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Fashion designers work in a variety of fashion-related areas, including haute-couture and designer fashion, high street fashion and retail chains, sportswear, children’s wear, shoes and accessories.
Depending on the employer, designers may either work to their own brief, or they work following the brief of a client; a fashion label or high street chain. It is rare that fashion designers have the opportunity to design the clothes for their own label.
They design and create concepts for new garments either by hand or using computer-assisted design software. The technology allows designers to make changes to shape, style and colour of a design and test it on a virtual model before the garment is produced either as a sample or for the market.
Once a design has been approved, the designer may cut patterns, choose colour schemes, source and order a range of fabrics, fastenings and embellishments and put together samples which may need to be altered or amended before being produced for the customer.
It is extremely important that designers keep their fingers on the pulse of fashion and follow trends as closely as possible. They work with fashion forecasters and attend catwalk shows to predict upcoming trends and adapt designs by high-fashion trendsetters. They also need to know the ins and outs of past styles.
Designers need to foster good relationships with buyers, suppliers and customers.