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"Designers, unlike artists, can't follow their creative impulses, they work in a commercial environment, which means there are a huge number of considerations influencing the design process"

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Introduction

"Designers, unlike artists, can't follow their creative impulses, they work in a commercial environment, which means there are a huge number of considerations influencing the design process" The work of a fashion designer is influenced by the demands of the industry in which they work, which has both positive and negative influences on the creative process. This essay looks at some of the key parameters that the fashion designer must work within, and the effect that these factors have on the creative process and the finished product. One key factor that affects the work of a designer is an element over which the individual had a certain degree of control: The company that they choose to work for. There is a vast spectrum of elements that vary from company to company and have on a knock on effect on what is expected of the designer; from company practices, culture, values and policies to the public perception of the company to the size and resources available within a given business. Ipsuis are a small British company that design and manufacture casual wear, and provide an example of how company policy effects design. ...read more.

Middle

In a larger company, the designer has the advantage of having access to the firms internal market research, as well as reports on the market produced by companies such as Mintel. Information such as fashion preferences, social trends etc. gives the designer a better chance of producing garment with mass appeal. When it comes to Marketing issues there are two different types of companies in the fashion industry, the Design centred firm and the Market centred firm. Design centred firms work on the basis that the product should speak for itself, rather than aiming to follow a trend or respond to demand. This approach works for many well-known designers including Alexander McQueen, anything but conformist, whose often shocking designs have made hugely popular. This type of company gives the designer a huge amount of freedom and allows them to let their inspirations and creativity through. The Market centred firm aims to produce the product they think the consumer wants. The Designer faces many more limitations in a market-centred firm as they are usually controlled to a certain degree by merchandiser and buyers. As Market-Led companies are usually found on the high street, there is also the added pressure of keeping costs down. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this scenario, the designer does not see any benefit from the change to the law. Ultimately, the situation highlighted above leads onto the single most important factor that drives the fashion industry and therefore what is expected of a designer: Profit. It considered acceptable by critics that the work of the artist often has a limited appeal. A designer work must have a certain amount of mass appeal in order for the garments to sell well and make a profit. All the other considerations looked at in this essay in some way tie in to the issue of profit and the best way in which to maximise this. This inevitably puts the designer under certain pressures, which to varying extents limits their creativity. However this is a small price to pay for working in a commercial environment that gives designers a platform to get their ideas off paper and into the shops, that allows the designer freedom to concentrate on their work whilst other business related considerations are taken care of by others and most importantly allows the designer to make a living out of the very thing they are most passionate about. ...read more.

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