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Career and Education Opportunities for Fashion Designers in Los Angeles, California

Fashion designer career and educational opportunities abound in Los Angeles, California. Currently, 4,600 people work as fashion designers in California. This is expected to grow 15% to about 5,300 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for fashion designers are expected to grow by about 0.8%. In general, fashion designers design clothing and accessories.

Fashion designers earn about $31 hourly or $64,690 annually on average in California and about $29 per hour or $61,160 per year on average nationally. Fashion designers earn more than people working in the category of Art and Design generally in California and more than people in the Art and Design category nationally. People working as fashion designers can fill a number of jobs, such as: merchandising director, costume designer, and product developer.

There are sixteen schools within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can study to be a fashion designer, among 274 schools of higher education total in the Los Angeles area. Fashion designers usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years training to become a fashion designer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fashion Designer

Fashion Designer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, fashion designers design clothing and accessories. They also create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends.

Fashion designers examine sample garments on and off models; then modify designs to produce desired effects. They also furnish sample garments to agents and sales representatives, and manage showings of sample garments at sales meetings or fashion shows. Equally important, fashion designers have to sketch rough and detailed drawings of apparel or accessories, and write specifications such as color schemes and accessory requirements. They are often called upon to visit textile showrooms to keep up-to-date on the latest fabrics. They are expected to attend fashion shows and review garment magazines and manuals so as to gather data related to fashion trends and consumer preferences. Finally, fashion designers direct and schedule staff involved in drawing and cutting patterns and constructing samples or finished garments.

Every day, fashion designers are expected to be able to be creative and generate new ideas. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for fashion designers to collaborate with other designers to direct special products and designs. They are often called upon to decide on materials and production techniques to be used for products. They also adapt other designers' concepts for the mass market. They are sometimes expected to purchase new or used clothing and accessory items as needed to finish designs. Somewhat less frequently, fashion designers are also expected to test fabrics or oversee testing so that garment care labels can be created.

Fashion designers sometimes are asked to draw patterns for articles designed; then cut patterns, and cut material in line with patterns, using measuring instruments and scissors. They also have to be able to sew together sections of material to fashion mockups or samples of garments or articles, using sewing equipment And finally, they sometimes have to visit textile showrooms to keep up-to-date on the latest fabrics.

Like many other jobs, fashion designers must be thorough and dependable and believe in innovation and creative thought.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Florist. Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Interior Designer. Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fashion Designer Training

Brooks College - Long Beach, CA

Brooks College, 4825 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90804. Brooks College is a small college located in Long Beach, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 32 students. Brooks College has an associate's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

Santa Monica College - Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405-1628. Santa Monica College is a large college located in Santa Monica, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 29,827 students. Santa Monica College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of California-Hollywood - Los Angeles, CA

The Art Institute of California-Hollywood, 3440 Wilshire Blvd 10th Fl, Los Angeles, CA 90010-2112. The Art Institute of California-Hollywood is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,015 students and an admission rate of 90%. The Art Institute of California-Hollywood has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated thirteen and thirty-six students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Trade Technical College - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Trade Technical College, 400 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015-4181. Los Angeles Trade Technical College is a large college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,565 students. Los Angeles Trade Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Fashion Designer. They are:

  • Apparel and Textile Manufacture, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Fashion/Apparel Design, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated forty-three and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Fullerton College - Fullerton, CA

Fullerton College, 321 E Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832-2095. Fullerton College is a large college located in Fullerton, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,500 students. Fullerton College has 2 areas of study related to Fashion Designer. They are:

  • Apparel and Textile Manufacture, two to four year.
  • Fashion/Apparel Design, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated one, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Long Beach City College - Long Beach, CA

Long Beach City College, 4901 E. Carson St., Long Beach, CA 90808-1706. Long Beach City College is a large college located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,097 students. Long Beach City College has 2 areas of study related to Fashion Designer. They are:

  • Apparel and Textile Manufacture, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated one, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Fashion/Apparel Design, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated two, seven, and zero students respectively in 2008.

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles, 919 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90015-1421. The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,800 students and an admission rate of 70%. The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles has an associate's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated 408 students in 2008.

Otis College of Art and Design - Los Angeles, CA

Otis College of Art and Design, 9045 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045-3505. Otis College of Art and Design is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,206 students and an admission rate of 53%. Otis College of Art and Design has a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

Virginia Sewing Machines and School Center - Los Angeles, CA

Virginia Sewing Machines and School Center, 1033 S Broadway St, Los Angeles, CA 90015-4001. Virginia Sewing Machines and School Center is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 68 students. Virginia Sewing Machines and School Center has 2 areas of study related to Fashion Designer. They are:

  • Apparel and Textile Manufacture, one to two year which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Fashion/Apparel Design, one to two year which graduated 21 students in 2008.

American Intercontinental University - Los Angeles, CA

American Intercontinental University, 12655 West Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066. American Intercontinental University is a small university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 377 students. American Intercontinental University has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated two and fifty-seven students respectively in 2008.

Orange Coast College - Costa Mesa, CA

Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92628-5005. Orange Coast College is a large college located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,700 students. Orange Coast College has 2 areas of study related to Fashion Designer. They are:

  • Apparel and Textile Manufacture, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated two, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Fashion/Apparel Design, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated nine, eight, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Woodbury University - Burbank, CA

Woodbury University, 7500 Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank, CA 91510-7846. Woodbury University is a small university located in Burbank, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,541 students and an admission rate of 39%. Woodbury University has a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated ten students in 2008.

Santa Ana College - Santa Ana, CA

Santa Ana College, 1530 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398. Santa Ana College is a large college located in Santa Ana, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,464 students. Santa Ana College has 2 areas of study related to Fashion Designer. They are:

  • Apparel and Textile Manufacture, associate's degree and two to four year.
  • Fashion/Apparel Design, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year which graduated two, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Glendale Community College - Glendale, CA

Glendale Community College, 1500 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208-2894. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,993 students. Glendale Community College has an associate's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated one student in 2008.

El Camino Community College District - Torrance, CA

El Camino Community College District, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90506. El Camino Community College District is a large college located in Torrance, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,825 students. El Camino Community College District has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Mt San Antonio College - Walnut, CA

Mt San Antonio College, 1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, CA 91789-1399. Mt San Antonio College is a large college located in Walnut, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,439 students. Mt San Antonio College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated three, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.