A career as a fashion designer isn't just about a base salary, but also about the personal satisfaction that comes from a job well done. The world of clothing design can undoubtedly be competitive and sometimes even a little stressful, but it's definitely not without its various fringe benefits.
Full-Time Fringe Benefits
Health care is a common fringe benefit of working in the fashion design field, if you're employed full-time by a company such as a fashion house. This option is generally not available for self-employed designers. If you work full-time as a designer for a fashion company, however, you might be eligible not only for health insurance packages but for various other fringe benefits including paid vacation time, sick days and 401K plans for retirement.
Self-employment is extremely common for fashion designers. According to career coach and author Randall S. Hansen, approximately 25 percent of all clothing designers work for themselves, alternating between numerous clients from diverse avenues such as textile mills, wholesalers and even movies and television. If you want to be in control of when you work, and seek flexibility that often is unavailable in a standard day-to-day job, the freelance route might just be a realistic option for your lifestyle needs.
Lots of Travel
National and international travel are also both big parts of employment in clothing design. Many cities around the world are fashion hubs, whether Milan, Paris or London. Stateside, New York and Los Angeles are also both big couture cities. Fashion designers are often required to go to trade events, do business with clients in far-flung continents and even scout out new suppliers. If routine isn't your favorite and you've always wanted to see the globe, a career in fashion design might just be right up your alley.
One key benefit of a fashion design career is that it has the potential to be very broad. If you want to branch out and slightly change your focus in the industry, you have a lot of freedom in which to do so. Being a clothing buyer at a major department store is an option. Starting your own clothing business is another. You can work specifically on designing patterns. You can even look into being a stylist for a public figure who needs to look good – and chic – for a steady stream of public events.
If you're in fashion design, you're most likely a creative person who is enthusiastic about everything from the rich tones of a dress to the texture of a winter coat. When people respond positively to the attire you work so diligently to design, it can be an extremely rewarding experience that goes far beyond money. It can also be a great motivation for future efforts.