To become a fashion stylist or fashion designer, obtain a bachelor?s degree in a fashion-related field, such as fashion merchandising or fashion design. Gain initial experience in the industry via an internship or by working as an assistant stylist.
Most fashion stylists have degrees in fashion merchandising or design. They learn about fabrics, textiles, and the use of computer-aided design and build design portfolios featuring ideas that serve to demonstrate their unique abilities and styles.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits fashion degrees in the United States. There are approximately 300 institutions of higher learning offering accredited degrees for fashion stylists or designers. Generally, students of fashion design must complete design and basic art courses prior to admission into a fashion program, and applicants must prove their artistic abilities prior to admission.
The job outlook for fashion designers is grim, with a projected 3 percent decline in the number of designers needed by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Prospective designers with industry experience, excellent portfolios and formal education have the greatest chance for success in the field, but they may have to relocate to secure employment. Most fashion stylist positions are located in California and New York.