Like many artistic and creative careers, becoming a fashion designer does not require a formal education or certification, but that doesn't make the feat any easier. You will need to have a combination of drawing, sewing, and design skills, knowledge of the fashion industry, and unparalleled perseverance. Much of these skills can be acquired through an accredited college or university program.
The first step to becoming a fashion designer is to develop your skills. A good program will have courses that increase your skills and creativity while equipping with the tools to build a successful fashion design business.
Fashion Design Programs
When choosing a school or fashion design program, look for a fashion college that will give you the skills to make a living doing what you love. Most schools will introduce you to fashion technology and the fundamentals of design, marketing, merchandising, manufacturing and fashion management. Some programs will give you the opportunity to exercise your personal fashion sense through work placements with fashion designers, retailers, manufacturers and distributors – all of which will prepare you to begin an aspiring career in any one of the following fashion industry fields:
• Design assistant
• Fashion Illustrator
• Computer patter grader
• Product developer
• Production supervisor
• Store manager
• Small business entrepreneur
Most fashion programs are three to four years long. During that time you will take fine arts classes and study drawing, one of the most important advantages of design schools is that they work really closely with the industry.
Some of the potential courses you would need to take include:
• Technical Illustration
• World of Fashion
• Fabric Science: Textiles
• Technical Specifications and Development
• Computer Skills and Applications
• Design and Colour
• Pattern Grading and Marker Making
• Advanced Drafting
• History of Costume
• Draping Techniques
Build a Strategy
There are as many different ways to embark upon a fashion career as there are styles of design. Many fashion empires were founded on with small collections and ideas that developed into something huge.Most people find that the best foundation for a design career is to get a fine arts degree in fashion at a prestigious school. Besides teaching you the craft, a good school will also add credibility to your resumé.
Also important, is learning about existing designers, not just who they are, but their backgrounds, their signature style, the learning that they undertook. Knowing this will help you to be a much designer yourself, as you can borrow and build on their ideas. Learn how to create storyboards and product ranges. Be good at researching trends through media, comparative shopping and trade shows. Start developing these skills at a young age and be prepared to devote hours of time to perfecting your craft.