How to Become a Fashion Designer

Who is a Fashion Designer?
Fashion designer is a professional who creates and designs clothing, accessories, and footwear. He/She is a creative person who designed anything unique, innovative and fashionable items like clothing and accessories for men, women, and children. Fashion designers adapt existing designs according to well established guide lines and fashion trends. Designers try to spend a lot of time learning about fashion trends, color, design history and future design.

How to Become a Fashion Designer
Fig: Fashion Designer

Some high-fashion designers are self-employed and design for individual clients. Some are work at high-fashion department stores. Most fashion designers work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men’s, women’s, and children’s fashions for the mass market.

How to Become a Fashion Designer:
To become a fashion designer is an exciting and creative career path, but it requires dedication, talent, education, and hard work. Fashion designing is a highly competitive area of business. If you want to become a successful fashion designer, you will have to work harder and need a lot of skills and requirements. It is not only about getting a Bachelor’s in fashion design, but also about visual arts, basic designing and even graphic design knowledge. Need more practice drawing sketches of clothing that you might like to make. Learn how to sew, become good at pattern making, and be sure to brush up on your math. Fashion designers use math to figure out sizes, measure fabric, and make patterns. It is also important for designers to stay up to date knowledge on technology.

To become a fashion designer, he/she should have some basic requirements and need to know some skills for creating a innovative design. These are given below:

  1. Creative thinking and artistic sense
  2. Strong drawing skills
  3. Educational background
  4. Make attractive fashion portfolio
  5. Complete an internship
  6. Select fashion design market level
  7. Illustration
  8. Pattern making
  9. Sewing and fabric manipulation idea & skill
  10. Good understanding of texture, color, and quality of fabric
  11. Composition sense
  12. Strong visualization skills and good eye for see
  13. Computer Skills
  14. Fashion with forecasting Trend
  15. Should update about fashion show and fashion week
  16. Excellent Communication & Interpersonal Skills
  17. Team work ability
  18. Good knowledge for business
  19. Competitive Spirit
  20. Learn more (Other key steps to a successful career in fashion design)

You may also like: Skills Needed To Be A Successful Fashion Designer

1. Creative think and artistic sense:
Creative thinking is an exposure of fashion. Be a fashion designer should have a creative thinking and an artistic sense to create new. Creative thinking is the beginning of innovation and then used it to make a raw materials brings to becoming a finished product.

2. Strong drawing ability:
Drawing ability is one of the most crucial or main skills for designer. A designer must be able to take a concept and get it down on paper. Then it helps to discover your creativity and easy to start work.

3. Educational background:
Fashion designers obviously need an associate or a bachelor’s degree in fashion design area. Some fashion designers also combine a fashion design degree with a business, marketing, or fashion merchandising degree, especially those who want to run their own business or retail store. Students in fashion design programs learn about textiles, sketching, sewing, draping, and creating patterns with the help of CAD software, fashion history, garments construction, and how to design different types of clothing such as menswear women’s wear, and children’s wear. Coursework in human anatomy, mathematics, and psychology is also useful as knowing the constructs of the human body, as well as how it moves.

4. Make attractive fashion portfolio:
After completing the fashion designing course, fashion designer needs to make a Portfolio to show their work. Portfolio is an integral or full part of your fashion career. Two types of portfolio making technique are available in the industry. These are-

  1. Admission portfolio (For post graduate Students)
  2. Professional portfolio (For fashion designer)

5. Complete an internship:
Some fashion design colleges and university may have an established internship program; while students are finish their educational course. An internship is a great way to increase your knowledge and experience. It helps you learn how to work in the collaborative environment that marks most designer jobs. Also helps to know the design process. They meet people in the fashion industry and learn to work as part of a team. Internships allow future designers to gain professional experience and learn new skills outside the classroom.

6. Select fashion design market level and decision making skills:
Are you interested to design in haute couture, ready-to-wear, fitness/leisure gear, the mass market or niches such as eco wear, designer wear? After graduation you need to decide the perfect market level or areas in fashion design. Then you start your fashion career which fashion is your passion.

