Footwear Designer

A Footwear Designer visualises and designs new products, they keep up to-date with emerging trends, designing the right product at the right time to meet customer requirements, often working to a design brief in line with branding requirements and production limitations.

What would you do?

Footwear Designers identify and deliver detailed style direction to develop existing products, as well as proposing new product opportunities. They research lifestyle trends and design accordingly, updating designs when appropriate. They brief buyers, suppliers and manufacturers on key products and samples materials, fabrics and trims. They also may manage buying calendars and standard business desktop applications.

A Footwear Designer Day to day tasks include:

  • Translating fashion trends into commercial design concepts
  • Visualising and communicating design concepts (by hand or on PC/MAC)
  • Reviewing, evaluation and approval of samples
  • Participating in supplier briefings with Buyer and Quality Assurors
  • Advising Buyer on styling & on selecting sample

Where would you work?

A Footwear designer may work for a high street fashion brand, a small bespoke footwear makers or a business manufacturing footwear. They are typically studio based with access to production areas. They work in a competitive, fast moving environment and are often required to travel both within the UK and overseas.

What would you be paid?

For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours

  • A Footwear Designers starting salary on average is £14,00 to £18,000 per year
  • Experienced Footwear Designer salary on average is £25,000 to £35,000 per year
  • Senior Footwear Designers salary on average is £45,000 to £50,000 per year

Pay rates vary depending on age, experience, location and the size of the company. Additional benefits may include, company discounts, pension and health care. Many companies offer overtime and bonuses in order to meet deadlines.

Apprenticeships: Employers, by law must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many fashion and textile employers supplement this rate of pay.

Will you need qualifications or training?

You will typically need a degree or HND in a clothing/fashion technology or related subject. Internal progression for those already working in the industry is provided via Apprenticeships related to the technical skills required such as Pattern Cutter, Product Technologist or Garment Maker.

Degrees and HNDs in fashion design, garment and product technologist related subjects are widely available. Click here to see all universities offering degrees relevant to this job role. Qualifications and short courses relating to this job role are offered by a number of awarding organisations including ABC Awards, City & Guilds, SQA, Pearson and UAL, for more detail please follow the links.

What are the career prospects?

Experience could lead to a Senior or Head Designer position, or a move into a related career, such as a Buyer, Merchandiser, technical manager, or research within a university or similar institution.

How secure is the future of this career?

The UK’s world-class textile manufacture base is growing, thriving and continually investing. Sector employment continues to grow steadily from 97,000 in 2011 to 108,000 in 2016, with an added 19,500 self-employed and research estimates the creation of 20,000 new jobs by 2020.

The number of UK textile & apparel manufacturing businesses has increased annually from 7190 in 2013 to 8075 in 2017 with forecast of further growth.

Textile goods exported across the globe continues to grow with export increases recorded at £250M in March 2016 to £273M in March 2017.

UK Fashion & textile manufacture covers traditional craft to technical textiles and has a production value of £9.1BN, add the wide fashion sector this increases to £28.1BN sector – 4.7% of the total UK economy.

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Where can you find job vacancies?

Vacancies are advertised across the UK with concentration in London, the Northwest, West Yorkshire and the Midlands. The job role may be advertises using a different job title such as Garment Technologist. Check out the latest vacancies on the site below:

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Some apprenticeship vacancies are ‘open to application’. With details on how to apply within the job vacancy details, these can be found on the job sites listed above, Apprenticeship vacancies can also be found via the Find an Apprenticeship’ Service. For further information, advise and tips on how to apply for an apprenticeship vacancy see the UCAS site. (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) (England)

The websites above are external and the number of job vacancies may vary. Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!