Fashion Design: Taking Your Styles to the Shelves
Fashion Design: Taking Your Styles to the Shelves

Have you ever wondered who designs the latest fashions? The answer may surprise you. Everyday people with nothing more than a college degree and a personal sense of style are offered big bucks to create the looks that sell. Here's how you can get in on the action! (Hint: Don't overlook fashion school!)

Ralph Lauren. Calvin Klein. Guess? If you're hip to fashion trends, you'll instantly recognize these giants of design. And if you'd like to work for them, all you need to do is earn a fashion design degree and get some experience under your belt. These and other big name companies are constantly on the lookout for young professionals who have formal design training from a fashion school!

Fashion Design Career Profile

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that competition for positions in this high profile career field will be keen over the next decade. The best opportunities will go to those candidates with formal training in fashion design and marketing.

  • Fashion Training. Successful candidates in the field have a two- or four-year fashion design degree in textiles, fabrics, ornamentation, and fashion trends. In other words, fashion school is a must.
  • Fashion Career Outlook. Employment growth for fashion designers will stem from a growing population demanding more clothing, footwear, and accessories that are affordable and sensible.
  • Salary Potential for Designers. Median annual earnings for fashion designers were $55,840 in May 2004, with the middle 50% earning between $38,800 and $77,580.

Fashion Design Niches

Are you great in spotting trends for one branch of style, but could care less about others? Good news! You can choose a particular niche of fashion to work in that inspires you. Here are some of your options.

  • Mass Market. This is the style of fashion design that appeals to the major portion of consumers. Mass marketing design thrives on trends and brand names that are cheap to produce and quick to sell.
  • Ready-to-wear. Ready-to-wear is a step above mass market designs. They feature more expensive fabrics and are made for specific purposes, such as the business environment or professional outfitting.
  • Haute Couture. The top of the fashion line, haute couture designs are individually made and fitted for a more affluent customer. You'll frequently see haute couture designs gracing the red carpet.

Don't let your good taste go to waste. Develop your fashion sense by studying fashion design at an accredited fashion school!

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


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