Fashion Design Freelance

When I first got into fashion, I thought the only worth wild job was designing for a couture label.  I was young and wasn't aware that there's levels to this ish.  After going to school and working for a license manufacturing company, I became more knowledgeable of possible opportunities.

There are a number of job types in the field of fashion ranging from creative, to business, to law to media and press.  The possibilities are kind of endless.  Beyond that, you have the choice to work for yourself.  Yup, you can be a fashion freelancer.

If you knew that, kudos to you!  And if you didn't, well, you're welcome.

When I got into the industry, I didn't know freelancing was an option.  I didn't even know it existed until my college friend put me up on game.

She approached me with the idea of being a freelancer when her work load was getting too full and I was strapped for cash.  We partnered with one of her clients that was starting a clothing line and I picked up another one of her clients who was fleshing out a concept.  Both gigs were very different from each other but I learned a lot about myself during both of them.  That's for another day and another post.


So, what is fashion freelance, you ask?

S freelancer is a self employed person who works with clients to make their visions come to life.  Whats expected of a freelancer differs with each design category but in fashion you'll primarily work with start up clothing brands or innovative creatives who use clothing in their concept.  You can even swing a job with a well established company and work into their projects for a temporary time.

How do you become a fashion freelancer?

Decide you want to do it and do it.  If you have the time and the drive to be a fashion freelancer, go for it.  To start out, you'll at least need basic knowledge of construction and fabrications and what services you want to offer as a freelancer.  Then you put yourself out there and search for your first clients.

How much can you make as a fashion freelancer?

The amount of money you make as a freelancer is solely up to you.  You have the choice to charge an hourly rate or set a fixed price for each service you chose to offer.  You set your own hours and book as many projects as you want to.  No matter what you chose to do, just make sure that you're getting paid as much as you think your time is worth.  It makes it harder to stick with a job if you feel you're underpaid but you'll have no one else to blame but yourself.  That's a post for another time too.

What can I do as a fashion freelancer?

Like I mentioned earlier, there's so many different types of jobs available in the industry and a good number of them can trickle down to the self employed fashion freelancer level.  Here are just a few gigs you can get as a freelancer:

1. Fashion Designer

As a designer, one of your responsibilities is to come up with concept designs for your client.  Your concepts will either be inspired by material collected and provided by your client or you will also be hired to do some research and trending.  Either way, you are required to listen to and work with your client to design for their target customer.

2. Fashion Illustrator

A fashion illustrator artistically captures a ready made design or an idea.  Not necessarily to be used as a an accurate guide in the industry, an illustration captures the mood an energy of a design.  An illustration can be done in any type of medium but an illustrator is typically chosen based on their portfolio of work. 

3. Technical Designer

If you're detail oriented, this one is for you.   A technical designer is responsible for getting all the details of a garment together and ready for patterning and sampling.  The job can start at making technical flats of a garment that displays sewing details and can end at creating a tech pack that gives all the information required to make a garment.

4. Sample Maker

A key component in fashion design is the sampling stage.  This is where a designer’s concept comes to life.  As a sample maker, you make patterns and construct the prototype samples for your client.  Garments will be fit and adjusted according to the designer’s comments and re-made until it can be used as a reference sample to match and copy for the style’s production.

5. Writer

Not into designing or sewing? That’s perfectly fine.  Writing is a big part of the fashion industry now-a-days.  As a freelance writer, you can independently work with magazines, zines and blogs and write about the current trends, styles and influencers.  If you want to go deeper, you can feature the fashion industry itself and touch on one of many controversial topics.  Like I said earlier, there’s plenty of diverse fields available in the industry.

This just happens to be fashion freelance at its basic.  If you’re creative enough, you can focus each one of these and make them work for you.  Choose your responsibilities, your hours and your pay but more importantly, you won’t get pigeon-holed into that one thing you thought was your only possibility.