Kara Heward, senior recruitment consultant at CVUK on the skills, education and experience required to become a senior designer.
For this role, you would definitely need a degree in fashion design. Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion offers accessories design degrees, but most universities tender a general fashion design degree where you could choose to specialise in accessories after the first two years, or choose to work in a company to get specialist accessories expertise during your sandwich year.
Accessories designers need to be artistic and have a really good eye. Depending on the area of the industry you want to go in to will determine what extra skills you will need. If you wish to work in the luxury accessories sector, you will need to learn to work with and understand expensive leathers and quality hardwares, whereas for the high street, it is important that you are aware of trends and the particular look of the retailer.
As a senior designer you may have to manage assistants or interns so you need to be good not only at managing your own workload, but leading a team too. You should be organised, deadline-aware, and understand how to follow a critical path to make sure your product will be ready to hit stores when it needs to.
The buzz of seeing your product on the shelves is a big perk of this job, as is seeing something you have designed getting press, or being worn by a celebrity. Seeing other people appreciate what you have created is fantastic.
Salaries for this position range from £40,000 to £60,000.