Who is a fashion designer and what role does the fashion designer play in the world of fashion? Ever wonder what fashion designers like Giorgio Armani, Betsey Johnson, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren do all the time? Fashion keeps evolving all the time and such renowned designers have to be on their toes to adapt these changes in their collections. A designer reflects his/her intuition about what could gel with the society’s aspirations in a clothing design.
Fashion designers have to get involved in every phase of the designing process. Today’s educated and talented fashion designers have to be creative and unique to succeed in this difficult, demanding, and highly competitive industry. Typical designer’s day includes reading current fashion magazines, newspapers, and other media that reflect current trends and tastes, attending various fashion shows to create designs that are wearable, trendy and on par with the wearer’s expectations. No matter what his or her personal style is, a designer must produce a creative, exciting, and profitable product line to create a niche for his/her collections.
Fashion designers help brands create billions of dresses, suits, footwear, and other clothing and accessories purchased every day by consumers across the world. Designers study fashion trends, sketch designs of clothing and accessories, select colours and fabrics, and oversee the final production of their designs. The entire designing process from initial design sketches to final production takes between 18 and 24 months. The first step followed by the designer is creating a design predicting the future fashion trends. Some designers conduct their own research, while others rely on trend reports published by fashion industry trade groups that indicate what styles, colours, and fabrics will be popular for a particular season in future. Textile manufacturers make use of these trend reports as a basis of clothing collection for the forthcoming season. Work begins with designing fabrics and patterns while fashion designers begin to sketch preliminary designs. Designers then visit manufacturers or trade shows to procure samples of fabrics and decide which fabrics to use with which designs. Once the final designs and fabric selection is done, samples of the clothing using the actual material are sewn and then marketed to various clothing retailers. During the trade events, new design samples are shown to the prospective or existing customers and orders are placed, which are then manufactured and distributed to stores.
Many fashion designers are now using advanced technological inventions like computer-aided design (CAD) to create designs. CAD allows designers to view designs of clothing on virtual models in various colours and shapes saving time on sampling process.
Some designers work independently having their own labels while other’s work on different level depending on the size of the design firm and their work experience.
Some fashion designers work for apparel wholesalers or manufacturers to create designs for the mass market, while there are other high-fashion (haute couture) designers who work for their individual clientele.