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Fashion designer

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Summary of occupation

Fashion designers are responsible for creating the designs for clothing and lifestyle accessories. They develop new styles and products and adapt existing fashions to suit new trends or different conditions. They may design surf or sportswear for sale in retail stores, or may work for exclusive boutique designers whose clothes are sold at select locations around the State, nationally or internationally.

Although not typically responsible for actually creating the clothes or accessories that they design, fashion designers sketch their designs, either by hand or computer.

ANZSCO description: Plans, designs and develops clothing, accessories, footwear or other items of personal apparel considering the form and construction of clothing, historical styles and contexts, contemporary and cultural trends, colour, fabric, and decoration, and the techniques and processes available for manufacture.
Alternative names: Clothing Designer, Designer, Fashion
Specialisations: Costume Designer, Haute couture designer, Leisurewear Designer, Mass market designer
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Fashion designers need:

  • an eye for detail
  • creative flair
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • knowledge of fashion history and current fashion trends
  • the ability to work to tight deadlines
  • good communication skills.
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Working conditions

Fashion designers may work in offices, workrooms, factories or clothing stores. They work at drawing boards, cutting tables and on sewing machines, and as a result may stand for significant portions of their work day. They may travel to factory sites or internationally to fashion shows

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Salary details

According to industry, fashion, industrial and jewellery designers can expect to earn approximately $1235.00 per week (full-time and before tax). However, this figure can vary depending on a designer’s experience and consumer demand for that designer’s garments.

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Tools and technologies

Fashion designers usually work at work benches using pencils, paper and other sketching tools, and they may also be required to use computer software to design items of clothing. They may also work at cutting tables where they use scissors and other sewing tools to cut fabric. They are also required to be familiar with sewing machines in order to sew fabric and create mock-ups of their designs. Fashion designers also work with a wide range of different fabrics.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a fashion designer without any formal qualifications. However, you are more likely to improve your prospects in the industry if you have completed a formal qualification in design or a related area.

VET courses and university degrees in fashion and design are widely available from TAFE Colleges, registered training organisations and universities throughout Western Australia. 

​Contact the training providers you are interested in for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Fashion designer Video Fashion designer Occupation

Fashion designers are responsible for creating the designs for clothing and lifestyle accessories. They develop new styles and products and adapt existing fashions to suit new trends or different conditions.

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