A technical fashion designer creates detailed patterns for production teams, minimizing waste and costs. To become one, complete a post-secondary training program, gain experience through internships, and develop advanced computer skills. A portfolio of patterns, production packages, and proposals is essential for securing a full-time position. Career advancement opportunities include senior designer, technical director, and production manager.
Someone interested in fashion might want to become a technical designer. The main responsibility of a technical fashion designer is to work on measurements, pattern development and fit issues. He takes the initial design and creates the detailed pattern used by the production team to create the item. The technical designer is responsible for minimizing waste and costs by arranging the pattern in the material as efficiently as possible.
The first step required to become a technical fashion designer is to complete a post-secondary training program in fashion, pattern making technology or technical design. These programs are only available through dedicated fashion schools. Competition for admissions is very intense, as there are a very limited number of places available each year.
Additional courses in sewing and clothing construction are very important for anyone who wants to become a technical designer. The skills developed here will improve communication with the designer and the ability to quickly assess issues with a pattern. Advanced computer skills with illustration and pattern making programs are essential because this work is now done on computers. The final file is delivered to the factory electronically, minimizing errors.
Gaining experience in the fashion industry can be challenging. The most effective way to do this is through an internship. These three to six month opportunities are typically arranged by the stylist school, based on relationships with local stylist businesses. Related experience may include working for a fabric supplier or clothing manufacturing company. Positions at these companies provide insight into how instructions should arrive from the technical designer and the challenges that can occur.
Securing a full-time position as a technical designer requires a combination of experience and an excellent portfolio. The portfolio is not a series of fashion designs, but samples of patterns, production packages and proposals. This is a position that requires a lot of accuracy and precision. Mistakes are very costly, and someone who can demonstrate proper attention to detail will be more likely to succeed.
Career advancement opportunities for someone who has become a technical designer include working as a senior designer, technical director or production manager. These positions offer excellent compensation packages, as well as the opportunity to work with people from all over the world. The vast majority of fashion is actually made in Asia, creating opportunities for travel.