Making a Fashion Designer Salary

Donna Karan, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren – who knows how many millions these famous designers pocket yearly as a fashion designer salary? The average fashion designer, on the other hand, makes much less than this, more so for those in entry-level positions. But the good thing about the fashion industry is that it pays well, and there’s a lot of room for growth and a hefty pay raise for those who are really motivated.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the normal fashion designer salary range is very wide, with starting pay grades at around $32,500 per annum for the lowest ten percent and a whopping $130,890 annually for those in the highest ten percent. The median annual fashion designer salary is at $74,440 and the average annual salary is $64,530.

Factors Affecting Salaries

The fashion industry has a very broad scope, encompassing so many different fields globally. It even crosses boundaries to interact with other professions and industries. Because of this, there are quite a number of positions in the field, from seamstresses to fashion advertising executives. Position is of course the main factor affecting a fashion designer salary. The higher you rise, the more you get paid, and there are certain areas in fashion that pay more than others.

Educational background is another thing that employers consider when promoting people and wages. The more knowledge and skills you have, the more confident your employers will be in you and the more likely you are to rise in the ranks. Another thing to consider is the geographic location. There are more opportunities in the urban areas, especially in the known fashion capitals like New York, L.A., or Paris and you’ll have better chances of earning a higher fashion designer salary.

High-Paying Areas

According to research, the highest-paying areas in fashion are those that have to do with the film and television industries, wholesalers, footwear manufacturing, electronic market and durable goods. The highest employment levels were in piece goods, apparel merchant wholesalers, cut-and-sew apparel, notions, knitting mills and specialized design services.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also forecast that between 2008 and 2018, there will be little change in the industry, as the high demand for fashion designers and other career opportunities continues to draw fierce competition. Clothing brands that mass-produce for the public are said to have the best chances for success. In the United States, the highest-paying states for fashion as of 2010 were New Hampshire, New York, Maine, Wisconsin and California. Meanwhile, New York, California, New Jersey, Ohio and Florida had the highest employment rates in the American fashion industry.

There are other related occupations that you might want to consider, such as interior design, jewelry, metal and precious stone workers, artists, photographers, writers and editors. Interior designers contribute by creating beautiful and safe office spaces and may even help during shows while those in the jewellery are in charge of producing accessories and other materials for clothing. If you really want a fashion designer salary, you’ll have to work your way up by using your skills and talents and find your niche in the industry.

5 Career Options for Fashion Design Degree Holders

Society and parents in general tend to be wary towards encouraging people to work in Fashion for good reason. Firstly, they are right about the industry’s highly selective employment. They’re also right when they say that Fashion is “not what it seems” even though they probably have no idea what they really talking about. But before you decide to throw in the towel and take up accounting courses, or look for a no-brainer 9-5 job, here are a few fashion design careers to consider!

The Popular Path

A fashion designer’s job seems to be surrounded by the glitz and glamour of having your works appearing on glossy magazines and the season’s hottest celebrities. It’s a no-brainer that people want to be fashion designers just like how some covet to be millionaires. To take this career path, you need a strong design portfolio. Prior work experience in fashion will be an advantage. So this is where being an intern during your holidays pay off.

There are two kinds of Fashion Designers:

The In-house Designer:

You will work with a fashion company and design clothes according to their guidelines. The company will own the rights to your designs while you draw a monthly salary from them. Depending on the scale of the company, you may work alone or with a team. Be an in-house designer if you have plans to join the big wigs like Fendi, Gucci, Prada or Louis Vuitton.

The Freelancer:

Freelancers work for themselves and sell their designs to fashion houses, directly to shops or to manufacturers. After building a good name, you’ll probably start getting people commissioning you for design work. Freelance Designers have the flexibility of work hours and tend to command higher wages, but keep in mind that financial stability is at high risk. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to work as an in-house designer for some experience first before attempting a freelance career.