7. Illustration:
It is a graphical representation that helps to make something clear or attractive. Fashion illustration is a visual reference for a designer’s from the concepts develop to cloth and accessories presentation with current fashion trends. An illustration is a visualization made by an artist designer, such as a drawing, sketch, painting, photograph, or other kind of image.

Fashion illustration by using CAD:
Most of the designers initially sketch designs by hand, but now they use computer-aided design (CAD) software to present these hand sketches to the computer. Using CAD software also allows designers to view designs of clothing on virtual models and in different colours and shapes, which will save time by eliminating the need to make as many adjustments later with prototypes and samples.

8. Pattern making:
Become a fashion designer pattern is the first priority to know how to make it. And should know which way are used to develop it. Patterns are developed mainly three ways and a pattern maker typically employs these methods to create a pattern.

  1. Pattern drafting method
  2. Pattern draping method
  3. Flat pattern making method

a. Pattern drafting method:
This type of pattern is mainly depends on the accurate measurements that are taken on a person, sample dress or dummy. Pattern makers use various tools to mark the pattern. Drafting pattern method is used to made basic, foundation or design patterns.

b. Pattern draping method:
The draping method creating a mock-up pattern by pinning fabric directly on a form then transferring the mock-up outline and markings onto a paper pattern or using the mock-up as the pattern itself. Pattern making requirements are:

  • Measurement
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Fabric
  • Draping
  • Pattern grading

c. Computerized or Flat-pattern making method:
The flat-pattern method is also called computerized system. It is a system where the total pattern is drafted on a flat surface from measurements. It is the fastest and most efficient method, so that the basic block is modified to create new, simple, and fitted garment made to the wearer’s measurements. For women, the final block can be used in turn to create patterns for many styles of garments with varying necklines, sleeves, dart placements, and so on.

9. Sewing & fabric manipulation idea & skill:
Fashion designer needs to know how to sew fabric & used to manipulate fabric techniques become a dress more decorative & attractive. Different sewing is a technique to use hand stitch, embroidery, pleat, shrink, appliqué, gathering fabric. Understand fabric manipulation like, how fabrics move, drape, breathe, react when worn, etc. Also know the source of materials.

10. Good understanding of texture, color, and quality of fabric:
To make the design unique and desirable, designer need a good sense of texture, color, and fabric quality. You need to analyze beforehand as to what design will look good with a certain fabric, fabric quality, which raw materials are used to make this fabric, how can you use it, which colors you can mix with it and so on. These will help you in making your designs and costumes look good.

  • Texture and print: Fashion designer need to know which textures are current fashion trend & which one is best used to your design.
  • Color: To know about color circle, trend, mixing color effectively, and best color combination for dress. And research color trend forecast. Analyze season wise color for your dress design. Which color are recent trend and predicting trend.
  • Fabric quality and print: To know about fabric quality and its print. Which print trend is current Fashion? Which fabrics are used which design.

11. Composition sense:
Composition sense is a major part in the fashion industry. When a designer create innovative designs then she/he should be need to know about composition otherwise the dress loss its quality and it could not reach the actual goal. Fashion designer see all over dress and keep balance the accessories, shape, color, texture, trends, customer demands and the economy also.

If they should not know about composition sense and don’t know how to use it then it’s not possible to work in Fashion Design.

12. Strong visualization skills and good eye for see:
Fashion designer must have strong visualization skills in order to rise-up with a concept. Designers are able to get their ideas onto paper drawing, so that other team members will be able to visualize his/her concept prior to coming up with a finished product.

Fashion designers need not only the ability to draw but also a good eye for see detail.

For example, how do you imagine the pleats setting on a skirt or a blouse cinching (belt) at the waist? How do you place ruching, ruffles or embroidery on dress? To makes a product unique this skill cannot be overlooked, even if you’re great at visualizing and drawing.

13. Computer skills:
Fashion designers not only sketch by hand, they use computer-aided design programs and graphics editing software for large-scale presentations. Today in the fashion industry, designers can use technology to illustrate fresh runway creations.

