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Costume Designer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real costume designer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage all daily costume distributions and collection, laundering and maintenance/repair of costumes.
  • Develop marketing and brand awareness initiatives through social media outlets; create and manage company Facebook and Houzz profiles.
  • Design and sew children's Halloween costumes.
  • Contribute in production and on set as an assistant dressing the actors, maintaining the costumes, and setting up/organizing wardrobe.
  • Source cut and sew knits in NYC garment district.
  • Sketch, pattern and sew costume for cast including accessories.
  • Hire stitching staff to construct garments and oversee all garment construction.
  • Costume (for Christmas, Halloween events or parties) design.
  • Work with the stitching staff to ensure design protocols are being follow.
  • Collaborate with designer to schedule fittings, dressers, wigs man and interns.
  • Design advanced make-up designs, oversee large crews and orchestrate quick changes for make-up.
  • Sketch rough and detail drawings of apparel and accessories to suit characters of movie.
  • Involve graphic design, computer skills, design savvy, delegation skills, and leadership qualities.
  • Provide design direction and set styling for commercial photography backdrops
  • Design commercial photography sets base on client marketing parameters and feature products.

Costume Designer Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a costume designer is "should I become a costume designer?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, costume designer careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "little or no change" at 1% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a costume designer by 2028 is 400.

Costume designers average about $26.07 an hour, which makes the costume designer annual salary $54,229. Additionally, costume designers are known to earn anywhere from $34,000 to $84,000 a year. This means that the top-earning costume designers make $76,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

It's hard work to become a costume designer, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a wardrobe stylist, fashion stylist, fashion coordinator, and fashion internship.

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Costume Designer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 27% of Costume Designers are proficient in Costumes, Make-Up, and Costume Shop. They’re also known for soft skills such as Detail oriented, Artistic ability, and Communication skills.

We break down the percentage of Costume Designers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Costumes, 27%

    Managed all daily costume distributions and collection, laundering and maintenance/repair of costumes.

  • Make-Up, 9%

    Designed advanced make-up designs, oversaw large crews and orchestrated quick changes for make-up.

  • Costume Shop, 8%

    Maintained Costume Shop; cleaned up excess materials and tidied-up work space, organized and stored costumes from previous theatrical productions.

  • Design Concepts, 8%

    Ensured design concepts provided by the director and producer were achieved.

  • Character Development, 7%

    Assisted in character development including hair, makeup and accessories.

  • Wardrobe, 5%

    Contributed in production and on set as an assistant dressing the actors, maintaining the costumes, and setting up/organizing wardrobe.

Most costume designers list "costumes," "make-up," and "costume shop" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important costume designer responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a costume designer to have happens to be detail oriented. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "fashion designers must have a good eye for small differences in color and other details that can make a design successful." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that costume designers can use detail oriented to "constructed garments, detailed and altered costumes for everyday shaws. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling costume designer duties is artistic ability. According to a costume designer resume, "fashion designers sketch their initial design ideas, which are used to create prototypes." Here's an example of how costume designers are able to utilize artistic ability: "model photo shoot for project runway contestant photographed and artistically rendered portraits in photoshop. "
  • Costume designers are also known for communication skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a costume designer resume: "throughout the design process, fashion designers must be able to communicate effectively" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "maintained and improved verbal/written communication with overseas factories in a professional manner. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "computer skills" is important to completing costume designer responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way costume designers use this skill: "fashion designers must be able to use computer-aided design (cad) programs and be familiar with graphics editing software." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical costume designer tasks: "drafted scenery, research, built scale model, computer illustrations. "
  • Yet another important skill that a costume designer must demonstrate is "creativity." Fashion designers work with a variety of fabrics, shapes, and colors This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a costume designer who stated: "managed a team of 2 to 4 students to create, repair, store, and inventory costumes. "
  • See the full list of costume designer skills.

    Before becoming a costume designer, 71.7% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 7.7% costume designers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most costume designers have a college degree. But about one out of every eight costume designers didn't attend college at all.