Other Possible Paths

Most people don’t study fashion design specifically to join these ranks, but if you found that designing isn’t your cup of tea somewhere through your course; these are jobs in the industry that you can consider:

Fashion Buyer:

You will be responsible for travelling around and buying suitable fashions for shops or departmental stores. Your knowledge in Fashion Design will help you to predict trends or identify quality, giving you an edge for this job.

Fashion Journalist:

You will write articles about fashion and source for newsworthy stories in your field. With in-depth fashion know-how and garment composition, you’ll make a perfect critic and can dish out fantastic fashion advice.

Wedding photography:

You will plan locations and carry out photoshoots with newly weds or bridal studios. By knowing the ins and outs of a fashion shoot, you can make a couple look awesome in their matrimony garb.

Verdict

If you find yourself jobless long after you’ve graduated with your fashion design degree, all is not lost. It just means that your portfolio needs a revamp. Read up fashion magazines for inspiration and start sketching for a variety of genres. Employers judge designers by their portfolio because it’s the most accurate representation of the owner that no résumé, job experience or testimonial can replace. It portrays your education, experience and personal style. With the right attitude, the possibilities are endless! If the world is not providing you with any shortcuts, the best solution is to make one yourself.

Train For a Career in Fashion Design

Do you notice what everyone is wearing? Do you stay on top of the latest trends in clothing and accessories? Do you have a passion for fashion?

If so, then you should consider a career in fashion design. From the design table to the showroom floor, there are many steps involved in bringing fashionable clothing to the marketplace. Many highly skilled people are involved-designers, pattern makers, cutters, stitchers, photographers, fabric experts, wholesalers, and fashion models. With the right training, you could be one of them.

Fashion designers often work for big companies, helping to make both haute couture (high-priced custom-made clothing) and the off-the-rack clothing that is sold in department stores and boutiques. Fashion designers can also work for themselves, and many own their own independent fashion companies. Specialized designers create footwear and accessories such as purses and hats. From the neighborhood tailor to the international artist who designs “red carpet” dresses for movie stars, the world of fashion is diverse and multi-faceted.

The fashion industry is becoming increasingly global. A ready-to-wear apparel company may have designers in one country, the manufacturing facility in another, and retail outlets all over the world. Successful fashion designers enjoy travel, are interested in all aspects of creating clothing, work well with a variety of people, have a keen eye for trends, and know how to design clothing that people want to buy. Pricing is important, too, because mass market designers need to create clothing that can be manufactured and sold at the lowest possible cost.

Computer skills are increasingly important. Many designers sketch initial ideas with paper and pencil, and then translate these hand sketches to the computer. Computer-aided design (CAD) is increasingly being used in the fashion design industry. CAD allows designers to create clothing designs on virtual models and in a variety of colors and shapes. These CAD templates can then be used to direct the manufacturing process, which is often located thousands of miles away.

What’s the job outlook? Opportunities are out there if you have the right training! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the current decade from 2008 to 2018 “the best job opportunities will be in design firms that design mass market clothing sold in department stores and retail chain stores, such as apparel wholesale firms.” But having the right training is key! Most fashion designers have an associate (two-year) or bachelor’s (four-year) degree in fashion design. Program areas may include design, business, marketing, merchandising, and even human anatomy and computers.

Is the fashion industry competitive? Yes, it is! Many people are lured by the promise of a glamorous lifestyle, but a career in fashion design means plenty of hard work and long hours. This is why quality career education can make a big difference to a person’s success in the competitive fashion marketplace.

How can you get started? Find an accredited school or degree program. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits nearly 300 postsecondary institutions with degree programs in fashion design. The best way to start is to log onto a reputable college directory website. You can enter the search terms that are appropriate for you, such as “fashion design college in New York” or “online fashion degrees.” You’ll be presented with the colleges that meet your criteria. Compare programs and financial aid and career services. You can request free information from the schools that interest you. It’s that easy! Then you can narrow down your choices and make your applications…and in less time than you think you could be training for a rewarding career in fashion design.