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Career and Education Opportunities for Fashion Designers in Cleveland, Ohio

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for fashion designers in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Currently, 110 people work as fashion designers in Ohio. This is expected to grow by 18% to 130 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for fashion designers, which sees this job pool growing by about 0.8% over the next eight years. Fashion designers generally design clothing and accessories.

The income of a fashion designer is about $23 per hour or $49,500 yearly on average in Ohio. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 per hour or $61,160 per year on average. Fashion designers earn more than people working in the category of Art and Design generally in Ohio and more than people in the Art and Design category nationally. People working as fashion designers can fill a number of jobs, such as: fashion illustrator, athletic shoe designer, and fashion supervisor.

The Cleveland area is home to 103 schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Cleveland where you can get a degree as a fashion designer. The most common level of education for fashion designers is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years training to become a fashion designer if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Cleveland 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.


Virginia Marti College of Art and Design - Lakewood, OH

Virginia Marti College of Art and Design, 11724 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107. Virginia Marti College of Art and Design is a small college located in Lakewood, Ohio. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 274 students and an admission rate of 83%. Virginia Marti College of Art and Design has an associate's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Ursuline College - Pepper Pike, OH

Ursuline College, 2550 Lander Rd, Pepper Pike, OH 44124. Ursuline College is a small college located in Pepper Pike, Ohio. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,430 students and an admission rate of 43%. Ursuline College has a bachelor's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated four and zero students respectively in 2008.

Kent State University Kent Campus - Kent, OH

Kent State University Kent Campus, , Kent, OH 44242-0001. Kent State University Kent Campus is a large university located in Kent, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,944 students and an admission rate of 80%. Kent State University Kent Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Fashion/Apparel Design which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.


Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio photo by FlickreviewR

Cleveland is situated in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. It has a population of over 433,748, which has shrunk by 9.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cleveland, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cleveland are valued at $94,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred nine new homes were built in Cleveland, down from one hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cleveland are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 11.4% of Cleveland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cleveland is 10.5%, which is greater than Ohio's average of 10.0%.

The percentage of Cleveland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Abyssinia Baptist Church and Highland Christian Church are among the churches located in Cleveland. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Cleveland is home to the Mastick Woods Golf Course and the Dock Number 32 as well as Shaker Square Historic District and Newton Avenue Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Shaker-Moreland Shopping Center, Shaker Square Shopping Center and Clark West 30th Shopping Center. Visitors to Cleveland can choose from Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Gateway, Airport Sheraton and Extended Stayamerica for temporary stays in the area.