Fashion design involves a whole myriad of elements – clothing, accessories, footwear, and more. When entering the fashion industry, one does not have to specialize solely in one area and can work in all fields, or one can specialize in a specific type of fashion and create a name for them in a niche market.
The most popular field is in clothing. Clothing designers produce men’s, women’s and children’s apparel. These designs include formal and casual, as well as sportswear, maternity and intimate apparel. Clothing designers pick the patterns, fabrics, and form of the clothing. The area is versatile in that many designers will span women’s, men’s, and others, while some designers will focus solely on a niche.
For those in love with the shoe, footwear design is the perfect option. Footwear designers create and produce different styles of shoes and boots. They look at shoes in both form and function. Designers view different types of materials available to change the feel, form and function of the shoe, as well as design to make the item stand out.
Accessory designers are the ones who look to complete the look. They design and produce items that go along with the outfit, such as handbags, suitcases, hats, eyewear, hosiery, and more. Many designers focus solely on accessories alone, while the larger design companies have their hands in all aspects, including accessory design. The difference between this area of design and footwear or clothing is accessories are not necessarily required in order to be clothed on a minimal basis. Adding a handbag, necklace or hat to an outfit is an extra addition to the outfit, not something of necessity. However, for many their passion lies in making outfits pop with these additional items.
Lastly, costume design exists for those designers who want to create costumes for film, the performing arts, television and motion pictures. Costumes are not merely restricted to the trends of the day. Costume designers base their designs on the period in which the performance takes place and theme for the production. A whole other level of creativity goes into costume design, and this area of design encompasses all three: clothing, footwear and accessories, so long as they fit within the story of the production.
One size does not fit all when it comes to design, and the creative outlets are infinite. Explore one or explore them all and see which one or ones drive you.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/fashion-designers.htm