The world of fashion never sleeps. While other industries may change standards, expectations, and techniques every few years or even more sporadically, the rules of fashion seem to change on a monthly basis. What people wore a year ago may not be what you see on the shelves anymore. What does this mean for you, as someone who is passionate about clothing, design, and fashion? It means that this field is always changing and developing, and it needs fresh input from new fashion professionals to evolve.
If you have ever thought about the possibility of a career in fashion, this may be the time to learn more about your educational options and get started. The growing fashion community of Colorado is home to a variety of schools with respected fashion design programs.
There is a significant amount of work that goes into the creation of any garment, and as a fashion designer, you have to be comfortable with every single step of the process. You may get started in the industry with a two-year Associate's degree program, but undergraduate Bachelor's degree programs often provide experience in a greater variety of specialties, techniques, and work settings.
By looking at the curriculum of a fashion program, you can see how diverse and multifaceted this field is.
The courses listed here are often included in Colorado fashion programs:
- Industry Sewing
- Applied Draping Techniques
- Fashion Sketching for Design
- Business of Fashion
- Computer Aided Fashion Design
- Creative Design Applications
- Pattern Drafting Color and Design
- Theory Collection Development
Practical work experience is valuable in any industry, but it is particularly crucial in fashion design. You may wish to select a school with connections to local designers and companies, since an internship can help you build in-demand skills and prepare for future employment opportunities. The amount of money you spend on your education depends on whether you attend a public or private college, as well as your residency status. Regardless, don't be afraid to use financial aid programs to minimize your expenses. The CFDA Scholarship Program awards scholarships of $5000 to $10,000 each.
After finishing your education, there are several employment opportunities you may wish to consider as a fashion professional. You may work for a wholesaler, retailer, or boutique. Entry-level jobs may involve creating designs quickly and for a variety of demographic groups to meet market needs. As you move up in your career, you may have more say over the projects you take on. If you become a freelancer, you may create pieces of clothing for individual clients, do spec work for clothing companies, and market yourself as a brand. The fashion industry of Colorado has seen steady growth in recent years, leading to an expected 19% boost in fashion designer jobs through the year 2022 (O*Net, 2016). The average salary for a Colorado fashion designer is $53,400 per year (O*Net, 2016). The hours you spend networking and attending fashion events can pay off for years to come. Become active in a local group like Fashion Denver and participate in events like Colorado Fashion Week to propel your career forward.
No one knows what the future of fashion is. That's the exciting part of working as a fashion designeryou play a part in creating the future of fashion. Getting established in this field now gives you a front row seat to upcoming trends, styles, and market needs.
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