  • Adobe photo shop
  • Adobe illustrator
  • CAD design
  • Graphic design
  • MS office

14. Fashion with forecasting trend:
Fashion designers know fashion forecasting trends through research. It helps to know, which fashion trends are available now, previous and future fashion. It also gives them to develop in upcoming new design.

Fashion is constantly changing and re-inventing it, you will never get bored with fashion! Each year, each season, each trend there is something new and different, and therefore always the opportunity to learn more. Fashion designing always pulls inspiration from past decades, putting a new modern twist on it, but it is always forging forward with new technologies in textiles and production processes.

  • Get knowledge in current fashion trends. Which versions are now fashions? Which fashion is taken in people?
  • To know and discuss in predicting fashion trend. Researching future fashion trends. Some designers conduct their own research, while others rely on fashion industry trade groups who publish trend reports that project the particular styles, colors, and fabrics which are expected to be popular for a certain season in the future.
  • To see fashion history and previous trend.
  • To know about season wise fashion like summer fashion, fall Fashion, winter fashion and spring fashion. Fall fashion is an often unexpected drop or the season that comes after summer and before winter. Ex. November is the month of fall fashion.

15. Should update about fashion show and fashion week:
Fashion designer should know update information about fashion show and fashion week. Famous fashion designers and different brands are display their latest collections in runway shows, for buyers and the media. It is very essential for the beginner, to take a look at the latest trends, which fashionable dress and accessories are upcoming?

Fashion weeks are held in the four fashion capitals of the world: Milan, Paris, New York and London. Other notable week-long fashion events are held in cities around the world.

Visiting manufacturers or trade shows to procure fabric samples in order to decide which fabrics to use with which designs. To visit different trade show to know fashion about more and various peoples test and want.

16. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills:
Fashion designers need strong communication interpersonal skills to work with suppliers, clients, and coworkers.

  • Keeping up with the fashion world is essential in order to better understand what other designers are doing and what current customers are buying.
  • Make connections with different clothing industry if possible. Include people in related fields like advertising.

17. Team work ability:
To get overall success, fashion designer needs strong sense of cooperation, team work ability and camaraderie between the departments at a fashion house.

18. Good knowledge for business:
If you run your own fashion label, you need to be set business mind, understanding of the business world like finance, sales, marketing and get other common senses on business. Without a good understanding of business, it is difficult to sustain a fashion brand and make it profitable.

19. Competitive Spirit:
To create innovative designs, a competitive spirit must be needed. Get inspiration from your competitors but not copying.

20. Other key steps to a successful career in fashion design:
To make a successful fashion career some other key steps for a beginner fashion designer. If you want to be a successful fashion designer, you should follow these steps for preparing yourself. These are listed in below:

a. Start meeting fashion industry related people as early as possible, preferably while you are still a Fashion Design student.

b. Develop business mind and marketing skills that are essential in order to promote work.

c. Decide on your appropriate working place in the fashion industry. Here are some of the most popular fashion careers or job areas for fashion design graduates:

  • Merchandiser
  • Brand manager
  • Fashion consultant
  • Photo shoot stylist
  • Fashion journalist
  • Visual merchandiser

d. Read about world best fashion designers careers, their styles, their backgrounds, where they studied etc. That can help you to become successful in the fashion industry.

e. Learn how to create fashion storyboards, fashion look books and product ranges. Be good at researching trends and finding inspiration from social media, comparative shopping and trade shows.

f. Also learn about the runway, catwalk and how to organize a fashion show.

g. Learn more about the fashion industry and current trends by following different fashion blogs, news papers and fashion magazines.

Fashion designers play a significant role in the fashion industry and are involved in the entire process of fashion production, from the initial idea to the finished product. To become a successful fashion designer takes time and effort. It’s a highly competitive field, so persistence, creativity, and continuous learning are key to achieving your goals in the world of fashion design.

About Author:
Fatema Tuj Zohora
Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
Khulna, Bangladesh


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