The increasingly fast churn in fashion wear (designers are usually creating clothes and footwear six months out) is one reason good designers are in demand. Another is the trend-centric ethos in the fashion industry: one person comes up with an idea that catches fire and other designers then need to rework their collection to incorporate it.
The demand for talent in apparel design is particularly high this year for athletic and active wear.
Apparel designers typically have an undergraduate degree in design and textiles or in fashion design.
They might get paid $30,000 to $40,000 right out of school, $50,000 to $60,000 after a year, and $80,000 to $90,000 after three to five years. Beyond that, if they've survived and had some successes, they can pull down anywhere between $90,000 and $200,000.