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Career and Education Opportunities for Fashion Designers in Wilmington, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for fashion designers. The national trend for fashion designers sees this job pool growing by about 0.8% over the next eight years. In general, fashion designers design clothing and accessories.

The average wage in the general category of Art and Design jobs is $19 per hour or $39,463 per year in Delaware, and an average of $22 per hour or $46,166 per year nationwide. Fashion designers work in a variety of jobs, including: men's designer, furrier designer, and fashion director.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Wilmington where you can study to be a fashion designer, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Wilmington area. The most common level of education for fashion designers is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn to be 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 Wilmington 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.
  • 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

Moore College of Art and Design - Philadelphia, PA

Moore College of Art and Design, 20th and the Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1179. Moore College of Art and Design is a small college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 556 students and an admission rate of 59%. Moore College of Art and Design has a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design.

Harcum College - Bryn Mawr, PA

Harcum College, 750 Montgomery Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-3470. Harcum College is a small college located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 913 students and an admission rate of 29%. Harcum College has an associate's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated three students in 2008.

Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Drexel University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,754 students and an admission rate of 68%. Drexel University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated twenty-five and four students respectively in 2008.

Philadelphia University - Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia University, School House Lane and Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144-5497. Philadelphia University is a small university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,373 students and an admission rate of 70%. Philadelphia University has a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA

The Art Institute of Philadelphia, 1622 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5198. The Art Institute of Philadelphia is a small school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,545 students and an admission rate of 46%. The Art Institute of Philadelphia has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated forty-one and forty students respectively in 2008.

University of Delaware - Newark, DE

University of Delaware, , Newark, DE 19716. University of Delaware is a large university located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,500 students and an admission rate of 58%. University of Delaware has a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated twelve students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Wilmington, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Wilmington is located in New Castle County, Delaware. It has a population of over 72,592, which has shrunk by 0.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Wilmington, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Wilmington are valued at $58,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-eight new homes were built in Wilmington, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Wilmington are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is finance and insurance, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.4% of Wilmington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wilmington is 13.3%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%.

The percentage of Wilmington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Saint Andrews Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Beth Shalom Congregation are among the churches located in Wilmington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Wilmington is home to the Interchange 3 and the The Rocks as well as Rodney Square and Cool Spring Park. Visitors to Wilmington can choose from Howard Johnson Restaurants, Riverview Motel and Hotel Du Pont for temporary stays in the area.