Fashion Designer Qualifications
Formal education is not a strict qualification for becoming a fashion designer, though a degree is highly recommended to help break into this competitive career. An associates or bachelors degree in fashion design or fine arts with a focus on fashion is the typical educational path. Coursework will generally include sewing, textiles, history of fashion, color, style, drafting, and computer-aided design (CAD). It is also wise for students to incorporate classes in merchandising and business if they are interested in starting their own fashion design business.
It is important to have a passion for fashion design. Immerse yourself in design shows, books, and magazines to stay abreast of the latest trends and get a sense of where the future of fashion is heading. You must have a strong aesthetic sense, knowledge of how colors, patterns, and textures work together. Potential fashion designers should be very creative and have an artistic flair, but also need to be able to translate ideas into a workable design. Visualization is the first step, but must be followed by a well thought-out design. Qualified designers can take an idea, draw or use computer software to map out an assembly plan, and effectively communicate this plan to others. It is also valuable to have a solid mastery of dressmaking and tailoring.
It can be difficult to get your first job in the fashion design industry. Take advantage of any internship or apprenticeship opportunity you can while still in college. You may have to start at the bottom as a receptionist or part-time assistant before working your way up into actual design work. Make sure to develop a good relationship with instructors and employers to build a strong list of references. School is also a great time to begin building your portfolio. A strong design portfolio will be a huge asset in job interviews.
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