Beauty Career Profile: Fashion Designer

Looking for a creative outlet that combines elements of both design and beauty? As a fashion designer you can fulfill both sides of the spectrum and be involved in virtually every step of designing new garments. You will draw up sketches, chose colors and fabrics, create initial mock-ups, and even pitch your designs to interested parties. Fashion designers can focus on a specific type of clothing (like women’s or men’s) or can master all genres.

As a fashion designer, you’ll spend your days working on current designs and creating new ones. You will do market research to find out what’s popular and share ideas with peers and superiors, to find out what styles fit your needs. Depending on where you work, you can have a very structured schedule or something with a bit more flexibility. Long hours are required leading up to big events and shows, but it’s all apart of the job. Be a part of this exciting industry as a fashion designer!


Job Outlook

Job outlook depends on what sort of job you are looking for. Fashion designers can work for a wholesale producer, at a high-end designer firm or or as freelancer. As a freelancers you can work for a large company during a busy time or for private clients designing costumes or pieces for individuals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists wholesalers as the largest employers of fashion design graduations, as 32% of fashion designers are employed by apparel merchant wholesalers. According to the BLS the employment of fashion designers is projects to only grow by 3% by 2024, slower than average for all occupations.

Make it Happen


Most fashion designers will receive a two-year or four-year degree to learn fashion design. Throughout your time in school, you’ll learn about different fabrics, styles and fashion markets. You’ll also work on your design portfolio in preparation for job-hunting upon graduation. The culmination of your degree may result in a fashion show that will help you build connections as you step into the workforce.


During school, you may be required to complete a fashion design internship. If this is not a requirement at your school, it is definitely something you should consider even post graduation. Fashion design is the type of industry where you need to work your way up, so building personal connections in the fashion world is crucial.


Skill & Attributes


This is one of the most important qualities a fashion designer can have. A fashion designer has to look beyond today’s trends, to figure out what the next big style is going to be. Being able to think creatively, will help you out of tough situations in a crunch.

Marketing Skills

As a fashion designer, you’ll have to pitch your ideas to your peers and bosses. Having confidence and knowing how to sell your designs will greatly help you to succeed. Check out Prosper U to learn how to communicate clearly, set goals, and be more poised when presenting!


Leading up to a fashion show, designers will have to work long hours and nights to get everything in place. You will also have to attend events to work on your connections and do it all with a smile!


Whether or not you decided to be a freelance designer, being a self-starter will help you excel in such a competitive field. Since you will probably spend time “paying your dues”, proving yourself as a reliable go-getter will help you land more responsibilities. Standing out in important in the fashion design industry and being being able to act before your employer even has to tell you what to do will go a long way.

Salary Potential

These is a wide variance in pay among designers. The lowest being entry-level fashion retailers who design mannequins and the highest being people like Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs and the like. So there is definitely a lot of potential for salary growth as you gain more experience and connections.


Tips & Tricks

A huge part of being a fashion designer is having an updated portfolio showing off your latest work and ideas. Here are 10 tips to creating a design portfolio to help nail your next interview.

  1. Read all portfolio requirements for the job you’re applying to.
  2. Be flexible and willing to take things in and out.
  3. Buy a sturdy portfolio and back-it up with a digital copy.
  4. Show off your strengths.
  5. Only use professional photos.
  6. Keep editing.
  7. Use creative and clean page layouts.
  8. Show your entire process.
  9. Including your research and development.
  10. Don’t limit your content to just fashion.

About the Author

Jeff Chiarelli
Jeff Chiarelli is the Head of Marketing for Ogle School. His responsibilities include leading Ogle School's marketing and branding strategy to amplify Ogle School's passion for helping create future beauty professionals in the communities Ogle School serves.