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How to be a designer for a fashion brand

Fashion and Retail Personnel’s senior consultant for design production and technical Claire Schofield on the skills required of designers at fashion brand.

If you have a passion and talent for design then you should start early to progress in this competitive industry.

Studying from school through to an art foundation [qualification] that has a fashion element to it will be essential to getting you into a good university placement. Due to the competitive nature of this role you need to make sure you are ahead of the game with education and work experience to be given a chance of getting an entry level paid role.

Make sure that you research into which element of fashion you want to design, because this will influence your decision as to which university is best for you.  

Strong skills in relation to trend prediction and translation through to commercial product is key, and employers will look for evidence of this in your portfolio. This is why an industry placement is so important, because it will demonstrate your understanding of how a fast paced retailer/brand or supplier works.

Choose your placement during university well. Do not underestimate the valuable experience a supplier will give you too. They might not hold the strength of a brand name but the ways of working will be invaluable.

Don’t be picky about the style of product you design for when you start out. It’s all about the level of responsibility in your role. Adaptability is key. Research trips are a perk of the job and seeing your designs in store is a major motivation for designers. 

Salaries for designer level positions range from £30,000 to £35,000.

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