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How To Become a Fashion Designer

Those who have a flair for style and a passion for fashion should consider pursuing a career in fashion design. Fashion designers use their creativity and technical skills to create a wide range of clothing and accessories.

Apart from sketching and constructing original products, designers study the industry constantly to stay in touch with all the current trends and to be able to predict future styles. In most cases, fashion designers have a bachelor’s degree and get hands-on experience by working as interns and assistants. It is also imperative for fashion designers to have a portfolio.

Educational Requirements

Generally, fashion designers need to have an undergraduate degree in fashion design. A combined degree in marketing and designing or any other business-related subject may benefit those who plan to own their own design firms or stores in the future. Aspiring fashion designers who are looking for degree programs should consult with the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, which is an accrediting organization for most design schools which is nationally recognized.


Fashion design associate degree programs are 2-year programs that provide students with fundamental, technical design skills such as sewing, tailoring as well as basic fashion theories.

Generally, bachelor’s degree programs last 4 years and offer more extensive training for a career in fashion, combining technical coursework with conceptual and artistic instruction. Courses may include 3-D design, fashion drawing, textiles, color theory, computer-aided design, portfolio presentation, and the fashion business.


Hands-on experience and exposure to the industry are essential if you want to obtain employment in fashion design. As an aspiring fashion designer, you may gain the experience you need through internship programs which are often a part of most bachelor’s degree programs. You can get internships at design schools as well as retail businesses.

You may be compensated for your work or given college credit. With these programs, you can apply your knowledge and skills in fashion and play a role in the company’s design efforts under the guidance and tutelage of experienced designers and executives.

Additional Qualifications

How to become a Fashion DesignerApart from formal training, you will need to have a streak of creativity, including being savvy for color, style, and textile detail. You will need to have computer rafting and drawing skills for fashion sketching. You should also know about tailoring and sewing so that you can explain the design process to the manufacturers you work with.

Keep in mind that most employers have a preference for fashion designers who have experience in retail and sales, which apply to the marketing aspect of being a fashion designer. Also, you will constantly work with many other professionals in the industry, so it is vital that you have strong collaboration and communication skills.

Career Information

Fashion designers are professionals who conceptualize, design, and manufacture clothing for men, women, and children. Ideas are developed into final products with sketches of their ideas and selecting colors, fabrics, and patterns that suit each other both creatively and functionally. After you research the current trends in fashion and forecast future trends, you will need to visit manufacturers and trade shows to select fabrics and patterns and begin working on your designs.

First, a prototype of your clothing will be created and then adjustments are made until the final product ultimately resembles your original concept and design. Lastly, final samples of your designs are manufactured and retail outlets are presented with them. As a fashion designer, you will be subject to tight deadlines and long work hours. You will also need to be able to work with many other professionals, including manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers.

Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is predicted that job opportunities in fashion design will have a 3% growth between 2014 and 2024 which is decent considering the American economy is sputtering because of high taxes and regulations. The BLS reports that in 2015, the median annual salary for fashion designers was $63,670 which is fantastic but it takes a while to become one and the competition is stiff. You may want to have a backup plan in place as well.

It also reports that job hunting in the fashion industry is highly competitive as already stated. This means that you will need to have an edge over other applicants. The best way to achieve this is to gain as much as experience as you can in the business and network with the right professionals. With the right qualifications and lots of experience, you can certainly step into the world of fashion and make your mark.

The fashion industry is an exciting one and becoming a fashion designer is a glamorous career choice. However, keep in mind that to be successful, you need to work hard and make the best use of your creative skills. You may need to have a little luck on your side as well.

As mentioned earlier, the industry is extremely competitive, so you need to make sure that you stand out from the rest of the pack. If you have loads of creativity and know how to make use of your design and marketing skills, you should have a successful career in fashion design.