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A fashion designer creates clothing, accessories, jewellery, footwear, costumes, and more. These can be wearable items for men, women, children, teens, dogs, cats, and even dolls and action figures. This is a highly competitive field; however, if you specialize in a niche area, you can improve your chances for success.

Some fashion designers will create their own pieces to sell; whereas, other fashion designers will be hired to make the sketches of others a reality by creating patterns, or design clothes for an already established brand anonymously without any recognition. Very few fashion designers will ever have their clothes featured on the catwalks of Milan or New York.

How to become a Fashion Designer?

A fashion designer is one of those careers for which you do not require a degree to become successful. You will require exceptional natural talent if you do decide to skip the degree; however, many companies prefer candidates with a degree and exceptional talent. A degree can help teach you the industry jargon and provide you with a more detailed understanding of textiles, colors, fashion history, and more. It  also helps you with the latest technology, pattern making, and tips to improve your sewing and tailoring capabilities. If you plan to start your own business one day, a fashion degree is an essential resource to help you learn the business side of fashion. It will also help land you an internship and lead to greater employment opportunities and better pay.

Steps to be taken:

  • Get a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Internship and work experience
  • Learn advanced Design Technology – Certificate Programs
  • Develop a Desirable Skill Set.

Career Paths :

You can pursue a number of career paths with a degree and work experience as a designer. You can choose to work and excel in one fashion niche, such as clothing, footwear, accessories, or costumes. As a designer, you can work your way up to managerial and leadership roles with significantly more responsibility. You can even end up with your own business one day. 

Garment and Textile export houses:

Fashion designers in garment and textile export houses design and make apparel, including accessories like jewelry and footwear that appeal the buyers and meet their specific design  requirements.

Textile and Fabric manufacturing unit: 

Fashion designers in textile and fabric manufacturing units design, make specifications and then oversee manufacturing of fabrics that meet the needs of the client.

Branded Fashion Showrooms:

Fashion designers often design collections based on the requirements of high end fashion stores. These collections are then put across the stores, ready for sale.

Television and Film Industry:

Celebrated fashion designer design costumes and apparel to be donned by the who’s who of the film and television industry. They often consider the plot of the movies and complexities of the characters in doing so.

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Fashion designers design apparel to be displayed across designer boutiques.

Retail Chains:

Fashion Designers often tie up with retail chains to make customer pleasing garments that are put at all locations of the retail brand.

Which Should You Master?

Independent, Self-employed fashion designers:

Fashion designers open their own stores/boutique studios where they design apparel based on the needs and the taste of their customers.

Teaching in a institute that offers courses in fashion designing:

Experienced fashion designers may join as faculty members in institutes that offer courses in this field so that they can share their expertise and knowledge with the budding fashion designers in order to train them better.


Alternative Career Paths:

Graphic Designer:

A graphic designer uses both computer software and their hands to create designs for fashion-related businesses. Such businesses might include ads, websites, magazines, and brochures. This fashion professional must meet the needs of the client of the employer.

Industrial Designer:

An industrial designer is responsible for the concepts and designs for products that are manufactured, such as home appliances, toys, and cars. These individuals work with aesthetics, production costs, usability, functionality, and launch dates through engineering, business, and art.

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Fashion Buyer:

A fashion buyer is in charge of the purchasing of products and services on behalf of their organization. These products will then be used for production or resold. These fashion professionals must understand, follow, and predict trends. They must also work with vendors, contracts, and negotiations.

Modeling Agent:

A modeling agent is a natural progression for some designers. As an agent, they will continue working with models as a representative to find work for their clients. They will prepare the models for their projects and negotiate contracts. Agents will require formal education in most cases.

Chief Designer:

A chief designer is one of the highest positions a fashion designer can reach. These high-level fashion professionals are responsible for the direction of the company. This might include ensuring collections are cohesive, determining the direction of the brand, and establishing the right target demographics for each product line.

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Pros and Cons of a career as Fashion Designer:


Watching other people wearing your art and creation will give a sense of satisfaction and achievement

Once you have gained enough knowledge and experience, you can start your own small-scale business. Fashion designers are paid well and there are lots of opportunities with multiple shows happening daily. The job will get you the opportunity to travel.

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You would be required to work for long hours in order to meet deadlines. The job can lead to distress owing to harsh criticisms from the customers. You will be required to deal with the clients with patience especially in the case of the difficult customers. It will take a great amount of time, patience and hard work to prove your worth and build your reputation and name in the market. The fashion industry is competitive, hence one needs to stand out and build a brand.

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By: Debarati pal

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