24 services you can offer your client as a freelance fashion designer: The Ultimate Guide to Being a Freelance Fashion Designer by Sew Heidi

24 Services You Can Offer Your Clients (for Freelance Fashion Designers)

A job description for “freelance fashion designer” doesn’t really exists. Which is why it can be really hard to figure out what work you can do or what services you can offer clients.

But here’s the best part…

This is actually a really good thing! Why? Because you get to create your own job description. Which (if freelancing is right for you) is one of the biggest benefits of freelancing in the fashion industry.

Not only do you get to set your rates and decide your salary, you get to pick what you do – and don’t – work on.

And there are a lot of things you can do.

What kind of services you’ll be able to offer depends on a few things. Your education, experience, types of brands you work with, location (NYC fashion designers may have different opportunities than Denver fashion designers) and other things can dictate the type of work you can do.

But there’s something for everyone.

In this article, we’ll go through 24 different services you can do as a freelance fashion designer and ways to help you decide what you should do.

The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can do as a freelance fashion designer. But most designers I talk to tend to underestimate what they think they can do when freelancing.

I’ve done everything as a freelance/contract worker, from mood boards and color direction to sourcing and fittings.

Some brands I work with, I do everything from initial concept through managing bulk production. Some brands, I just do design or tech packs.

Here are a few things to think about when figuring out what kind of work you can do:

  • What type of brand are you working with?
    • Established brands may not want you doing vendor correspondence, while startups may love to have you do this.
  • Where are you located?
    • Some tasks, like production management, are easier done on site. Although I approve lab dips, fabrics, and review protos remotely, so don’t exclude this. It can be harder and the clients’ FedEx bill reflects this arrangement, but sometimes it’s the best option for you to manage everything.
  • What is your experience and skillset?
    • You may not want to handle everything from design through development, or you may not even be experienced enough. And that’s okay! You can offer full package services, or just one specific task like sketching flats. It’s up to you.

The point here is that you can get creative with your offer.

Don’t underestimate your skills or underestimate and what brands need.

Here’s a quick list of 24 different services you could offer your clients as a freelance fashion designer. I’m just spitballing here, and keep in mind I’ve purposely made it broader than just “fashion design” to help you get inspired and think outside the box.

  • Creative Services
    • Color direction
    • Trend / mood boards
    • Full collection design
    • Textile design
    • Trim / Finding / Hangtag / Label design
    • Merchandising
    • Catalog layout
    • Photo shoot art direction / management
  • Technical Services
    • Tech sketches
    • Tech packs
    • Textile repeats / specs
    • Spec / grading
    • Pattern drafting
    • Proto / sample review / commenting
    • Fittings
    • Vendor correspondence / follow up
  • Sourcing Services
    • New fabrics / trims
    • New factories / suppliers
    • Price / MOQ negotiation
    • Vendor correspondence / follow up
  • Consulting Services
    • Collection / merchandising review / analysis:
      • what categories are missing / not needed?
    • Sales analysis / reporting:
      • suggestions for moving forward (what styles to run again in new colors, what should be dropped, etc)
    • Market analysis
      • untapped opportunities / market segments
    • Distribution analysis
      • New sales channels (wholesale, retail, DTC, pop-up shop, email, web, etc)
  • And beyond…
    • Marketing / sales / promotion
      • Are you really good at building Pinterest following that gets a lot of click throughs? Startup brands may be dying for this!
      • You know how to build and run an email list? Trading companies who are a little behind the times may be dying for this!

So start thinking about it, what kind of freelance work do you want to do?

If you’re not sure, answer these three questions to decide.

  1. What do you love doing?
  2. What are you really good at?
  3. What will brands pay you to do?

Don’t be afraid to get really specific.

If I told you to pick just 3 specific services from these lists (or other things I missed), what would they be?

And if you had to pick just one product category like men’s active, women’s denim, or kidswear, what would it be?

Take a minute right now and write this down.

It’ll help you figure out exactly what to offer your clients, so you don’t overwhelm them by saying “I can do everything“.

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