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Fashion Design

Earnings Potential

According to, Median annual earnings for fashion designers were $55,840 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,800 and $77,580. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,970, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $112,840.

Facts at a glance

  • Two/thirds of fashion designers were employed in either New York or California as of 2004.
  • Employers seek designers with either an A.A or a B.A who know about textiles, fabrics, ornamentation and fashion trends.
  • Competition in the industry is expected to be fierce because many people are interested in careers in fashion design, but there are not a lot of jobs out there.
  • Over 25 percent of fashion designers are self-employed.

Summary of what this career entails

Fashion designers help create the clothing, shoes and accessories that we buy every day. They have to know the current fashion trends (which they have to research), they sketch the design of clothing and accessories, choose colors for said clothing and oversee the final production of the designs. A fashion designer creates clothing for every gender, every size and every type of clothing. With that said there is some specialization in the field, there are footwear designers who create shoes and boots, and there are accessory designers that make clothing accessories like handbags, belts, scarves, hats and eyewear. The design process for a particular piece of clothing takes about a year and a half to two years. That’s where the research comes in and is so important. Someone in the fashion field must do research because they have to know the current trends and create and/or supervise the creation of clothes in order to be ahead of the field. The most conspicuous thing that fashion designers are involved with is creating clothes that we see on fashion shows and a lot of times famous people will have their clothes designed personally by someone with a “nose for fashion.”

Examples and or details of work

People in the fashion industry typically create clothing that you will see on America’s Next Top Model, because during and after the show (if they win) they will be doing fashion shows if that’s what they desire. Famous fashion models include Naomi Campbell, the Carlson Twins, and Tyra Banks. Sometimes people with a degree in fashion routinely are hired as personal shoppers for people too busy to shop for themselves or who don’t know the current fashion trends. An example of that is Tori Spelling’s character on Beverly Hills 90210 (Donna Martin), her first job out of college was that of a personal shopper. People with an eye for fashion are also hired as talent agents, not so much for clothes, but more what kind of people would look good in specific clothing.

Degrees that lead to this career

Degrees that lead to a career in fashion include, fashion, fashion design, fashion marketing, a combination of the two, and business administration.

Specific Career openings in this field

Specific jobs in the fashion industry include, fashion designer, fashion model, fashion director, host for a fashion show, agent, recruiter, and personal shopper.