Footwear DesignerJob Description:
Footwear designers create new designs and sample patterns for footwear.Job Category:
What you will do:
You could work in:
- high-end fashion (known as ‘haute couture’)
- designer ready-to-wear
- high street fashion
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- creating ‘one off’ designs (haute couture)
- basing your designs on a theme for the coming season (ready-to-wear, high street)
- using computer aided design (CAD) software, graphics packages and traditional hand-drawing techniques to create your designs
- researching design ideas
- following a brief
- adapting existing designs
- working closely with the design team
- producing samples before agreeing the final design
- sending technical instructions to the manufacturers to produce the final product
- drawing skills and the ability to use computer design software
design skills and knowledge
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
- the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be flexible and open to change (adaptable)
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- thinking and reasoning skills
- accuracy and attention to detail
- the ability to visualise designs & creativity
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
To become a footwear designer, you don’t necessarily need specific qualifications, but you should focus on developing skills and knowledge in design, art, and related subjects. Here are some general steps to pursue a career as a footwear designer:
- Art and Design: While not mandatory, GCSEs or equivalent qualifications in art and design-related subjects can be advantageous. These subjects can help you develop your artistic and creative skills, which are crucial for footwear design.
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You could do a degree or postgraduate qualification in footwear design, or a fashion design qualification that includes footwear.
You should look for courses that teach both the design and technical skills needed by the industry.
The British Fashion Council is a good place to start looking for courses.
You could get into this job through a fashion and textiles product technologist higher apprenticeship.
This typically takes 22 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.
You could start as a design assistant in a studio and learn on the job. With further training, you could begin to produce your own designs.
It’s very important to put together a portfolio of work that you can take to interviews. This should include designs, technical drawings and mood boards to show your creative talents.
Working Hours and Environment:
You’ll often work long hours and at weekends in order to meet deadlines – like at the launch of a new collection.
You may travel for research, like visiting art galleries, trade shows or to places or countries linked to a theme.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience within a company, you could progress to senior designer, design director or head of department.
You could also become a freelance designer, employed by companies to work on specific projects, or become self-employed and launch your own collection.