An Eye For The Smaller Details: Accessory Design Degree

If you notice the accessories before the outfit and instantly know whether they match, then you might be destined for an accessory design degree. It is a creative and ever-evolving field where you get to get to turn your designs into reality. Because of the strong focus on creativity and excellent design, it is also a field that is perfect if you love working with your hands and have a strong imagination. As long as you have the creativity, taking part in classes can teach you everything about technical design and business skills needed to thrive in this industry.

Accessory Design Degree FAQ

What Does Accessory Design Entail?

In order to complete an outfit, accessories such as belts, shoes, hats, scarves, handbags and jewelry are essential. Accessories are ideal for adding extra style and appeal to the outfit while also highlighting the personality of the wearer. The job of an accessory designer is to design and create these accessories using their knowledge, skill and imagination. In order to be successful at designing accessories it is vital for the designer to be on top of past as well as current fashion trends. Great accessory designers are also able to predict future accessory trends and anticipate what will appeal to consumers.

Being an accessory designer means giving your ideas to life. Initially, the designs are formed, usually with the aid of computer software. This is followed by the creation of a physical prototype, which allows for refinements to be made before committing to the final design.

What Type of Salary Can An Accessory Designer Expect?

How much accessory designers earn depends on which areas they specialize, in which state they are employed, and in which industries they are employed. While exact information about average salaries for accessory designers are available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary for fashion designers in 2015 was about $63,670. With a career in accessory design, higher salaries are typically available in areas that are more densely populated. Like fashion design, the salaries of accessory designers also tend to be tied to how successful and talented they are in their field.

What Can I Do With An Accessory Designer Degree?

Many accessory designers prefer to design and create their own accessories in a freelance capacity after getting their degree. This gives them the opportunity to start out small and build up their reputation as well as skills. From here they can then become successful and expand their business. Other accessory designers opt to work for established design firms or fashion designers, although this might leave them with less creative freedom.

Because accessory design is such a diverse industry, there are a lot of options to choose from when launching a professional career. These include everything from being an accessory designer and product developer to becoming a trend analyst, product researcher or even merchandiser. Entry level positions for accessory designers looking to break into the field can also include sketching assistants, pattern makers and assistants to established accessory designers.

Some designers prefer to specialize in certain types of accessories because there are so many options available. Shoes and handbags are popular choices to specialize in, but other options include belts, eye-wear, hats, scarves and ties.

What Skills Are Necessary To Become An Accessory Designer?

While it is possible to work as an accessory designer without getting a degree, having formal training can make the process much easier and pave the way for success. Because it is such a creative industry, it is essential for students who are serious about a career in accessory design to be creative, artistic and a keen eye for detail. Being computer literate is also a must as accessory design is mostly done using specialized computer software these days. Because accessory design encompasses so many different elements, you will have to be comfortable working with a range of materials, including mixed media materials. Familiarity with advanced technologies, such as laser cutting, digital printing and computer-aided design is also beneficial, although many institutions teach these skills as part of the course. Dedication and commitment will also help you a lot as the job can often involve long hours and very strict deadlines.

What Are The Advantages of Getting An Accessory Designer Degree?

In addition to helping you to expand your knowledge and hone your skills, you can also improve your career and employability by making use of formal education for accessory design. This is because many courses focus on employability and include specific modules to help make you more employable. These can include experience with live projects within the industry, specialist career guidance, visiting professionals, as well as help with work experience placements. Some even provide the opportunity to enter national and international competitions, which can help you to get noticed.

In addition, many courses also assist students with career-building services, such as résumé development, mock interviews and portfolio building. This complements the technical, design and business training that you will receive. One of the biggest advantages of getting a accessory designer degree is the access it can provide to networking opportunities that places you in direct contact with industry leaders.

How Long Does It Take To Become An Accessory Designer?

Depending on the type of qualification you desire you can attend courses that range from three-weeks all the way up to three years. This also means that the tuition costs vary in accordance to where and how long you plan on studying. Taking part in an undergraduate degree program can take between two to four years and provides more in-depth training than simple certificate programs. If you complete a four year accessory design undergraduate program you can also opt for a graduate degree program, also known as Master’s degrees, for more advanced techniques and insights.

What Courses Form Part of The Accessory Designer Curriculum?

The type of courses available to students studying accessory design will depend on the institution that they attend. As part of earning your degree there are usually several different core courses that must be completed. These can include fashion history, trend spotting, creative studies, drawing, as well as design. In addition to lectures and briefings, courses can also a variety of workshops, seminars and live projects. Verbal and visual presentations are common, as is working on live projects and teamwork.

Can I Learn Accessory Design Online?

Because accessory design is such a practical field, it can be tricky to get the hands-on experience when studying online. Courses are available to learn more about this field on your own terms and when you have the time to do so. When studying accessory design online, you will have access to images and videos from industry professionals that illustrate the entire process of taking an accessory from the design to the manufacturing stage. Some courses also allow for video sessions with tutors and include assignments that must be completed.

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