Fashion design is the art of applying design principles to clothing, shoes and accessories. The fashion industry is one of the largest in the world, and related jobs include not only the actual design of these items but also the technical applications of design, machining, finishing, styling, modeling, fashion show organization, and distribution and retail. Each aspect requires unique skills, resulting in the existence of several different types of jobs related to fashion design.
Fashion designers create the designs for clothing, footwear and accessories. They often specialize in a limited range of designs, such as haute couture gowns, sportswear, men’s or children’s clothing or women’s shoes. Fashion designers may work independently or for an organization. A bachelor's degree is usually required for a fashion design job in a company. The typical fashion designer has to sketch designs, create prototypes, do model fittings and supervise garment production. In large organizations, some aspects of this job are passed on to others who work under the supervision of the fashion designer.
Fashion illustrators are artists who turn the ideas of fashion designers into detailed drawings. They bring concepts to life and drive the design, manufacturing and production processes. Fashion illustrators work with fashion predictors to create and conceptualize future trends. They also develop illustrations for marketing purposes and work in a variety of media, combining traditional painting and drawing and sophisticated computer-aided design tools. They often work as freelancers.
Fashion designers use fitting models, or fit models, to see how a finished garment looks on a real person. Models must meet specified height, measurement and size requirements. The job entails trying on garments and providing feedback on the fit, comfort and quality. Fit models may be required to perform other duties, such as measuring garments or entering data into spreadsheets. Models who perform solely fitting duties are often paid by the hour. A strong attention to detail is required for this type of job.
Fashion stylists work along with fashion designers, photographers, art directors and magazine editors to create visual images used in fashion-related industries. They typically work from a design brief to create a look or concept. They dress models for fashion shows and photo shoots, source and select the best garments and accessories required to create a look and carefully monitor emerging fashion trends. A job as a fashion stylist requires a natural flair for style and color coordination.