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Clothing Designer
Clothing designers apply their knowledge of style, line, colour, proportion and fabrics to the task of designing clothing. The industry covers a broad spectrum of work and a designer may slot in at various levels of creativity.

Clothing design is a very competitive field and only a few designers become trend-setting fashion leaders. Factories manufacturing garments for the mass market employ most of the clothing designers.

Clothing designers create clothes that can be produced within a certain price range and in keeping with current styles and trends. They get ideas for styles by scanning trade publications, visiting stores and travelling and observing lifestyles. They develop and record their ideas by making sketches, draping dummies and making patterns.

They select colours, fabric and trimmings for their designs and then prepare samples or model garments, which are checked carefully for appearance, fit and quality of work. If accepted, the samples are included in their lines and presented to sales personnel or private clients.

Fashion styling falls into this field and entails the selection and adaptation of high-fashion garments for lower-budget production for the mass market. A designer may also specialize in certain types of clothing, such as footwear, hats, or sportswear.

Satisfying Aspects
- challenging work
- variety of work
- being able to express yourself creatively through your work
- seeing people wearing your designs
- keeping up with and influencing styles and fashions

Demanding aspects
- working to meet deadlines
- having to redo a design to meet cost limitations or to satisfy the wishes of others
- having to continuously compete

A clothing designer should:
- have creativity, imagination and an interest in fashion;
- have a good sense of colour, line and proportion;
- have an eye for detail;
- have drawing ability;
- be able to solve problems;
- be able to work independently;
- have self-discipline;
- be able to meet deadlines;
- have business sense and sales ability (freelance work or own business).

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma    requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Visual Arts, Economics, Consumer Studies

Diploma The three-year National Diploma: N.Dip: Fashion Design or Clothing Production is offered by NMMU, WSU, CPUT, CUT, TUT, UJ, DUT, VUT, and Maluti, Northlink, Port Elizabeth and Flavius Mareka FET Colleges. DUT and TUT also offer a BTech in Fashion and Textile Design.

Private Colleges The following private colleges offer courses in Clothing or Fashion Design: Cape Town College of Fashion, ICESA, City Varsity, Intec and Lindiwe Kuzwayo Academy of Fashion Design. Linea Academy also offers training in Fashion Design and is currently following a validation path towards a BA degree in Fashion Design through Nottingham Trent University in the UK.

- established couturiers, as fashion designer, pattern designer or fashion stylist
- magazines, as a fashion illustrator
- clothing manufacturers
- textile companies
- performing arts councils
- self-employment, as a freelance fashion designer or own couturier business

Textile Federation
P O Box 53
Bruma, 2026
40 Seventh Avenue
Edenvale, 1609
Tel: (011) 454-2342 Fax: (011) 454-2342