Miami is at the heart of fashion in all things under the sun... literally. The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Swim Week in Miami reveals the latest swimwear collections, and other clothing that beats the heat in South Florida.
Meanwhile, the annual Miami International Fashion Week in March is the largest international and Hispanic fashion event in the U.S. The show displays efforts of student and emerging designers, as well as designs from Spain, Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, India, Italy, Canada, Malaysia, Pakistan, and many other countries.
Beginning a career in fashion design in Miami puts you in the heart of the business.
Career in Fashion Design
Fashion designers combine a knowledge of materials and styles with an artistic sensibility to design clothing and accessories. In fact, fashion designers are the designers most people think of when they hear the words "fashion industry."
The main responsibility of lead fashion designers is creative; they work up designs for individual pieces or entire lines of clothing, footwear, and accessories. This typically involves several generations of sketches or computer-aided drafts; consideration of color, texture, material, and shape when worn; and supervision of final patterning and construction.
Some lead designers aim to set trends (and, with skill and luck, they often do); others do their best to follow and capitalize on trends that are already established, or simply design very beautiful, comfortable, and/or useful garments. Their markets vary from department stores to boutiques, and specialty retailers to individuals willing to pay large amounts of money for custom-designed originals.
While many fashion designers are self-employed or head their own labels, many others work for apparel manufacturers, designing fashions to be sold to the discriminating few through high-end catalogs or to the millions who shop at discount super-centers.
Salary & Outlook
Fashion design is a difficult field to break into, and the outlook over the next decade projects very little growth, though no decline. Many talented people are attracted to the field; success requires tenacity and a true love of fashion. Those with formal education, especially bachelor's degrees, are more likely to find steady employment.
In Miami, the average annual salary for fashion designers is $55,000, and the top 10% make around $80,000.
Fashion Schools in Miami
Most fashion designers hold an associate or bachelor's degree in fashion design. Courses in fashion design programs include computer-aided design, basic art, sketching, marketing and merchadising. Skills in cutting and sewing are important for the new fashion designer to learn so they can understand how differnt fabric hangs and works together.
A strong sense of the aesthetic is of course necessary to pursue a career in fashion design. This includes an eye for color and detail, a sense of balance and proportion, and an understanding of beauty.
Schools in Miami that offer fashion design degrees include:
- Miami International University of Art & Design
This Art Institutes schools offers associate and bachelor degrees in fashion design, as well as programs in fashion merchandising
- American Intercontintental University - South Florida
AIU's South Florida campus offers bachelor of fine arts degrees in fashion marketing and design.
- Academy of Art University
AAU Online offers associate, bachelor and master's degrees in fashion -- all online.
See the full listing of schools offering fashion design degrees.