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Fashion Design Degree Outlook

The world of fashion design encompasses more than clothing. Fashion designers can create accessories, footwear, gloves, bags, and coats for all ages. A fashion designer can focus on textile design and on costume design, or casual wear or formal wear. Anyone who enters the fashion field can opt to work with mass-produced designs or create exclusive limited editions.

The individual who studies fashion learns about the human form, textiles, color, and the elements of design. This field is similar to sculpture, as fashion designers create three-dimensional items; however, their products also reflect an understanding of human movement and emotions. Thanks to computer-aided software (CAD), the fashion designer can work with a three-dimensional computer program in addition to two-dimensional drawing and creating test patterns for new designs.

Fashion employers usually look for individuals with a two- to four-year degree and who are knowledgeable about textiles, fabrics, ornamentation, and fashion trends. Bachelor's of fine arts and associate degree programs in fashion design are offered at many colleges, universities, and private art and design schools. Some fashion designers also combine a fashion design degree with a business, marketing, or fashion merchandising degree, especially those who want to run their own business or retail store.

A person who wishes to delve into textile design will discover that their skills are just as useful in architecture, interior design, and product design as they are in fashion. Textile artists often become specialists in the application and performance of both natural and manmade materials. Textile designers may work within the textile industry or as consultants to other designers.

Fashion designers may also want to enter the field of costume design for theatre, movies, or television. This field demands knowledge of fashion design and about various historical periods. Costume designers may need to adhere tightly to historical clothing and textile styles, or the venue may permit costume designers to creatively bend various historical fashions. Some costume designers even design for shows set far in the future. Costume designers often work on a contract basis.

Designers may work in large cities (mainly New York or in California) or in rural areas, in solitude or in busy factories or studios. A large manufacturer generally hires a head designer and several assistants. The head designer usually is responsible for executive as well as creative functions. Assistants often make patterns and samples or may supervise sample makers. Designers who work in a quieter setting often produce exclusive designs. Almost a quarter of fashion designers are self employed.

Designers often are expected to look ahead at least six months if not a year to fashion trends that will develop on a seasonal basis. If you consider that it often takes between eighteen to twenty-four months to produce a design, you might understand that fashion designers are far ahead of the fashion curve. This is what makes this field so exciting. The fashion designer truly can be a trend setter, especially if that designer understands that this is a highly competitive profession.


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Fashion Design (BFA)
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid