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Fashion designers must meet the demands of a fashion brief, which provides them with information on the product design they are responsible for. This will include a brand or company’s style, values, and budget.
Whether it is a memory, a mood, an object, or a concept, fashion designers must identify the source of their inspiration and transform that idea into a design. Like Adam Kimmel, men’s fashion designer, most fashion designers often compile findings into a mood board representing the collection’s aesthetic.
While there are endless sources of inspiration for clothing, many designers tend to draw from recurring themes. They may use a specific fabric or stitch technique to create a piece of clothing or incorporate a particular type of silhouette or shape. For example, knitwear designers draw inspiration from their favorite garments and classics, such as herringbone tweed coats and denim jeans, but rework them into their voluminous style.
Fashion designers must be familiar with the latest trends to create well-fitted, contemporary clothing. They often use fashion trade reports to gain insight into popular fabrics, styles, and colors.
They also use predictive analytics to validate their intuition and improve the efficiency of their collection planning and demand assortment. For example, they can predict the rise and fall of specific trends to better anticipate and prepare for their impact on consumers’ purchasing behavior.
This helps designers avoid overstocking or understocking, and it reduces costs. It can also allow designers to experiment with new ideas without taking a financial risk. By leveraging data analytics, creatives can make more rational decisions that balance creativity with commercial needs. The result is a more efficient fashion business model that can adapt to fast-changing consumer demands.
A sketch is a rough drawing of an idea, design, or plan. It allows an artist to note down and develop ideas quickly.
Many fashion designers start their designs with a quick hand sketch. This allows them to test proportions, balance, seaming, and details like zippers and zipped pockets on a model.
Alternatively, fashion designers can use Adobe Illustrator to draft their designs. This is a much quicker and more efficient way to sketch a garment, but it requires a lot of practice to master.
Whether using hand sketches or Adobe Illustrator, a men’s fashion designer must be able to draw. They must accurately represent their garment’s silhouette, design, and construction.
Once the design is finalized, designers select fabrics that align with the desired aesthetic and functional attributes. Different fabrics have unique characteristics that influence how a garment drapes, stretches and feels on the skin.
Fashion designers must be able to identify and assess fabric options that fit the brief they receive from clients and managers. This is when it is important to access the latest and most innovative digital technologies that allow true-to-life garment visualization.
Once a design is approved, the Technical Designer (or you if you’re DIY’ing) will create a CAD (also known as a flat sketch or a tech flat). This will be used to make your pattern and will be sent to your factory for production.
Once the designer has an initial design concept, they’ll start to sketch their ideas. Many designers do this by hand, but they may also use a computer program to help them visualize their designs on virtual models.
Next, the designer will produce a prototype. They’ll typically use less expensive fabric than the fabric used in production, so they can test different color and design combinations before investing in a large amount of material.
Fashion design is a fast-paced industry, and the process can take months before a final product is ready for manufacturing. It takes a lot of research, pattern-making, and sewing skills to bring a fashion design to life. Then, it’s time to showcase the collection. This may include fashion shows, presentations, or lookbooks.