Fashion designers help create the billions of clothing articles, shoes, and accessories purchased every year by consumers. Fashion designers working for apparel wholesalers or manufacturers create designs for the mass market. Fashion designers are the people who create the elegant, whimsical, fun, silly, and often expensive clothes we see parading down runways twice a year. Fashion designers design and create clothing and accessories for men, women and children. Some high-fashion designers are self-employed and design for individual clients. Other high-fashion designers cater to specialty stores or high-fashion department stores.
Fashion design is the applied art dedicated to the design of clothing and lifestyle accessories created within the cultural and social influences of a specific time. Fashion designers have brought about a storm in this glamour world with their commendably fabulous variety. Fashion industry has always welcomed new talent giving rise to the budding stars of tomorrow. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 could be considered as fashion design.
Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Throughout the early 20th century, practically all high fashion originated in Paris, and to a lesser extent London. At this time in fashion history the division between haute couture and ready-to-wear was not sharply defined.
Designers know they have this power, and will continue to use it to influence global fashions throughout the eras. These designers create original garments, as well as those that follow established fashion trends. Most fashion designers, however, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men’s, women’s, and children’s fashions for the mass market. Designer brands which have a ‘name’ as their brand such as Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren are likely to be designed by a team of individual designers under the direction of a designer director. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy.
Popular Western styles were adopted all over the world, and many designers from outside of the West had a profound impact on fashion. Currently, modern fashion has seen a reference to technology such as designers Hussein Chalayan and Miuccia Prada who have introduced industrial textiles and modern technology into their fall collections. Mass market designers generally adapt the trends set by the famous names in fashion. Increasingly, many modern high-end designers are now beginning to turn to mass market retailers to produce lower-priced merchandise, and to broaden their customer base. Perhaps most importantly, designers use their imaginations to come up with new ideas.
There are a number of well known fashion design schools worldwide. Most fashion design courses last for three years. As well as teaching students about the artistic and technical side of the subject, some courses include a year working in the fashion industry, to give students a taste of commercial fashion design. Others offer the chance to visit fashion houses abroad.