding, artistic ability, and communication skills. The job may often be challenging, but a day in the life of a fashion designer is rarely boring.