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Fashion Design

Fashion icon Ralph Lauren once said “fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.”

That something else includes artistic ability, creativity and attention to detail – three important skills required to work in a career in fashion design. Fashion designers are responsible for creating original clothing, shoes and accessories. It is a fast-paced career that can be quite rewarding.

Many of the top fashion designers in the industry today – including Ralph Lauren himself – have had no formal training in fashion design. Some have used their creativity and work ethic to propel themselves forward in the industry, while others have used family wealth to get themselves started. Just because it’s possible to get noticed without a formal degree doesn’t mean it’s a good idea not to have one. Breaking into the business involves more than just knowing what looks good, and that is where a formal education in fashion design is beneficial.

Associate degree programs in fashion design – which take less than two years to complete – are available. It is more common, however, for those wishing to work in the industry to earn a bachelor’s degree in fashion design or fashion merchandising. These four-year undergraduate programs will expose students to knowledge about textiles and fabrics and how to use computer-aided design (CAD) technology to bring their creations to life. Bachelor degree programs in fashion design also will teach students management and marketing skills that will be vital to selling their ideas on the marketplace.

Bachelor degree programs also afford students the opportunity to build a professional portfolio, which can be an asset when applying for jobs in the industry. It is recommended that students select a fashion design program that has been accredited through a reputable accrediting agency. The National Association of School of Art and Design has accredited over 300 postsecondary schools with programs in art and design.

Demand for fashion designers is expected to remain mostly neutral until 2020, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Specialized design services, such as clothing lines that are affordable and made for everyday use, are expected to be in demand.

The average annual income for a fashion designer was $62,860 as of May 2012. Top wage earners in the business were making over $126,000 annually.

To find a program in fashion design, please use the unique search tool on www.collegefinder.us.com.

Articles & content by Shari Berg, Collegefinder.us.com.

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