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Understanding the Fashion Industry: The Roles of Creative and Technical Designers

Have you ever wondered how those brands you are so passionate about work? Just like the machinery of a watch, fashion is made up of many different parts. In this case, it’s all about people. Professionals with different roles make it possible for those garments that started as an idea to become a reality.

You may have heard of creative directors, pattern makers, buyers, fashion designers, and technical designers (or product developers). These are some of the profiles that make up companies in the fashion industry.

In this article, we will talk about creative designers and technical designers. We will see what their tasks are, what skills are needed, and how these professions are closely related.
If you’re considering a career in fashion and are wondering if you want to focus on the creative part or if your profile is more technical, this article will help you clear up some doubts.

Stages and Tasks

Although technical and creative tasks complement each other, especially in the creation and development phases, certain functions correspond specifically to each profile: creative and technical.

On the one hand, the creative designer focuses on the creation phase. On the other hand, the work of the technical designer is focused on the development process of the garment. The technical designer accompanies the creative designer to turn his idea into reality.

Let us begin by defining the daily tasks of each of these professionals:


 – Researching trends, inspiration, and mood boards

– Generally involved in the business plan: compiling the collection: quantities, numbers, and types of garments in each line.

– Design garments, including details

– Drawing garments (flat sketch)

– Define materials and textures (including trims)

– Define processes: washing, dyeing, finishing

– Define artwork (embroidery and printing)

– Colour chart

– Attend prototype fittings

– Travel: trade shows, shopping trips, factories, seminars


– Determine dimensions with tolerances

– make the pattern (own product) or assist the factory that makes it (finished product)

– Provide technical assistance to designers in developing a new model (refine sketches)

– Inspect prototypes: measurements, construction, fit, materials, labelling (quality control), and packaging.

– Help fit prototypes

– Correct prototypes / fit adjustments

– Send fit comments to the factories

– Approve garments for production

– Visit factories

Note: Depending on the type of company, these tasks may vary or be completed with the help of other people, such as buyers, planners, or graphic designers.

Tech Packs

The tech pack is developed in close collaboration between creative and technical teams as an essential part of the process. Therefore, fluid and efficient communication between the two professionals is key.


– Tech pack creation (open the model in the system)

– Design and detail sheet, including inspiration (ideally, the technician completes it by adding technical information. This varies from brand to brand)

– Materials sheet (BOM)

– Colourways sheet

– Artwork sheet: embroidery/printing (*)

– Labelling sheet (*)

(*) with the help of a graphic designer, depending on the company


– Garment assembly sheet

– Measurement Sheet

– Comments and Fit Rectifications Sheet

– Grading Sheet


The dictionary says that ability is the “capacity and inclination for something. So, let’s see what skills are required for each of these roles:


 – Sensitivity to understanding the tastes of your clients.

– Being up to date with trends in general (fashion, society, technology, etc.).

– Business spirit (commercial product)

– Software: Illustrator, Photoshop

– Clear and precise communication


– Pattern Making

– Tailoring: sewing and machine techniques

– software: excel, pattern-making software (Lectra, Gerber, Optitex, Clo 3D, etc.), illustrator (not required but appreciated)

– Clear and precise communication

As we can see, both professionals complement each other to reach a common goal: to create beautiful, functional, comfortable, and commercially viable garments. Depending on your personal inclinations, you will see which area of the industry you would like to pursue. 

We hope we’ve helped you find answers to questions we’ve all asked ourselves. 

Let us know what you think in the comments!

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