Fashion designer

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Fashion designers develop clothing, accessories, footwear and other items of personal apparel by creating original designs or adapting fashions to suit local conditions and trends. They produce designs to meet marketing, manufacturing and financial requirements considering the functional and aesthetic aspects with particular attention to the relationship of the apparel to the human form to arrive at the optimum design of a product.

The main areas of work for fashion designers are haute couture, designer ready-to-wear and high street fashion. It is common for fashion designers to be employed within manufacturing companies designing for mass production or in small businesses with specialised lines for boutique retailers.

Fashion designers may perform the following tasks:

  • analyse trends in fabrics, colours and shapes;
  • research and develop fabrics and accessories for production of garments;
  • keep up to date with emerging fashion trends;
  • work with others in the design team, such as buyers and forecasters, to develop a product to meet the requirements;
  • liaise with production staff during mass production of garments, and participate in quality control
  • adapt existing designs for mass production;
  • finalise specification sheets with detailed sketches and trim details;
  • approve final samples before they go into production;
  • fit samples and discuss them with management, sales and manufacturing staff, and contribute to costing estimates;
  • negotiating with customers and suppliers;
  • manage marketing, finances and other business activities if working on a self-employed basis.