How can I further my career as an assistant designer?
As an assistant designer, career development will depend on your specialism, experience and reputation. The type of company you work for will influence the opportunities for career development from the role of assistant designer through to designer. Progression can be slow, particularly at the start of your career. Being proactive and making contacts in the industry is essential in a sector where people frequently move jobs in order to progress their career and there is a lot of pressure to produce new ideas which are commercially viable.
Design room assistant is the most junior level role in the design room. Typical responsibilities include making up sample cards, chasing fabric samples and pattern cutting, but also be prepared to answer the telephone and make the coffee!
Assistant designer is a step up. In this role, there is the opportunity to have a creative input through proposing ideas for shapes, colours, moods and techniques, although you are unlikely to have much influence in major decisions. Other roles for an assistant designer include making up mood and trend boards, drawing up technical specifications for manufacturers and some responsibilities for a small area of a range.
Designers make the decisions on colour and mood for the season and design the more important elements of the range. It could take up to five years' related experience to move from an assistant designer role to secure such a position. With several years' design experience, progression is available through senior designer roles to the position of head designer. At this level, you will have considerable responsibility regarding overall design decisions and influences for the range, but designers and assistant designers will do the actual design work.
Design and technical director positions represent further progression. Alternatively, designers may consider becoming self-employed or moving into related occupations, such as retail buying, photography, fashion styling or journalism.
If you would like to speak to someone about applying for an assistant designer job or for a complete list of our nationwide assistant designer jobs, please get in contact!
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