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Green Fashion Designer
Project Name : Green Fashion Designer
Description : Describes the green fashion occupation, preparation for it, schooling, future need, and innovations in the industry.
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Green Fashion Designer
Nicole Scherzinger's Twitter feed dressEveryone has a dream. Some people want to be an actor or actress, a scientist, a firefighter, a doctor, or a famous singer (like me) who wants to marry Harry Styles, a singer from the boy band One Direction. Some people, however, want to be creative and different. They want to be fashion designers. Whether it's Vera Wang or Michael Kors, they both have something unique and special about them that they show in their designs. When you are a fashion designer, you bring your creations to life and bring something new to add to the "trend loop" that makes the consumer buy your product. That is what is happening in fashion right now with the advanced technology like the live twitter feed dress that Nicole Scherzinger just recently wore on the red carpet. But before beginning your quest toward becoming a fashion designer you must look into what happens on a daily basis, the necessary requirements to get this job, where to certify to become a fashion designer, the expected salary, the future career outlook, and some of the new innovations that are occurring in the field of design.

When one is a fashion designer, there are a plethora of things that one has to do. Most fashion designers work in offices or studios, work up to 10 hours a day, work at least 60 hours a week, and sometimes work on weekends. Two duties of a fashion designer are going to fashion shows around the world and looking over small companies that are making their clothing (Anonymous 2 2012 1,4). Most fashion designers work in large cities like Los Angeles and New York in companies, retailers, manufacturing establishments, and theater or dance companies.
Fashion designers do a myriad of things like sketch ideas, create clothing, footwear,accessories,select fabrics and patterns, and make instructions on how to make their product. They also use computer-aided design programs(CAD) to make designs, look over their final product, decide on their theme for the collection, study the latest trends to make their collection a hit, and work with other designers to create a prototype of what they want their design to look like. When individuals are beginners at this job, they start off in entry level positions like being a pattern maker or a sketching assistant before they move on to the higher level of a fashion designer. If they are more experienced in fashion design, they can start their own company or even sell their product in stores (Anonymous 1 2012 1,2,8).
In order to become a fashion designer, some companies or businesses require one to have certain requirements and education to enter this field. Some companies want one to be able to use CAD and have some sort of design skills while others do not. Even though there is no required education for some fashion companies,most people attend a 2-4 year college to get a degree in fashion design so they will have some sort of background information about being a fashion designer. When one is trying to obtain a job, if one has more experience than another, that person will get first priority for that job, rather than some inexperienced person (Anonymous 1 2012 1,7,8,13). Design firms are looking for people that are unique and different, so most companies require one to be imaginative, creative, and have an eye for color and design. It is a plus to be technologically savvy and be aware of all the hot trends out there (Anonymous 2 2012 2,3).
There are numerous schools that offer a college degree in fashion design. Five of the top ten schools that offer a degree are California College of the Arts, Cleveland Institute of Art, Massachusetts College of Art and Design,
Parson's The New School for Design, and Pratt Institute. The other five are Rhode Island School of Design, University of Cincinnati, University of California Los Angeles, The Fashion Institute of  Design and Merchandising, and Woodbury University (Anonymous 3 2010 1). The cost for the top college, California College Of the Arts is $18,480 per term (Norrena 2011 1). When one is in the field of fashion design, there are a multitude of jobs that one could have which would earn different salaries. One could be a junior assistant, a pattern maker, a production manager, a designer, or a head designer. When one is a junior assistant, the average wage is $20,000 a year. When one is a pattern maker, they make up to $50,000 a year and if one is a production manager, they can make up to $60,000 a year. If one is a designer, they can make up to $70,000 a year and if one is a head designer, they make up to $100,000 a year (Anonymous 2 2012 6). In May 2010, $64,530 was the average yearly salary for a fashion designer (Anonymous 1 2012 1).
Looking ahead in fashion, there are a multitude of things to foresee about the future. If one wants to become a fashion designer between 2010 and 2020, there will be little change in employment. Some growth will be in designing affordable, mass market clothing utilizing new technology. But on the other hand, there will be a decrease in the manufacturing industry, thus, the job growth is nonexistent. And because the field is so competitive, those with experience will have the best chance of getting jobs (Anonymous 1 2012 1,13).

The innovations in fashion can be seen in three major areas: sustainable and organic fabrics, electronics embedded into clothing, and co-design communities. In organic clothing, many fashion designers are "going green." When fashion designers "go green," they benefit from using organic materials like bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, and nettle. Some of the stores that are using organic materials are Target, Eco Mall, Soul-Flower, and H&M. These stores are getting more popular because oft heir use of organic materials. The clothing that is made out of organic material is not only fashionable, but it is also sturdier than other clothing made from non-organic fabric. One of the fashion designers who is "going green" is Rebecca Mink,  who refuses to use animal skin in the production of her shoes. She uses fabrics that are either recycled or organic and for the soles of her shoes she uses corn plastics. Furthermore, she even uses recycled boxes that have handles so her customers do not use plastic bags. Talk about saving the planet! If all fashion designers used eco-friendly materials, it would lessen the use of toxins and will minimize global warming (Udovich 2012 1,2,3,7,9).

Another company that uses eco-friendly fabrics is a Danish company called Noir. This company was launched in 2005 to create cutting-edge women's fashion and showcase sustainability. Designer Peter Ingwersen found it hard to find organic material to use in his clothing and for the first two seasons, he bought organic cotton from the world market and didn't know if it was certified or not. Unhappy with that, Ingwersen partnered up with a Dutch organization called Bo Weevil who had 16,000 employers who were working in cotton fields in Uganda. All of that farming paid off and in Spring 2009, they introduced organic cotton to Noir and Black Noir's collections for Fall/Winter 2009. Ingweresen is still working on sustainability and is trying to remain a savvy businessman who has an eye  on the environment (Black and Anderson 2010 1,2,3,4).

