Job profile tailor and fashion designer: craft as lifestyle art

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And here is the second video from the small series about craftsmen. This time it's about leathermakers - a craft that does not exist in Germany and that you would therefore traditionally have to cover with shoemakers. In any case, this is also a very nice video about how close craftsmanship, tradition, design and art are together!

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.


Leather goods and design as a craft

The brothers Chris and Kirk Bray, for example, have been producing leather goods for years. They founded 1999 Billykirk from Los Angeles and learned their trade from a third-generation leather manufacturer. A simple leather strap kick started the business, a decade later, her collection flourished in other offerings, which consists of bags, belts, shoes, wallets, hats and other accessories.

Since relocating their operations to the East, they employ a group of Amish leather manufacturers to produce much of their production line while finishing production in their studio.

Custom production as a trend

More and more customers do not only want individual clothes with a special whistle, which can not be bought at the bar, for special occasions such as weddings, opera balls or communion parties. Other customers attach particular importance to quality or ecological processing of clothing without pollutants. Schneider is therefore a career with a future!

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At the company Dolzer an individual tailor-made suit is already available from 235 Euro. The reason: Dolzer combines the advantages of individual customer requirements and machine production. The latter reduces the working time of 60 to a few hours and thus reduces the price to about one tenth.

In the Onlineshop, customers can also order individual shirts, blouses and accessories from the comfort of their own home without having to get into one of the 14 stores. For this purpose, they must be measured only once, or they can measure themselves.

Individual clothing

Even large companies such as Peek and Cloppenburg rely on customized clothing. In contrast to the specialists, the retail chains measure customers by laser beam in their own cabins. In both cases, the data is sent electronically to the sewing shops, where costumes and suits come in four to six weeks.

Tailors make perfectly fitting clothes for every imaginable occasion, for people of all sizes, for tall and small. In tailor workshops and ateliers, they process textiles such as wool, synthetic fibers, linen, silk, cotton and leather. In the run-up to the tailoring tailors clarify with their customers, to which cause the garment is to be worn and which fabric and which colors they prefer. They provide fabric and sample books from which the customers can make their choice.

Craft vs. Fashion design

Then a suitable cut must be determined. Schneider can either use existing cuts or create their own designs. They have a sure eye for what fits best to the overall picture of the customer and make sure that the garment sits well. They attach particular importance to the personal taste of the customer. But even the current fashion trends consider Schneider when they make their fashion designs. At national and international trade fairs, they learn about brand-new looks, the modern colors of the season and new fabric collections.

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When the design is complete, Schneider takes the customer's measurements and discusses the dates for fitting and finishing the garment. Before the actual sewing can begin, tailors grade the cut, ie they adjust it to the body measurements of the customer. This is usually done using modern software on the computer. Cutters then cut the fabric, find the right yarns and needles and set the sewing machine. Depending on what is to be sewn, for example, they use blindstitch or chainstitch machines and produce hem, edging, zigzag or cut seams. Sometimes they also sew by hand.

With attention to detail

They close the side seams, sew darts, put on sleeves, collars and frets, neat the edges and sew the lining. Then they bring clothing accessories such as buttons, zipper and Velcro fasteners, hooks and eyes or snaps. Sometimes also cuffs, ribbons, braids, lace and sequins and other ornaments are applied. It must be precise and focused work, sometimes under time pressure.

When all sewing is done, tailors iron the garment with ironing or hand irons. Be careful to smooth all seams, edges and seams and treat sensitive fabrics such as velvet with care.

Changes and repairs

The garments are tailors ready for the first fitting so that they can make any changes and corrections. Made-to-measure and fashion-fitting garments often require two tamped garments, very sophisticated garments even a third to ensure a perfect fit. Now a lot of patience is required: every now and then seams have to be split again or pockets have to be moved. Once all fit corrections have been made, tailors hand over the finished garment to the customer and accept the payment.

Also the change and repair of garments belong to the task of tailors. They adapt garments to changed body dimensions or tastes of customers and repair damage. For example, they renew the lining of a coat or sew new zippers.

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In addition to these creative tasks, Schneider also performs many commercial and administrative tasks: for example, they negotiate with customers, take over the commercial and technical calculations when preparing offers, and handle company-related correspondence. In addition, they decide on personnel selection and control the economic success of their business.

Men's lifestyle on the Internet as a market

Men are still an underrated species from a marketing perspective. now generates double-digit million sales. The idea was to sell exclusive menswear online.

Renata de Pauli, the Munich entrepreneur, is a part of the men's fashion. meanwhile created an entire e-commerce universe. and followed quite soon as well as the theme shops Golfers Outfit, Bugatti and Burlington.

Lifestyle instead of fashion

With a cool online presence, on the other hand, Britain's fashion icon Paul Smith is racing for the new man at One-stop shopping is the motto: Men (and women too) get everything that belongs to the beautiful things in life:

Paul Smith has, among other things, received a music download cooperation with, photo exhibitions, can be viewed online, several blogs are engaged mainly in male lifestyle advice. In addition, on the award-winning side from the shirt to the male handbag, everything is easy to shop.

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Prerequisites, exits and Further Training

Schneider is a recognized training profession according to the craft code (HwO), therefore, the professional title is protected by law. Training as a tailor takes three years. As a rule, as with all recognized training occupations regulated by the Vocational Training Act or the Handwerksordnung, no specific educational or vocational training is required for training as a tailor.

In addition to the often encountered training as a tailor for men or women, there is also the training for fashion tailor, pattern cutter or change cutter. Anyone who becomes self-employed as a tailor can, in contrast to a baker or carpenter, do so without a master's certificate and possibly even without a journeyman's examination, as Schneider, according to the B1 Appendix of the Handwerksordnung, is a non-approved craft.


Whoever wants to make his master: Ladies and gentlemen tailor is a professional further training according to the Handwerksordnung (HwO). The master's examination in this unauthorized trade is uniformly regulated nationwide.

The craft organizations and other educational institutions offer preparatory courses for the master's examination (full-time approx. 10-12 months). However, participation in the preparatory courses is not compulsory for admission to the master examination. For more information, see, For such a preparation, you can use the so-called Master BAföG (

Business start-up soon

The start-up as a tailor usually starts with the entry into the list of the permissible trades For the registration you have to appear in person and pay a fee. With the confirmation of the registration, the commercial registration of the municipality can be made. The commercial office, in turn, informs the Finanzamt, the professional association. There is no statutory annuity insurance obligation for the unauthorized trades, to which Schneider belongs (Annex B1 der Handwerksordnung).

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By registering in the list of unauthorized trades you become a member of your competent craft chamber. You must first pay very small contributions to them, but only if the income is above certain limits.


Founders who have registered for the first time are exempted from contributions to the Chamber of Crafts for the year of registration. For the second and third years, they must pay only half of the basic contribution and no supplementary contribution; for the fourth year they are still exempt from the payment of the supplementary contribution if they are natural persons (not persons or corporations) and the annual profit not over 25.000 is Euro.

Traders who carry out activities which can be learned in accordance with § 1 § 2 No. 1 of the Handicrafts Ordinance for up to three months belong to either the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or the Chamber of Crafts. They are exempt from the contribution, regardless of which board they belong to, if their trade income does not exceed 5.200 Euro per year.


Since there is no mastery, the market entry barriers are also lower for competitors in the tailoring trade than, for example, with bakers or carpenters. In current surveys of the craft chambers, it is shown that the fewest new founders without mastership in the unauthorized crafts can actually live their independence.

Practical experience often proves that the term “master company” is still very important to many customers. Founders without a master's certificate should therefore start their own business, if possible with very special services or an existing customer base.

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