    Those costume designers who do attend college, typically earn either graphic design degrees or theatre degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for costume designers include fine arts degrees or specialized sales and merchandising degrees.

    When you're ready to become a costume designer, you might wonder which companies hire costume designers. According to our research through costume designer resumes, costume designers are mostly hired by The Walt Disney Company, Deerfield Park District, and South Washington County Schools. Now is a good time to apply as The Walt Disney Company has 2 costume designers job openings, and there are 1 at Deerfield Park District and 1 at South Washington County Schools.

    Since salary is important to some costume designers, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Poly Prep Country Day School, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Frostburg State University. If you were to take a closer look at Poly Prep Country Day School, you'd find that the average costume designer salary is $70,640. Then at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, costume designers receive an average salary of $63,786, while the salary at Frostburg State University is $55,879.

    View more details on costume designer salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire costume designers from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Room & Board, Abercrombie & Fitch Co, and Minted.

    In general, costume designers fulfill roles in the education and government industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the costume designer annual salary is the highest in the professional industry with $61,415 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the education and health care industries pay $54,887 and $53,827 respectively. This means that costume designers who are employed in the professional industry make 62.4% more than costume designers who work in the media Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious costume designers are:

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    What Wardrobe Stylists Do

    Fashion is an integral part of society classified as a multi-billion dollar industry. The fashion stylist is an expert in the fashion industry and can advise the perfect attire to wear in any given situation. Someone's fashion can sometimes determine how society views that person. Industries that heavily rely on a fashion stylist's talents are in the media industry, filmmaking, advertising, and customer relations concerns. Fashion stylists must have a good grasp of trends and fads, mix and match different styles, and have an overall sense of taste and fashion.

    In this section, we compare the average costume designer annual salary with that of a wardrobe stylist. Typically, wardrobe stylists earn a $16,149 lower salary than costume designers earn annually.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between costume designers and wardrobe stylists are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like costumes, nyc, and mood boards.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a costume designer responsibilities require skills like "make-up," "costume shop," "design concepts," and "character development." Meanwhile a typical wardrobe stylist has skills in areas such as "on-set," "fashion shows," "sales floor," and "product knowledge." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    On average, wardrobe stylists reach lower levels of education than costume designers. Wardrobe stylists are 5.3% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.0% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Fashion Stylist?

    A fashion intern helps designers create garment layouts, prepare and cut tickets, and draping garments. Besides providing help during photo shoots and researching trends, fashion interns also assist the design team in their day-to-day projects and tasks. They assist design associates in their daily responsibilities and create samples for merchandising presentations, fittings, and meetings. To qualify for a fashion internship, you should prepare your mind to learn new skills.

    Now we're going to look at the fashion stylist profession. On average, fashion stylists earn a $8,705 lower salary than costume designers a year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Costume designers and fashion stylists both include similar skills like "costumes," "design concepts," and "wardrobe" on their resumes.

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real costume designer resumes. While costume designer responsibilities can utilize skills like "make-up," "costume shop," "character development," and "fine arts," some fashion stylists use skills like "editorial photo shoots," "product knowledge," "customer service," and "sales floor."

    On the topic of education, fashion stylists earn similar levels of education than costume designers. In general, they're 3.6% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Fashion Coordinator Compares

    The third profession we take a look at is fashion coordinator. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than costume designers. In fact, they make a $2,057 lower salary per year.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a costume designer is likely to be skilled in "costumes," "make-up," "costume shop," and "design concepts," while a typical fashion coordinator is skilled in "runway shows," "photography shoots," "sales floor," and "market research."

    Fashion coordinators are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to costume designers. Additionally, they're 4.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Fashion Internship

    Now, we'll look at fashion interns, who generally average a lower pay when compared to costume designers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $4,695 per year.

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a costume designer might have more use for skills like "costumes," "make-up," "costume shop," and "design concepts." Meanwhile, some fashion interns might include skills like "adobe photoshop," "editorial photo shoots," "fashion shows," and "instagram" on their resume.

    The average resume of fashion interns showed that they earn similar levels of education to costume designers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 4.6% less. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.0%.