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How to become a fashion designer in Australia: careers in design

Fashion designers play a key creative role in styles and trends within the fashion industry by planning, creating and manufacturing garments for a variety of purposes. They oversee the idea for items of clothing from creative conception up to physical creation. They need to have an eye for style and be naturally creative. There are a range of different course types, fashion schools and methods for budding fashion designers to hone their skills and get a foothold into the industry.
Pathways

Being a fashion designer: daily duties

Fashion designers produce original ideas for the creation of garments and accessories. This includes clothing and footwear through to items like handbags and jewellery. Fashion designers can design some items in line with briefs, seasonal changes, current runway trends and niches within the industry. They illustrate and design outfit ideas, sample and choose fabrics and other materials, liaise with clients and the teams involved in production processes.

Tasks:

  • Keep abreast of seasonal and runway trends
  • Meet concept and production deadlines
  • Devise original fashion ideas
  • Illustrate and design outfits and garment pieces
  • Choose relevant textiles and fabrics
Skills

Being a fashion designer: skills for success

Fashion design is a creative and hands-on career requiring an ability to constantly create and transform ideas based on current trends. This needs to be balanced with the constraints of budgets and demands of the production phase. Fashion designers need to be able to meet client deadlines and follow client briefs. They also need to have excellent communication skills and the ability to network.
Skills/attributes
  • A love of fashion
  • Good communication skills
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Understanding of function of textiles
  • Ability to work to deadlines
Specs

Specialised roles within design

Fashion designers can use their skills and experience to branch out into other specialisations within the fashion industry, drawing on their insights into the processes and phases involved in fashion.
  • Fashion coordinator
    Fashion coordinators are specialists in marketing the fashion industry. They liaise with and advise fashion houses and retailers about marketing strategies to ensure new fashion ranges are seen by and purchased by the public.
  • Window dresser
    Also known as visual merchandisers, window dressers display items of clothing and seasonal ranges in public places. They usually work alongside store owners, providing ideas and strategies to market and display items of clothing within the shopfront.
  • Wardrobe consultant
    Wardrobe consultants work within the film industry to add authenticity and depth to fictional worlds of bygone eras, designing costumes, sourcing appropriate outfits and helping filmmakers to visually convey a sense of character.
Pathways

Educational pathways for fashion designers

There are a number of study paths available if you want to pursue a career in fashion designing that will help you gain the skills and knowledge you need.
  • Start your career
    Choose a course that will help you kick start your fashion career.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Develop industry specific skills and work at your craft through the application of your studies.
  • Build your resume
    Accreditations and a portfolio of work will improve your chances of making an impact in the industry.
  • Industry requirements
    There is no specific industry accreditation required to work as a fashion designer in Australia.
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your design career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    The fashion industry requires constant growth and transformation to meet industry related trends. Strong growth in future employment opportunities is predicted.

Resources for Fashion designer

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