Fashion Designer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Fashion Designers Career Video



Designs clothing and accessories. Creates original designs or adapts fashion trends.

This career is part of the Arts, Audio-Video Technology and Communications cluster Visual Arts pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Directs and coordinates workers involved in drawing and cutting patterns and constructing samples or finished garments.
  • Examines sample garments on and off models, modifying designs to achieve desired effects.
  • Sketches rough and detailed drawings of apparel or accessories, and writes specifications such as color schemes, construction, material types, and accessory requirements.
  • Confers with sales and management executives or with clients to discuss design ideas.
  • Identifies target markets for designs, looking at factors such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status.
  • Attends fashion shows and reviews garment magazines and manuals to gather information about fashion trends and consumer preferences.
  • Selects materials and production techniques to be used for products.
  • Provides sample garments to agents and sales representatives, and arranges for showings of sample garments at sales meetings or fashion shows.
  • Adapts other designers' ideas for the mass market.
  • Purchases new or used clothing and accessory items as needed to complete designs.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Athletic Shoe Designer --
  • Dance Costume Designer --
  • Fashion Consultant --
  • Hat Designer --
  • Historic Clothing and Costume Maker --
  • Uniform Designer --