Fashion design is an exciting, creative career that puts you in the forefront of what is new and in and enables you to work in a fast-moving, vibrant industry! If you are a creative and artistic individual who loves clothes and loves making people look and feel great, a career as a fashion designer in the state of Alaska may be a great option for you!
Alaska, being a state with a particularly cold climate, and long winters, means that designers have great opportunities to create fashions that are particularly needed in the special setting, although great fashion designs may gain traction throughout the lower 48 states, as well.
There are several colleges for fashion design, but in Alaska, fashion design needs to be studied online. Fashion design colleges typically offer one year, two year, and four year degrees which teach the elements of all aspects of the fashion industry. Examples of courses include life drawing, sewing, pattern design, and draping. Four year programs offer general education courses as well, such as basic communications, and mathematics. Business and marketing courses are also offered as part of the curriculum.
Fashion designers not only design clothing, but also accessories that are worth with clothing, such as jewelry, shoes and boots, and handbags, so the options within the fashion design field are almost limitless! Fashion designers aim to design clothing and accessories that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. They need to consider who is going to wear or use the item, and under what conditions. They have an almost endless choice of fabrics and materials, as well as colors, patterns and styles. Some clothing is made specifically for an individual. This is known as haute couture or bespoke tailoring. But most clothing designed today is for the ready-to-wear mass market, and emphasizes casual wear and items that can be worn to work. So most fashion designers in Alaska will be designing for the ready-to-wear market.
According to O*Net (2016) statistics, the median wage for fashion designers in Alaska is $64,030. While this is not the fastest growing industry in general, it may be growing in the state of Alaska, as people are demanding fashion-forward designs to keep them comfortable in the rugged Alaskan climate. Of course, your income will vary depending upon the specific type of job in the fashion industry you obtain after finishing your schooling. Fashion designers in Alaska work in a wide variety of venues: major retail stores, clothing wholesalers, and small boutiques. Some fashion designers go into business for themselves, helping individual clients style their wardrobes. The bigger cities in Alaska have the greatest selection of fashion-related jobs, but even smaller cities and towns feature boutique shops that may be able to utilize your services.
Working as a fashion designer means wearing many hats. You will need to be able to sketch designs, create patterns, and sew fashions, all while juggling appointments with clients, fittings, and tasks assigned you by your employer. Thus, you will need to be able to be very flexible, switching tasks easily and comfortably. You will most likely work long hours, including possibly weekend and evening hours, when clients are available to view your designs or come for fittings. In 2013, the Alaska Native Arts Foundation presented its first ever Alaska Native wearable art fashion show. The clothing presented in the show was all designed and created by Alaskan Native designers. The standard concept of Alaska Native fashion used to be mukluk and parkas and kuspuks which are very traditional, said Teeka Ballas, editor and publisher of Anchorages F Magazine. The newer designers are moving beyond the traditional concept with flair and originality, but referencing back to old traditions rather than rejecting them. A refreshing change of pace! (www.adn.com/print/article/20130406/contemporary-fashin-alaska-native-designer).
Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
333 Willoughby Avenue, 9th Floor
Juneau, AK 99801-1770
Phone Number: 907-465-2547
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The Alaska Division of Occupational Licensing can help you with additional questions about obtaining an Alaska cosmetology license.