The Rise of the Professional Dressmaker in America
As American men become increasingly comfortable with wearing pants and jeans and more women wear dresses and skirts, the fashion industry has evolved in a way that has made it possible for women to make their own fashion choices.
That’s what’s behind the rise of professional dressmakers, who now make the products and services for women that are sold by American retailers like Nordstrom, Forever 21, Banana Republic and J. Crew.
As the fashion world has become more global, so have the dressmaking industry.
In 2015, the top 25 professional dressmaker companies accounted for nearly two-thirds of the U.S. dressmaking market, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.
The top 50 apparel makers accounted for 19 percent.
The number of women and men who earn a college degree in dressmaking has jumped from 2.5 million to more than 5 million, according.
Dressmakers are the only industry where the percentage of women in the industry has doubled over the last three decades, from 2 percent to nearly 5 percent.
Some experts say the rise in demand for dressmaking services has pushed dressmakers to become more competitive.
“You can see in the data that it’s not just the demand for a dress that’s growing, but also the amount of women that want to do it, and the demand is there,” said Sarah O’Brien, a dressmaker and associate professor of fashion and design at the University of Minnesota, who has studied the field.
“The demand for women is growing so quickly.”
In the past few years, women have been starting to enter the industry, said Lisa Pemberton, the head of retail merchandising at the Gap.
“There are women who want to work at a dress maker.
There are women that love the idea of working at a designer.”
But the rise has coincided with the rise and dominance of a certain kind of dressmaker: professional dressmaking.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, dressmaking was primarily a women’s field.
Then, the gender gap widened in the 1980s, with the biggest jump in the early 1990a, when women earned about 70 percent of bachelor’s degrees in dress making, according the Association of Dressmakers of America.
In 2000, that figure was close to 90 percent, and has remained there, said Sarah M. Hickey, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at the universities of Michigan and Purdue.
The growth of professional Dressmakers has been driven by the changing roles of women, who are now seen as more knowledgeable about how to make and wear dresses, said Hickey.
“When women were a little more in the workforce, there was a certain amount of flexibility in what they could do,” she said.
“But today, it’s more like if you’re going to a designer boutique, it doesn’t matter if you have a bachelor’s degree in design.
You can work on the business side of it and the styling side of things.”
But for those who make a living from dressmaking, there are challenges.
“We are not a business, and we’re not in business to be a dressmaking business,” said Hester Johnson, a professional dress maker and author of “Walking With the Dolls,” a guide to dressmaking and the business.
“Our goal is to bring people together and connect them to something that is more meaningful than what they might be doing at home.
That might be going out to a wedding or going out for a dinner date.”
The rise of the professional dressMaker, however, is being met with challenges.
For one, the industry is becoming more global.
“It’s not about one specific market,” said Jessica A. Zirak, a senior lecturer at the Wharton School at the City University of New York and an expert on dressmaking at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
“What we’re seeing is that a lot of people have a much broader range of interests than just dressmaking.”
A lot of dressmakers are women, too, and many have young children, who don’t always have the same access to technology that women do, said Johnson.
“A lot of the technology for a lot for dressmakers is just not available to women.
A lot is really expensive, and it’s a lot less accessible to them,” she added.
“They are still the ones who get paid to do their job.”
And many of the dressmakers do it on their own, even if they’re paid by a company that’s part of a trade group.
But some dressmakers have faced criticism for taking money from their own clients to make dressmaking clothes, and for not using their skills to do more for the communities in which they live.
In 2013, Zirk said, a major clothing company that makes dresses for other designers, for example, hired a dressmakers union member and a fashion designer to work with the dressmaker, who is paid about $25,000 a year. But when Z