How Do You Become a Fashion Designer?


Quick Answer

For those considering a career in fashion design, a bachelor's degree in art, fashion design or fashion merchandising along with a portfolio of drawings and photographs demonstrating their work is necessary when seeking employment. Internships and apprenticeships with fashion designers or fashion buyers demonstrates knowledge and expertise in this field.

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Most art and fashion degree programs require students to complete coursework in art, beginner drawing and design prior to applying. Students may also have to submit a portfolio with sketches that demonstrate artistic talent. The ability to build a portfolio can help students throughout their career and should showcase how the student's ability and talents grow over time. Advanced courses in fabrics and textiles, fashion merchandising, computer-aided design software and business management teach students how the fashion industry works. Additional coursework in specific areas of fashion such as footwear, clothing or accessories may be offered.

After earning a fashion degree, students may find work as design assistants or junior buyers. These positions help students to gain additional experience and knowledge of the fashion industry, as well as the opportunity to network with other designers. Some students may advance to management positions such as head designer or creative director, while others may start designing clothing and accessories under their own label.

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