A second innovation, electronics embedded into clothing, also known as smart clothing, has a plethora of benefits. Electronic clothing can be customized for each customer's needs and it can also monitor individuals' health with personal devices which can understand activities and context. One of the advancements that has been made is called pervasive bio-monitoring, which is used when a patient is sick and is not in the hospital, so they use an electronic embedded into clothing to monitor the body. This can help with chronic conditions that do not require hospitalization.There is also therapeutic clothing that monitors a patient's activity level and records exact moves. In sports and gaming, clothing can be used to measure how the body moves like if one were working out, one would wear clothing with a body sensor to track how many calories one burned or how many miles one has walked or ran. With smart clothing, the most important component is balance: it is very important that the electronic clothing is functional because there can be great technology which is unable to be  successfully integrated into the garment, or the technology will work in the garment, but it is expensive. Also in wearable technology, comfort is essential (Dunne 2010 2,5,19,20).

Two designers, Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz, creators of a line called Cute Circuit, have designed fun and new ways to incorporate technology into clothing.Francesca Rosella describes the three main principals of interaction design: feasibility, sustainability, and desirability. Some of the technology that is in the Cute Circuit line is electronics, smart fabrics, and sensors. Two examples of this are the kinetic dress, which uses electroluminescent threads to respond to human movement, and the Hug Shirt, a shirt which uses communication networks to send a sensation over ones body that makes one feel like one is being hugged by their loved one. Rosella explains,
"we are convinced the Hug Shirt will be the next iPod!" In the process of making the Hug Shirt, they were afraid that people wouldn't want to buy their product and that they were polluting the environment with unsustainable hug shirts, so they used eco-friendly material and recyclable electronics (Black 1 2010 1,2,3,6,13,17).  Unfortunately, all this wearable technology is slowly being adopted because it is so complex to manufacture due to the variety of fabric, style, sizes, and colors (Black 2 2010 5). One can only hope that new procedures are designed so that "smart clothing" can become widespread in fashion.

The last innovation in fashion is the co-design community. That is when consumers can actually have some input and creative control into what they are buying. A consumer would sit face to face with a sales associate and design what they will purchase.The sales associate helps pick out the size, fabric, and the color, and then the design is created especially for them. Some companies using this method are Second Skin Swimwear and Brooks Brothers. Second Skin Swimwear uses a very unique way of making the clothing by letting the consumer try on the basic garment and when they find the right fit they take a picture with a camera and then the consumer can add on anything they want as far as features. Brooks Brothers customers can create up to 25 different suit styles with 500 different fabric choices.This type of designing has recently expanded to a myriad of companies that co-design online like MyTailor, Zazzle, and Threadless (Wu 2010 5,6,7,8).

All in all, there is an abundance of hard work that goes into being a fashion designer. When you are trying to become a fashion designer, you have to focus on what requirements you need and what you are getting yourself into. You have to look into what your salary is going to be, what you will do on a daily basis, what being a fashion designer has in store for you for the future, and what some of the new innovations are. Fashion designers create the future of fashion, so they have to be able to deliver the cutting-edge creativeness that the future needs.

In my life I love fashion and I have about 100 pieces of clothing in my closet, so you can tell that I love clothes. I think that if my dream wasn't to be a famous singer, I would love to have this job. I want to be able to make cute clothes for girls who are bigger than a size 5 and I want to bring something new and creative to the fashion world. This job involves much travel and since I have only been out of state once and I have never been on a plane, I think that would be fun. Most of the big fashion companies are in Europe and I want to go there some day, so this would be a good job for me. One thing that is negative about this job is that designers have to do a plethora of presentations in front of many people and I have a fear of public speaking, but some day I will overcome that. This job requires hard work and determination and I am willing to work as hard as I can to do my best, whether I choose fashion design or something else.

1. Anonymous 1 2012. “U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fashion Designer.” Web. <>.

2. Anonymous 2 2012. “Career Cruising. Fashion Designer.” Web. <>.

3. Anonymous 3 2010. "Top 10 Fashion Design College Programs Ranked." College Crunch. Web. <>.

4. Black and Anderson 2010. Black, Sandy, and Stacy Anderson. "Making Sustainability Fashionable: Profile of the Danish Fashion Company Noir." Fashion Practice 2.1 (2010): 121-28. Berg Publishers. Web. <>.

5. Black 1 2010. Black, Sandy. "Reconciling Electronics and Fashion: Cute Circuit's Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz in Conversation with Sandy Black." Fashion Practice 2.1 (2010): 105-20. Berg Publishers. Web. <>.

6. Black 2 2010. Black, Sandy. "Editorial." Fashion Practice 2.1 (2010): 5-12. Berg Publishers. Web. <>.

7. Dunne 2010. Dunne, Lucy. "Smart Clothing in Practice: Key Design Barriers to Commercialization." Fashion Practice 2.1 (2010): 41-66. Berg Publishers. Web. <>.

8. Norrena 2011. Norrena, Jim. "California College of the Arts." Tuition & Fees Schedule: 2011-12 Academic Year. Web. <>.

9. Udovich 2012. Udovich, Sarah. "How Do Fashion Designers Benefit from Going Green?" DivineCaroline. Web. <>.

10. Wu 2010. Wu, Juanjuan. "Co-design Communities Online: Turning Public Creativity into Wearable and Sellable Fashions." Fashion Practice 2.1 (2010): 85-144. Berg Publishers. Web. <>.