Our guide to fashion design
Hotcourses Editor

Our guide to fashion design

First published date October 31 2013 Amended date February 08 2016

The world of fashion is a glamourous, exciting and attractive prospect for many young women and men internationally. If you think you have what it takes to be the next Vivienne Westwood or Alexandra McQueen then a fashion design course is the first step towards this.


Is it for you?

Fashion is a fast paced and competitive domain. Often long hours, hard work, rejections and set backs are challenges that you will face on a daily basis and the reality will be a stark contrast to floating through an episode of Sex and the City, think more The Devil Wears Prada and you’ll be much nearer the mark. In this competitive industry you have to live and breathe fashion and above all - you have to really want it.



Fashion design courses will provide you with the solid foundations and principles of fashion you need to get started. They can include varied modules from fashion illustration, to textiles to design technology plus many more. It is therefore important that you tailor your course choice to your long term goals and ambitions within this industry, maybe you want to focus on fashion through drawing, or focus on creations through the medium of graphic design, or be physically creating garments from fabric and so on. The levels of course you can take vary from Foundation degree/BA/MA/Diploma/BTEC. So be sure to do your research in order to make the right choice for you.



Having a solid fashion design qualification under your belt leaves you open to considering a variety of career options, as the industry is so vast. You could be an integral part of the design process by inspiring designs from scratch and putting them to paper to bringing them to life working with leathers, textiles and manipulating fabrics. Whether it’s boutique dress designing, handbags, accessories or couture gowns – fashion design will be the route to get you to that dream job. From job roles such as Design Assistant all the way up to Director of your own fashion house.



Keep calm and love fashion

The prospect of a career in fashion can often seem daunting and even overwhelming. Here are some basic but vital tips and advice on making it in the industry as well as taking the right course…


  • Experience – As much as taking the right course and attaining the best qualifications will be needed and attractive on a CV, a Fashion employer will always want to see that you have had practical work experience in your industry rather than just the piece of paper with your grades. Take anything and everything you are offered remotely related to fashion or design, it will all be valuable to you. Numerous internships and voluntary work in your field will highlight your enthusiasm and set you apart from your fellow applicants when looking for work.


  • Portfolio – An absolutely crucial aspect for aspiring fashion designers. Employers will always want to see what you can do and what your style and visions are. Any sketches, pieces or samples of your work must be kept safe and together ready to showcase at potential interviews/work placements. Have confidence in your talents and capabilities. Sell yourself.


  • Passion – You have to love what you do enough to deal with criticism and rejection. Many designers aren’t discovered and don’t even make money for years. Have faith in you’re designs and success will follow. If you really want it, keep going and don’t give up.


  • Individuality – Nobody will be excited by what they have already seen. Think outside the box and create something unique to your name, remember this is an industry where you get out what you put in so aim to inspire with your work and the rest will follow. 


By Telsha Arora


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