Advice from Leanne Knott, Consultant (design) at Success Appointments
The majority of fashion designers will need to complete a fashion design degree. With few courses having the reputation needed to push a career, you need to do your research. Look for courses that encompass a year out in the industry so you gain the necessary experience to help land you your first job straight out of university. It will also help you pinpoint the areas you enjoy.
A strong fashion portfolio is essential, showcasing your creative eye for product, commercial awareness and computer skills.
Expect to spend up to six years climbing the ranks. Employers will look for senior designers to have gained significant experience within a fashion brand, travelled overseas to factories, have knowledge of range building and flair to spot trends and interpret them into the brand’s handwriting. As a senior designer expect to take on additional responsibility managing and nurturing junior designers, along with working more closely with senior management to help drive the brand forward.
Salaries vary depending on the brand and level of responsibility, but expect anything from £40,000 to £60,000, the top end in more specialised areas such as knitwear.