Fashion Design Careers

TWU students see luxury fabrics hand-screened during a London, U.K. trip.
TWU students see luxury fabrics hand-screened during a study abroad trip to London, U.K.

Careers in fashion design are exciting and demanding. Some jobs require people with a high degree of artistic creativity and originality, while others require people with technical knowledge and highly developed skills. Apparel designers need to have the ability to lead a team and interpret fashion trends, in addition to being able to sketch, sew and make patterns. Success for designers in other fashion areas such as accessory and home furnishing design requires similar types of skills. Ultimately, the ingredients for a successful career in the industry are creativity, skill, ability and hard work.

Individuals with a degree in fashion design work as

  • Creative designers
  • Computer-automated-design (CAD) specialists
  • Technical designers
  • Findings/trim buyers
  • Graphic designers
  • First pattern makers
  • Production pattern makers
  • Sample makers
  • Preproduction managers
  • Apparel production managers
  • Fabric buyers
  • Fabric quality control managers
  • Graders
  • Marker makers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Company owners

For those just beginning a career, entry-level positions in apparel companies include

  • Assistant pattern maker
  • Designer’s assistant
  • Findings/trim buyer
  • CAD operator
  • Grader trainee
  • Marker trainee

Regardless of the starting position, responsibilities increase with hard work, interest in the job, and the development of skill and talent. Individuals who show they have what it takes can expect a long and exciting career in the fashion industry.