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How to be a designer for a fashion brand

Ed Fella, head of division for buying and merchandising – UK and international at Freedom Recruitment, on how to be a designer at a fashion brand

A great starting point is to join a course at a reputable fashion college or university, because to be a designer you will be required to have a fashion related degree or equivalent.

To then become a successful designer you need to have a natural flair for creativity, accompanied with a commercial eye and a passion for the industry. It is also important to have the right handwriting and body of work in your portfolio.

Education in conjunction with on the job training will be important factors in building your overall experience and skill set. This provides you with a wider perspective and the skills that the industry requires and expects in a successful designer.

After qualifying from a well established and recognised fashion college or university within your specialist product area, and usually after completing an internship, you will have the option to progress into multiple organisations such as brands, retailers and suppliers where you will train and develop within your own design field.

To get to designer level candidates need to have at least four years of experience at either a brand or retailer and have a strong understanding of manufacturing and fabrics. Potential employers look for candidates with relevant experience, designers who are trend led, and who possess a strong portfolio. Strong CAD skills as well as good technical drawings skills are vital for the role, along with strong communication abilities.

Being a designer is an extremely rewarding yet challenging role offering you the opportunity to be recognised for creating key collections for leading organisations across the globe. 

Salaries range from £30,000 to £40,000 plus benefits.

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